Regular price: $19.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    54
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    14

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    15
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Stop at book 2

Book 1 was ok if you can get past the horrendous audio narrator.

Book 2 was good if you can deal with another bad audio narrator—a man this time. If you have any sense (which apparently I didn’t), stop at book 2.

Book 3 was pretty bad. Miranda goes from hating Alex to being madly and passionately in love with him and he with her. There is no reason for her to even like him based on the text in this book. At least in book 2 (Alex’s story), he’s generally likeable and when he’s not, you understand why. As well, as others have stated, people act completely out of character.

Book 4 has another horrible audio narrator, and he’s the BEST thing about the book. Even if people could go from normal life to this absurd mindset in four years, the fact than Jon (Miranda’s younger brother) loses 15 year’s of decency, common sense, logic, morality is equally ridiculous. Now there are the elites “clavers” (short for “enclavers”) and “grubs”—the laborers, normal people who now the clavers think are “animals” and treat them as such.

Just about every character in this book has once again morphed into something different than they were (good or bad) with absolutely no explanation. But Jon has turned into such a an awful person, I kept wishing someone would murder him rather than having other characters suffer and/or get killed off. Jon’s “redemption” was not enough to save this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

I would have liked to hear more detail at the end. However, it's still an on ending and leaves room for short stories that can be added in later. 😉

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Bad narration, bad writing

The only way this poorly conceived story with terrible dialog could be made worse is by the absolutely awful narration. The narrator is bizarrely very Canadian and clearly just doesn’t “get” the characters. First three books in this series are so good so I’m sorry to give such a rotten review to this one.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

If you want to know how it all ends...

I read other comments that this wasn't a good ending to this series, and for a long time I resisted listening to the last installment, because I really liked the previous 3 books. I finally gave in, and although I agree with most of the reviews that this is not as good as the other 3 books, I'm glad I gave it a chance to at least give closure to the characters of this story. I think my main criticism is that the main character, Jon, isn't likable for the most part. There is a sense of waste of all the sacrifices other characters make to give him the best opportunities, while he acts like a spoiled, cynical and even amoral teen for most of the novel. I also think it's hard to believe the degree to which society has come to settle into castes of clavers, slips and grubs, without uprisings and rebellions being a constant and real threat. There is a subdued discontent and passive acceptance of the new rules that seem illogical when we think these people lived in a very different society less than a decade ago. On the other side, I think the world description of how some people would hoard resources while others are left to starve and struggle for the most basic of necessities would be a logical aftermath of such an apocalyptic event. In this regard, I guess one would expect a greater degree of drama and tension than this novel is able to muster in its characters.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

If only I could give this book 0

The first 3 books were....meh
This book had a protagonist so terrible it made me physically ill
I read 3/4 of the book before I gave up

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Complete Disappointment

Would you try another book from Susan Beth Pfeffer and/or Matthew Josdal?

Matthew Josdal's performance was cringeworthy at best. The book was difficult enough to get through, but his choppy performance and his inability to use voice inflection in the appropriate places added to my frustration with this book.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the first 3 books in the series but the 4th book really ruined my enjoyment of the series. The story almost seemed like it was written by a completely different author who knew very little of the first 3 books. John's character was completely unrecognizable from the earlier books and the whole plot surrounding the caste system was implausible, especially given the short time span from when the cataclysmic event happened to the time the 4th book commences. I ended up despising John and didn't really care much for Lisa's character either in this book. I honestly wish the 4th book would not have even been written.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not worthy to stand with the first books.

Pfeffer really let us down on this one. The first books were fantastic. Great reads/listens. Compelling. I cared about the characters. -- This one? Terrible. Just plain terrible. The main character is unapologetically bad -- not like a villain 'bad'. Just dull and menial. I would rather have heard the story from his servant's perspective. And the characters Pfeffer developed in the first novels??? She throws them away. Bland, boring. No connection.
Please read the first books. Do NOT read this book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Did you like Book 2?

If you didn't like Book 2, you probably won't like this one. Book 1 & 3 were great, 2 & 4, not so great.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful