The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker is one very clever, trickster of a book. Not ONCE did it mention the word ZOMBIE and even when we find out that effectively the rabies virus has infected everyday people and turned them into flesh eating monsters (or y’know, ZOMBIES) that word still isn’t mentioned. Why is it clever? Because I don’t read stories about zombies. I don’t even like zombies. And a zombie romance? FORGET IT. I’m pleased to report however that despite the presence of “Weepers” (or y’know, ZOMBIES) I really enjoyed the book and am glad that I read it without knowing what it was about otherwise I might never have picked it up and I would have missed out on an awesome story. Here’s the synopsis:
“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 is a dystopian novel but I think the point is that it could happen at any time and could easily be set in present day which makes it a very scary thing to contemplate. Having said this, if you are the type of person who does not go anywhere near scary or creepy books then don’t worry. I’m hesitant with those sorts of books too, mainly because I have a fantastic imagination and I tend to read late at night which is not always the best combination but I did not find this book creepy and it did not give me nightmares. The scariness comes in knowing that this could be a real scenario someday.
In contrast to the real life nightmare Sherry finds herself in, I really enjoyed the way that at the start of every chapter, we are privy to a snapshot in time of Sherry’s other life, the life she had before everything changed. It was a stark reminder of how different things had become.
The romantics amongst you (myself included) will be happy to know that there is a little bit of something going on and the relationship between Sherry and Joshua is quite innocent and natural. Quite often in YA literature, we’re treated to the concept that two teenagers are soul mates or star-crossed lovers and the relationship between the two main characters is quite mature, shall we say. In The Other Life, these two young people are thrown together out of necessity, in order to survive and I think their relationship grows out of that. It’s only natural for people who share a traumatic event to form a bond however, it’s still a sweet thing to read about.
Overall, I enjoyed this book much more than I expected and it’s undoubtedly worth reading. The revelations towards the end of the book are quite startling and effectively repaint the landscape of what you thought the book was about and how the environment is shaped. It definitely paves the way for a sequel which I believe is already in the works, entitled “The Life Beyond” and I will definitely be picking it up as I know we’re in for a hell of a ride ;)
The Other Life was published on 1st February, 2012. To find out more about Susanne and her book, click here to visit her website.