Title: The Weepers: The Other Life
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: February 1st 2012 by Usborne
Series: Book 1 in The Other Life series
3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life. 98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world.
Sherry has lived with her family in a sealed bunker since things went wrong up above. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find a world of devastation, desolation…and the Weepers: savage, mutant killers. When Sherry’s dad is snatched, she joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua – an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers.
But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?
The Other Life puts a new spin on the zombie genre. A new strain of rabies was spreading fast when everyone was told to take cover in shelters. And that’s where Sherry and her family have stayed for years until the day they ran out of food. On a trip to find more, Sherry’s dad is grabbed but she is saved by Joshua. Soon, it’s time for them to go on a hunt to rescue her dad from the Weepers and her family from their bunker.
The Weepers (named for their milky eye discharge, yuck) were not like regular zombies. Sometimes they ran on all fours, sometimes they walked upright. They were intelligent and fast. The descriptions of the broken city, the Weepers and other dead things were graphic and gross. My stomach flopped a few times from the vivid depictions. Heads up: don’t read this one while eating. Trust me.
The story started strong and kept up the pace for the entire novel. There was a lot of action and suspense and I was so interested in finding out what happened next that I finished it within 2 days. All of the characters had real personalities, and I especially liked Sherry. She was only 15, but practically an adult after living in the bunker for years. She was strong and opinionated and wasn’t afraid to put herself in harm’s way for her family. Joshua was another likable character, although we didn’t learn as much about him as I would have liked. That was true of some of the other characters as well. A ragtag group of survivors had banded together and we didn’t learn the back story of most of them. Maybe that will be covered more in the next book?
The one thing that did bother me was the lack of smooth transition from one sentence to the next. Maybe that was simply Winnacker’s writing style, but it was almost like it lacked segues. The dialogue was standard fare, not too fancy or full of slang. In fact, Joshua and his group were more of the strong and silent type. There was a tiny bit of romance and it was new and sweet, nothing graphic. There was a great twist near the end that I did not see coming. Not only did it surprise, but it set up the plot for the next novel, which I will most certainly be picking up.
I like both the UK and US versions of the cover, but I think I like the UK one better. I’m a sucker for black and white with a splash of red (Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Rival, etc.).
A fantastic debut novel that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go.