by Susanne Winnacker
The Other Life #1
Expected Release: May 15, 2012
Printed by Marshall Cavendish
Source: Received as an ARC for review from NetGalley (Big thanks!)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Weepers - Not quite zombies, not quite human, but somewhere in between. What are they? They are former humans who have been brought back to their most animalistic qualities and instincts through a mutated strain of rabies. Sounds cool, right? And it is, for the most part.
What I enjoyed the most about The Weepers was its original take on the whole zombie genre. The rabies adaptation for humans basically creates a type of zombie. We actually get to see the public reaction to this zombie-type outbreak. The government and military step in and everyone is forced to live in bunkers until further notice.
What I didn't enjoy about The Weepers was the way it was written and the very slow and basic plot. I felt that time statements, such as the one in the synopsis, were extremely overused. Not only did the protagonist, Sherry, seem to know exactly how many days it had been seen every last experience before the bunker, but she also knew the exact number of minutes and seconds - off the top of her head. This just seemed a little forced to me, personally, and I felt the story could do without most of it.
I also felt that the plot was too simple and there wasn't much else happening for most of the story. I didn't realize that over half of the novel would be focused on searching for a missing character. Once this plot line is resolved about 2/3 into the story, we are left with a nothing-plot. Seriously. All of the characters are just resting in one setting, wondering what to do next. A few minor events happen, but nothing serious.
Style-wise, I'd have to say that some of the chapters ended too abruptly, as if being cut-off in the middle of a conversation. I'd turn the page, expecting there to be more to the chapter, only to find I was wrong. There are memory sequences in between the chapters. I believe that these are meant to show us Sherry's life pre-bunker, perhaps to demonstrate what happened leading up to the outbreak. I do like this idea, but I felt like they could have been done better. Some of them just seem completely off-target and out of place, adding nothing to the depth of the plot.
The Weepers is not a story rich with character development. I felt that most of the time the characters didn't have much personality, nothing unique that really set them apart from each other. I'm really sorry that I didn't feel any connection to the main character. I wanted to like her, I really did, but I couldn't get a real connection to her. I actually felt that the main male character, Joshua, was a better character than Sherry. He was angsty and emotionally driven by his past. I felt that his back story was much more interesting than Sherry's and that his motives were more justified. I actually wish the story followed him instead of her!
Something pretty big happens in the last few chapters of The Weepers that really got me interested in the story and secondary characters. I felt that maybe this should have happened sooner in the novel - but that's probably just because now I'm curious as to what happens next!! It was a good twist that kept me hanging at the end! Now I have to wait for the second book.
Overall, The Weepers is a quick and decent read. Good for anyone looking for a light-reading zombie fix!
My Rating: 2.5 / 5
I'd read the sequel!