This World We Live In – Susan Beth Pffefer
(Last Survivors trilogy)
This is the last part of a trilogy, the first of which I read a few years ago. An asteroid strikes the moon and shifts it closer to Earth, causing immense ecological damage. Tsunamis inundate the coasts and volcanoes fill the air with ash. Crops fail and sunlight is a memory. The first part of the trilogy focused on a rural family, the second a brother and sister in New York city, and the third now brings the two together.
It’s a short book, probably only 20,000 words, and it didn’t take me long to read. In places, it was rushed and disjointed, and it felt like there were parts that were cut: Characters would suddenly fly into a rage with no reason, then be calm and reasonable a half page later.
It wasn’t until the last few chapters that I felt the characters were in any peril, and it wasn’t until then that I felt moved or touched by them. There’s a section near the end where I could almost hear the author saying, “That’s it. I’m done. Let someone else write part four.”
Pfeffer’s writing style is clean and tidy enough, although some of the dialogue and arguments felt flat. There are endless descriptions of food, the hunt for food, will the food drop arrive, etc. Fair enough, the main character is starving, but could we have skipped over some of her meals?
Not a bad book, but it felt very much by the numbers. 2/5