The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Series: The Other Life #1
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Date Read: July 15, 2012
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?
This novel sounded interesting. The concept of family being confined to bunkers because something went wrong reminded me of Fallout 3. The idea that Sherry’s family had just run out of food, and that she must venture up into a ruined world she left behind 3 years ago, one full of flesh-hungry mutants, sounded like it could provide plenty of thrills and action. However, despite its best intentions, The Other Life falls flat. The writing comes off as simplistic and uninteresting. I had trouble connecting with any of the characters. When Sherry comes out of the bunker for the first time, it doesn’t seem to affect her very much. In fact, she doesn’t seem very affected by the discovery of the wasteland that used to be her hometown, either. Since the protagonist lacks depth, it is no surprise that the secondary characters are also shallow and one-dimensional. For a novel that seems advertised as a horror/dystopian novel, little time is spent around the Weepers or focusing on what’s been lost. Thus, The Other Life loses its chance to bring in terror and feelings of regret, loss, adjustment.
Most of the feelings in this novel are devoted to the quick-to-develop relationship between Sherry and Joshua. Like the rest of this book, their relationship feels a bit hollow. Because it developed over the course of a mere few days, to me it lacks depth and meaning. The strongest thing this novel has going for it is the twist revealed at the end, but unfortunately, the twist is just setting us up for the sequel — we don’t see it come into play here. However, since I didn’t enjoy The Other Life very much (if it were much longer, I’m not sure I would have finished it), I don’t think I will be moving on to the next installment. If you like dystopian novels that are primarily about romance, and don’t mind a simple writing style that lacks depth, you may want to give The Other Life a chance. The plot was interesting, I just felt like it failed to live up to its potential.