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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Review: The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

SERIES: As The World Dies: A Zombie Trilogy, Book #1
AUTHOR: Rhiannon Frater
PUBLISHER: Tor Books
PUBLICATION DATE: July 5, 2011 (first published August 14, 2008)
FORMAT: Paperback, 335 pages
GENRE: Horror, Science Fiction/Apocalyptic, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9780765331267
Rhiannon Frater's As the World Dies trilogy is an internet sensation. The first two books, The First Days and Fighting to Survive, have won the Dead Letter Award for Best Novel from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book ExaminerAmericanHorrorBlog calls Rhiannon Frater "a writer to watch."

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. 

MY REVIEW: 

This book won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The series was originally self-published but picked up and re-released in 2011 by Tor Books.

I have always found zombie movies to be entertaining and comical. Frater’s zombies in The First Night were anything but funny; they were terrifying!

As the story begins, we are introduced to one of our heroines, Jenni, who has managed to escape her zombie-ridden house unscathed. She discovered her husband, Lloyd, devouring the baby, and Jenni tries to flee the house with her elder son. Unfortunately, her son is not so lucky and Lloyd catches him. Jenni gapes at the front door, as her baby’s little fingers are reaching underneath trying to get to her. As she stands outside trying to comprehend what just happened, a woman in a truck honks the horn and screams at her to get in. After rescuing Jenni’s teenage step-son, who was away on a camping trip in the woods, the women manage to find a group of survivors who have built somewhat of a fortress to help keep the zombies at bay.

Frater had me biting my nails with anxiety! What was so scary about her zombies is that they were not slow like they are in the movies; they are fast, especially when they smell fresh meat. Furthermore, some of her zombies appear to be thinkers, who study the environment around them and try to solve the dilemma of how to gain access to buildings or escape confinement. The zombies in movies that walk around moaning, “Braaaains!” are not very scary, but these ones are!! I also really liked both of the female protagonists, Jenni and Katie. I love strong heroines, and these two kick butt!

I can’t remember the last time when I was this frightened while reading a book! This is a must read for zombie fans! Frater knocked my socks off, and she has turned me into a huge fan of her work and reawakened my interest in zombies! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

MY RATING:
 
5 stars!! It was superb! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely read it!

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