Like Miranda in Moon#1, Alex is quite the self-centred teenager. He is vice-president of his class, has Georgetown college aspirations and dreams of being the first Puerto Rican President. The book deals a little with his feelings of being an outsider in his school . Alex has an older brother, Carlos, who is in the marines, and two sisters, Bri and Julie.
One theme which differs slightly from the first book is the approach to religion. While Miranda's family is not religious at all, Alex's family is Catholic. They rely on the church for their education and food, as well as for spiritual strength. That's not to say that there aren't crises of faith, but I think that is only natural when dealing with the end of the world.
The story is told in diary narration, and like the first novel has an unresolved ending- but apparently Alex and Miranda will reappear in the final of the trilogy, The World We Live In.
Some readers might find this depressing, or scary, or both. There is a particularly frightening food riot scene, and this being Manhattan, there are some nasty rat moments as well. For all of this, I think it might nudge some readers out of their complacency or greed- this can only be a good thing!
I only have one complaint about this series, they make me hungry! Not that I'm going to stockpile food or anything... but I have a better idea of what to do if there are prolonged power outages.