Thursday, August 30, 2012

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Thursday, August 30, 2012 with No comments

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The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni's stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town. There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.

Fast-paced and exciting, filled with characters who grab your heart, The First Days: As the World Dies is the beginning of a frightening trilogy.

I have a bit of a zombie addiction - I enjoy zombie movies, especially the ones by George A. Romero and the Resident Evil series, and I enjoy playing zombie survival games, such as the app Rebuild, which is completely awesome! The thing is, I have never actually read a zombie novel. Crazy, right? But I heard a lot of hype about Rhiannon Frater's As The World Dies trilogy from reviewers, so decided to give it a whirl. Let me tell you - I read the first half of this book in only a couple hours. It was that good! There is just so much action going on in this book that my attention never deviated.

Unlike many other books that I've read, this one did not start off slow. It actually opened with an action scene in which we are introduced to our first main character, Jenni, who has just managed to escape from her husband (whom she discovered had turned into a zombie overnight and was eating their kids). The other main character, Katie, soon enters the scene as well, saving Jenni as she happens to drive by. Katie is a prosecutor who's wife had been zombified.

I like both characters, despite the fact that they are also rather annoying at times. Mostly Jenni, who gets easily jealous of anytime Katie shows anyone else attention (FYI, Katie is a lesbian, Jenni is not, but sometimes it feels like she is). Still, they both have their bad-ass moments - especially Jenni, who learns fast how to 'kill' the zombies with one shot, and is always eager to shoot them (sometimes so eager that you have to wonder about her mental health).

What I really enjoyed reading about, however, was the fort. The author covered many of your key points necessary for zombie survival - building a safe haven, fortifying that location, having survivors learn new skills, searching for supplies and other survivors, etc. And the zombies were actually scary! They weren't your average slow zombies - these things could run! And towards the end of the novel there was worry that the zombies may even be beginning to think! Very scary, indeed.

The writing was excellent - nothing fancy, but very edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, which I think is important in a zombie novel. Plus, the characters were pretty fleshed out. The version of the book I read was the for the Kindle, and it had some typos, but they weren't too bad. I think I was too into the story to care that much. And I can't wait to read the second book!



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