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Radiant Shadows

The Weepers The Other Life

The Weepers: The Other Life  - Susanne Winnacker The Other Life is a suspenseful thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the time I spent reading it. But just when I started to become truly invested in the plot and the characters, it ended and I was left disappointed that such a promising tale was cut short.Having spent over three years confined to a bunker with her family, Sherry is psychologically well adjusted. Almost a little too well-adjusted. I would assume that that much time spent in such a confined space would have taken some sort of emotional and psychological toll, but she seems virtually unaffected - which was something noticeably lacking. Perhaps her constant counting of days spent without this or that luxury of being above-ground - the feel of impending rain or a cool breeze, for example - is a side-effect of her confinement, but it got repetitive and annoying. I can understand counting the days spent in confinement, but I can't imagine knowing the more minute details - though it did make make her appreciation for mundane things really resonate with me.Sherry was an ok protagonist - she didn't mope over their situation and took everything in stride - but I was confused about her age. During a particular flashback, Sherry is seen celebrating her thirteenth birthday - but when she meets Marie, she tells her that she is fifteen. The math just didn't add up properly, and I wasn't sure whether her actions were that of a fifteen-year-old, or an almost-seventeen-year-old. Some of her moments with Joshua screamed at her being younger, as did her flashbacks to her school crush Alex, but then there were moments when she was running from Weepers, in search of her father, that had me believing she was older.The secondary characters were all underdeveloped, and I'm going to chalk it up to The Other Life's length - it was just too short! I was really interested in learning more about Joshua and his fear of entering any kind of bunker, but the meagre explanation we were provided with wasn't sufficient. I wanted more depth, to help explain his mood swings and his reluctance to get close to Sherry, but there just wasn't room for it. I also wanted to learn more about Tyler and Geoffrey, and their surprising insight into their predicament, but again was left feeling like the glimpse we got was merely scratching at the surface.I also felt like The Other Life's length didn't allow for much world-building, especially after the bombshells dropped towards the end. How did the altered version of rabies escape the lab? If there was an epidemic, which the government claimed was confined to your particular city but would be dealt with in a few days, why wouldn't you just leave the city instead of entering a bunker for the foreseeable future? From the way it was explained, the outbreak was confined to LA. If my government told me to bunker down for a few days while they worked on removing the problem, I'd hole up in a hotel the next state over. How intelligent are the Weepers? Why are some Weepers more animalistic then others? Are the ones who retain more of their human features more human in general? How does a disease that affects the brain also affect physiology? I think some added length would have gone far to answer some of my questions.Having said all this, The Other Life is entertaining - enormously so. I finished it in one sitting, and would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to its sequel. I just wish I didn't HAVE to read the sequel to get what I feel should have been resolved in the series' debut.Find this review, and more, on my blog Radiant Shadows