Review: The Weepers: The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker

The Weepers: The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker

Publishers: Marshall Cavendish
Published Date: May 15th 2012
From: ARC courtesy of Net Galley and Publishers
My rating:
4 out of 5
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.
A post-apocalyptic delight is The Weepers: The Other Life. Told from the point of view of 15 year old Sherry, we learn in the beginning about her life inside the bunker. She cycles to keep the electricity going for her brother and sister to watch TV. Her grandma knits constantly. Her mother and father argue again resulting in her mothers almost asthma attack. The last tin of food is on the table. The carefully calculated stored food has been eaten. Her grandpa's body is in the empty freezer. No one in her family has been out the secure bunker in 3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days.  And now starvation is their biggest fear and very real possibility. Scary or what?

In the first few chapters we understand who Sherry is. She's got guts, has an enormous amount of patience, wants to shield her little sister from the horrors of present life and loves her family. She pleads for the chance to get out of the bunker and join her father on the hunt for food. But everything goes wrong when they enter a food superstore and find the enemy. The weepers are zombies. Flesh eaters who weep goo. Sometimes they're almost human-like but other times they run on all fours like animals. They are neither or part of both. 

Joshua rescues her but not until she realises that her father has been dragged off by the weepers and is possibly dead or lying injured in a nest. From here we meet the other humans still alive and living at Safe Haven who offer refuge. The next day Joshua joins her to begin the search for her father.

This book is raw, gritty and doesn't hold any punches. The very beginning sets the tone beautifully (or horribly). Sherry is a great character who often makes decisions without realising the dangers involved. But courageous is such a weak word for who she is. 

Joshua and Sherry make a great team. Yes, there's a little chemistry but Joshua comes over as someone who's missing something in his life. His family are dead and he's become the hunter of the Safe Haven party with no one to watch his back except himself. You get the impression at the beginning that he prefers this but as the layers of his life are unveiled we see the sensitive and vulnerable boy underneath. He's missing something and Sherry is exactly what he's been without. Together they work well on the hunts and adapt to each other perfectly.

The others at Safe Haven are great background characters and each has their own story. Tension is always high but generally everyone is friendly.

The story is fast-paced throughout with a few breaks for breathers but the ongoing drama had me glued to this book right until the end. The tension is gripping, you just have to find out what happens next. So much that I'd almost finished the book without realising it. The ending brings in all the back stories and provides the perfect platform for the next installment expected to be published in 2013. Let the next adventure but as thrilling as this one!

You can reach Susanne Winnacker here:
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