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The Shade of the Moon: Life as We Knew It Series, Book 4 | [Susan Beth Pfeffer]

The Shade of the Moon: Life as We Knew It Series, Book 4

It's been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?
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Publisher's Summary

The eagerly awaited addition to the series begun with the New York Times bestseller Life as We Knew It, in which a meteor knocks the moon off its orbit and the world changes forever.

It's been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?

©2013 Susan Beth Pfeffer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.7 (25 )
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2.7 (24 )
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Story
3.3 (24 )
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  •  
    Suz 04-03-14
    Suz 04-03-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Pleasantly surprised after the negative reviews"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I wanted to hear what had become of the Evans family and it was time to hear John's take on things.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I don't think these post-disaster, dystopian type novels are meant to be enjoyable, they are a commentary on politics and human nature. The last two novels have little love stories within them and I would have liked these to be fleshed out a bit more - not just have characters instantly in-love.


    Did Matthew Josdal do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Sure. I didn't find the narration childish at all - maybe a bit clipped but also in keeping with how most teenager boys talk.


    Could you see The Shade of the Moon being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    There are so many of these types of movies and TV series out now - this one isn't quite gritty or detailed enough to make it on screen.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes these types of novels move too quickly and sweep over things - I appreciated the slow pace within each of the novels and the gut wrenching decisions that the main characters had to make. I read that some people didn't like the main character in this novel, I found him realistic for a seventeen year old boy living in those conditions. I liked how his conscience slowly gets the better of him. I actually found his step-mother Lisa hard to understand and/or like. Miranda (the narrator in the first and third novels) is my favorite character and I would have preferred to keep listening to her story and I liked getting the updates on what she was going through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Athol, ID, United States 03-07-14
    Cynthia Athol, ID, United States 03-07-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    3
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    "Sour"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Little children might like the childish narration


    Would you recommend The Shade of the Moon to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. If it were someone's first introduction to Susan Pfeffer they would not return.


    What didn’t you like about Matthew Josdal’s performance?

    He is narrating these older teen children in a way that makes them sound like 10 year olds. It completely distracts from the story I find myself I raged at his interpretation of the whole story. I'd fire him on the spot.... But the blame is not his own. Where is the production team in all this?!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Only because it was the fourth in a great series of books. It should NOT have been a part but should have have been a stand alone.


    Any additional comments?

    If your curious enough to want the story, get it from the library, read it yourself. Stay away from this audio addition. You'll be better for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Granite Falls, NC, USA 12-21-13
    Amy Granite Falls, NC, USA 12-21-13 Member Since 2006

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A huge letdown for one who loves the series."

    As a fan of the other three books in Susan Beth Pfeffer's The Last Survivors post-apocalyptic/dystopian young adult series, I'm sorry to say that this novel provided a most unsatisfying end.

    This review could easily run away with me, so I'll limit myself to what I see as the two biggest problems of the novel.

    First, the premise. I honestly don't know why this wasn't a standalone novel. It makes no sense in the context of the earlier three books. It's set only four years -- four years -- after the natural disaster that defines the series. (A meteor knocked the moon off its orbit and caused catastrophic climactic changes and a series of natural disasters.) Somehow people in that short a period of time have divided so completely into the privileged few in the enclaves and the oppressed drudges, or "grubs," that the elites view the majority as genuinely less than human. (This happens even though membership in an enclave is based on rather random criteria, so that even Ivy League Ph.D.s are living as grub domestics, and nuclear families may be split between the enclaves and "grub" towns.) This genuinely defies belief, as do the living conditions described in the enclaves. I would think that, with the massive climactic changes and challenges, clean drinking water and viable foodstuffs and disease would still be foremost concerns, not playing soccer and choosing nannies. Considering Pfeffer's emphasis in earlier books about how communities fracture and individuals turn against each other in times of crisis, it requires more than a mere suspension of disbelief to go along with the idea that large numbers of people, many of privileged backgrounds themselves, all agreed in concert to accept the rule of the few and subside into slavery so quickly.

    Second, the main character. Jon was the baby of his family, the coddled one for whom others sacrificed. That said, in the previous novels he was portrayed as a good-natured and normal boy. Now at seventeen he's one of the most dislikeable protagonists I've come across. I don't simply mean that he's annoying, erratic, weak-willed, and difficult to empathize with, though he is all of these things. He also does despicable acts, from helping to burn down the school where his mother teaches to trying to justify attempted rape and sexual intimidation, all the while winning the affections of a visionary, courageous young woman. (Her lasting attraction to this easily bullied coward is never explained. It's a baffling mystery.) When his semi-redemption comes, it's unconvincing. It's troubling, too, because he seems to be content in excusing away some of his most disturbing behavior.

    Matthew Josdal's narration made an already grating character even more whiny and difficult to endure.

    There are hints of interesting commentary here, from an implied critique of gated communities to a more overt critique of the celebration of brute violence and groupthink in sports. The corruption that's rife in the administration of Jon's enclave suggests chilling insights into how bureaucracies behave. Unfortunately, these critiques read more like a series of brief rants strung together between one atrocity and the next (and there are serious atrocities committed in this novel, let me assure you) rather than a nuanced, integrated narrative. For example, I would point to Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower for a more complex and sophisticated dystopian study of the gated community, among other subjects. Ironically, although Butler's heroine is both the daughter of a minister and the founder of a new faith, Parable comes across as far less preachy than does Shade of the Moon.

    As a standalone novel I would have found this problematic, but as the final conclusion to a compelling and well-loved series, it's an even greater letdown.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn SILVERADO, CA, United States 03-16-14
    Carolyn SILVERADO, CA, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2012

    Jr, High Teacher

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    "These books are getting worse and worse"
    Would you try another book from Susan Beth Pfeffer and/or Matthew Josdal?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Susan Beth Pfeffer again?

    no


    Did Matthew Josdal do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    good enough, using inflection


    What character would you cut from The Shade of the Moon?

    all of them, especially the annoying protagonist


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the first couple books in the series, but at this point, they have become insufferably poorly written, annoying, and basically unreadable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael Western Australia 12-03-13
    michael Western Australia 12-03-13 Member Since 2011

    Young self made business man with plenty of time on the road to enjoy the world of audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Should have stopped after book 3"

    I was so looking forward to this and was deeply disappointed.
    Susan kept repeating the same thing over and over trying to convinces us what she is saying true.
    Ie : why the grubs (labourers) deserve nothing and the claviers (rich) deserves everything seriously we get it move on with the story. i don't need every possible reason why the rich should get more arrghh.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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