Author: Susanne Winnacker
Series: The Weepers (#1)
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
How Received: publisher ARC
Release Date: 1 May 2012
3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life.
Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.
Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.
While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.
I don't like zombie stories. Anything to even do with the zombies makes me wrinkle my nose. It takes a damn good story to make me like a zombie story.
The Other Life is a damn good story.
Perhaps it's because, unlike the other zombies stories I've read, the story itself doesn't seem to focus on the zombie. It's not about going out and avoiding the zombies and killing the zombies and surviving the zombies.
It's about surviving the world; it's about hiding in a bunker with your family for three and a half years and the government abandoning you and having to go out and deal with creatures that are still human but aren't human. It's about having to shoot something but not wanting to be a killer. It's about finding a safe place to eat and still not knowing who you can trust.
I love, love, love the characters in this story. They're realistic. They're dealing with emotions that complicate situations. They argue; they fight; they vomit when they realize they've had to kill something that could have been a mother or a father. They get injured. They don't always survive. Winnacker is brilliant at capturing human emotions - especially the ones people don't want to be caught.
It's the characters that make this story worth reading. The plot's fairly predictable - or maybe I'm just getting really good at guessing as the book goes on, who knows? But it's still an enjoyable read.
[SPOILER ALERT] My only problem might have been the romance that ends up blossoming between Joshua and Sherry. From the moment they meet, you know they're set up to be the two romantic leads: they think similarly, they both fight for the same reasons, you get the drift. I don't know. Something about it seems off to me - maybe it happened to fast? But they may die at any moment. Was it that Josh was worried about getting close to people if they may die? No, because he has his entire family at Safe-haven. I like the two of them together, but something seemed off about it, just a little bit. I dunno what. [END SPOILER ALERT]
I do hope Tyler gives Sherry a tattoo in a sequel, though.
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 8/10. Predictable plot, but fantastic characters.
Cover Comments: Could this cover be any more disgusting? It's poorly photoshopped and just looks cheesy. I love the girl model, though - she does look a lot like Sherry. The UK cover (right) is much better in my opinion, though I don't understand why there's a butterfly.
Any of you zombie lovers looking forward to this one?