Saturday 24 December 2011

Book review : The Other Life - Susanne Winnacker

On a number of levels, The Other Life instantly reminded me of Justin Cronin's epic novel, The Passage, which I reviewed here. Instead of vampires, the evil lurking outside comes in the form of the Weepers, blood-thirsty, zombie-like ex-humans that have been infected by a mutant form of rabies and whose name comes from the milky tears leaking from their eyes. But whereas The Passage was a mammoth 700+ page read that nobody but the most avid readers would tackle, The Other Life is designed as a teen-read, with 300 double-spaced pages, adolescent heroes and a slight love interest as a backdrop to the (PG-rated) horror.

The book begins in a bunker, where Sherry's family have been holed up for the past three years. When the food runs out, they have to take the nerve-wracking decision to come outside and hunt for supplies, unsure of what the rabies situation is since their radio stopped receiving messages from other survivors. Nobody is prepared for the apocalyptic scenes that await them, or the viciousness of the Weepers that they encounter. When the worst happens and they are attacked, help comes in the form of Joshua, who manages to extract Sherry from death's jaws and lead her to a safe-haven where a few other survivors have grouped. But is it really safe ? And are the Weepers the only things that they need to be wary of ?

The book is slightly predictable but I nevertheless found it to be a gripping read and raced through it in two days. I would have liked to see have seen further development of the rather flimsy characters but this is the first in a series so I'm sure more detail will be added in the subsequent books.

While definitely fitting into the young adult fiction category, it's far too good to be left for the teens and I really enjoyed it. Look out for an intensive marketing campaign at the launch in February 2012 and I'll also be keeping my eyes peeled for the sequel, due for release in February 2013.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £6.99

320 pages
Usborne Books

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Teen Read Book review : Buried Thunder - Tim Bowler

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this review. My eldest daughter is an avid reader and we are always on the lookout for new books for her to read. I really enjoy reading your young adult book reviews and find them very helpful!


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