Author: Rhiannon Frater

Book Review – The Last Mission of the Living (The Last Bastion #2) by Rhiannon Frater

December 30, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 1 Comment

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Last Mission of the Living (The Last Bastion #2) by Rhiannon FraterThe Last Mission of the Living by Rhiannon Frater
Series: The Last Bastion #2
Published by Self-Published on August 28th 2014
Pages: 382
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege

three-half-stars

Vanguard Lindsay Rooney has faced the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge and lived to tell the tale, but she has also suffered horrible losses. Like millions of other civilians, she had hoped that The Bastion would recover after a team of modified soldiers eradicated the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge that infested their valley. Yet the city still crumbles around them, along with any chance of survival.

Lindsey’s growing friendship with Torran MacDonald, an officer with the Science Warfare division, is her only solace as the decline of the city continues. When food riots fill the streets, martial law is enacted, and the upper echelons of government battle for control of the city, Lindsey is conscripted by her superiors to embark on a dangerous mission into the dead world beyond The Bastion. To add even more complications, Torran and the SWD join the squad.

Soon, Lindsey realizes that her mission is more than what it seems, and there are secrets that could both destroy The Bastion and take her life.

About Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

The Last Bastion series

Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater

The Last Bastion of the Living (The Last Bastion #1) by Rhiannon Frater {PurchaseMy Review}

The Last Mission of the Living is the unexpected surprise second installment following the thrilling futuristic zombie novel The Last Bastion of the Living. This installment switches points of view from Maria Martinez to her best friend Lindsay Rooney and is fortunately no less intense than we’ve all come to expect from any Rhiannon Frater tale. The Last Mission is a definitely longer tale but is no less worth the time.

In The Last Bastion, the stronghold and the last group of people that have survived the undead creatures known as Inferi Scourge, a team of soldiers were chosen to be ‘modified’ in order to fight the undead with a higher percent chance of success. That group of soldiers became the last chance for the Bastion to survive but the mission failed and the city is still enduring the threat of the undead that swarms the borders. The political conspiracies and the constant double-dealing going on in the background of the Bastion are focused on more in this installment and it was an interesting switch-up. There was less zombie/Inferi Scourge action as The Last Bastion, however, this is still a solid follow-up and a fantastic expansion to this fascinating world.

In addition to the political tidbits, there is still a worthy romance to swoon over. Lindsay and Torran, who is a part of the Science Warfare division, are on opposite sides of the game at play. When the two are put on a team with a mission to seek out food to bring back to the Bastion, a friendship develops which slowly transforms into something more. Torran had his own secret mission though and it involves bringing Lindsay’s best friend Maria back to the Bastion for experimentation. The ongoing tension between the two was fantastically written.

The Last Mission of the Living is a fabulous follow-up with exciting twists and turns that expand on Frater’s created world nicely. The action is less than the first installment, however, the world-building is on point and will leave you hoping a surprise third installment is a possibility. Would work well as a 2nd installment or even as a stand-alone but of course I still highly recommend The Last Bastion.

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The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater Tour Stop: Guest Post & Giveaway!

December 11, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Tour, Giveaways 1 Comment

The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater Tour Stop: Guest Post & Giveaway!The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater
on September 2nd 2014
Pages: 244
Genres: Horror, Zombies
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege

It is silence, not screams of terror, which proclaims the end of the world

Minji Nordim is vacationing in Las Vegas with her small family when she witnesses the beginning of a terrifying apocalypse. When humanity is transformed into mindless drones by a terrifying supernatural event only Minji appears to be immune.

Thousands die instantly, but the other affected people are drawn to the Nevada desert. Nothing stands in the way of the mesmerized. Not fire, not heights, not rubble. As the bodies pile in the streets and the relentless wave of the mesmerized plods into the deadly desert, Minji is trapped in a burning city attempting to rescue her family.

When Minji encounters other unaffected survivors, they band together to survive in a city that is crumbling all around them. With no hope of rescue and the event slowly spreading across the world, Minji and the others must decide who to save among the mesmerized and where to go before the city is in ashes.

Even more unsettling is that Minji senses that the force behind the event is observing them

Can one woman save her family and the world?

About Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

I’m a huge fan of Rhiannon Frater’s books and I’m happy to have her on the blog today discussing her unusual heroine in her latest release The Mesmerized! The book is available now and is only $2.99 on Kindle up through December 19th!

An Unusual Heroine by Rhiannon Frater

I’m well known for my strong female protagonists in my books. I love a well-rounded female character with strengths and flaws who overcomes obstacles while becoming a better version of herself. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love writing about them. Every time I sit down to write a story, I’m excited to go on an adventure with a new characters and learn all about them.

My characters tend to show up, fully formed, and ready to tell their story. I don’t have to consciously construct them. My muse (aka subconscious) does it for me. Since I don’t base my characters on myself, it’s like meeting someone new. Their personality, quirks, flaws, strengths, and weaknesses are aspects I enjoy discovering as I write. Sometimes they’re so different from me, I have to do a lot of research to make sure I accurately portray the character.

In The Mesmerized, Minji Nordim is a Texan of Korean-Irish descent, a tattoo artist from Austin, and firmly counter-culture in her appearance. None of those aspects of her character were daunting, but her status as a parent gave me pause. She’s a wife and a mother to two small girls. Since I’m not a mother (but a kickass aunt), I immediately faced a whole new challenge.

I’ve written about mothers before, but never had one of my characters dealing with motherhood in the midst of an apocalypse. The closest is Jenni from The First Days (As The World Dies Book 1), but she has lost her children in the beginning of that book. Minji’s situation is very different because she has two living daughters with her and must fight to keep them alive against all odds. Because her husband is also caught in the supernatural event as one of the mesmerized, Minji is on her own in taking care of both her husband and children.

One of the things I’ve learned over time is to listen to my characters. I let Minji lead me through her desperate situation. The level of anxiety she felt while attempting to save her children was pretty intense, and it added a whole new dimension to the story. I swiftly realized that her priorities would be quite different from mine in the same circumstances. I’m married, but I don’t have children. My priority would be to save my husband. Minji has to deal with not only her husband being caught in the event and trying to save him, but also has to ensure the safety of her baby and five-year-old daughters. In fact, Minji’s children heighten the tension of the situation because she is their only hope of survival.

When I sent off the completed manuscript to my beta readers and to my editor at Permuted Press, I worried about whether or not I’d captured the intensity of Minji fight to keep her family alive. Did I accurately portray her motherhood? When the responses from my beta readers and editor were a resounding yes, I was relieved. When the book was released, within a day I heard from a fan who told me this book was extra-special to her because Minji is a mother. The reader could completely sympathize with her, and it made the story that much more terrifying.

Sometimes my characters take me on a journey that I learn from, and Minji definitely taught me that sometimes the toughest woman is the one with children to protect.

dvd-pearl

Be sure to check out the rest of The Mesmerized blog tour for more interviews, guest posts and reviews!

The Mesmerized Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 — Mom With A Kindle
Tuesday, December 02, 2014 — Team Tynga’s Reviews
Wednesday, December 03, 2014 — Addicted2Heroines
Thursday, December 04, 2014 — Horror Tree
Friday, December 05, 2014 — Hell Notes
Monday, December 08, 2014 — Christy’s Love of Books
Tuesday, December 09, 2014 — Lowcountrybooklover
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 — Cabin Goddess
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — For the Love of Words
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Contagious Reads
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Offbeat Vagabond
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Rainy Day Ramblings
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Jess resides here
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Stuart Conover’s Author Page
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Chapter by Chapter
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Ja čitam; a ti?
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Curling Up With A Good Book
Friday, December 19, 2014 — Buy Zombie
Friday, December 19, 2014 — In Libris Veritas

There are two available giveaways! The grand prize is a hardcover copy of The Mesmerized and the other is for a copy of the eBook. Using Rafflecopter, enter below!

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Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater

July 3, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2012 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon FraterThe Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel by Rhiannon Frater
Published by Self-Published on June 8th 2012
Pages: 283
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Zombies
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege

four-half-stars

The Bastion was humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. A fortified city with a high wall, surrounded by lush land rich with all the resources needed to survive, protected by high mountain summits, and a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion became the last stronghold of the living on earth. But one fateful day, the gate failed and the Inferi Scourge destroyed the human settlements outside the walls and trapped the survivors inside the city. Now decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city as resources and hope dwindle.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her whole life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of her lover, Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.

After thoroughly enjoying the author’s ‘As the World Dies’ trilogy which was full of super awesome and terribly gruesome zombies, I was all on board for more. The Last Bastion of the Living completely knocked it out of the park for me. Set in a future completely changed and desolate, the zombies have destroyed any chance of survival for the last known group of people on Earth. Grasping at straws, the government makes one last desperate attempt to reclaim the surrounding lands and to solidify the livelihood of all.

Much like her ‘As the World Dies’ trilogy, Rhiannon never lacks for vivid and highly likable characters and an exciting storyline to boot. The main character, Maria, is an extremely strong and independent woman and she can kick some serious ass too. The story also switches up point-of-view with Maria’s boyfriend Dwayne who was also a well written character. One thing that I have to make note of is the relationship between Maria and Dwayne: an incredibly realistic relationship; something that I think is highly lacking in fiction novels these days. The strength of their bond was palpable in addition to how much they loved each other. It was a fabulous addition to the story but didn’t overpower the actual storyline in any way.

And speaking of the storyline… I cannot remember the last time I was reading a book and it created such vivid imagery in my mind to the point where it was as if I was watching a movie reel playing in my head. And what a badass movie it was! The writing didn’t have the feel of a screenplay thankfully, but I nonetheless could definitely see a movie being made from this story.

Only disappointment was the realization that this was a stand-alone novel so the story was over! I could definitely see potential paths that future installments could go with to make it a series but then again there was something satisfying about reading the story in its entirety and being done with it without having to wait for future installments. Stand-alone novels seem to be quite rare these days and I read far too many series so this was a nice change.

With a surprisingly original and refreshing take on the normal zombie tale this was a highly enjoyable thrill ride. Zombie lovers need not miss out on this gem.

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The Interview

How did you come up with the title?
Like the story, it came to me in a dream. I believe one of the characters called the city the last bastion of the living during the course of a conversation. When I woke up, I instantly thought, “I want to write that!” The story, the characters, and the title all showed up in a dream. It was a great jump start on the book, that’s for sure.

Personally, by the time I was finished with the prologue I was totally imagining The Last Bastion of the Living being one seriously awesome movie. Did you envision this as you were writing the book or did that come later?
The huge battle in the prologue was always a part of the story, but the dream started with the first chapter. When I began to write, I started at the same point as the dream did. As time went on I felt something important was missing. There was a lack of urgency in the narrative. Though the characters speak of the final push against the undead, I realized that the reader didn’t really understand how devastating it had been. I had been trying to incorporate flashbacks, but those weren’t working. I kept excising them.

I got very, very sick with the flu and had to stop writing on the book altogether. While I was feverish, I kept dreaming about the great battle where Dwayne and Maria had almost lost their lives. When I was well, I sat down and read what I had written so far. It was during that read-through that I recognized the need for the reader to see the final push against the Inferi Scourge.

So I just rewound the movie in my brain to an earlier point in time and wrote what I saw. I don’t know how it works for other writers, but I always feel I am watching a movie inside my own head and describing what I see to the best of my ability.

What is your favorite part in ‘The Last Bastion of the Living’?/What was your favorite part to write? (If different) 🙂
Well, it’s a bit of a tossup between two scenes as to which is my favorite. I love the ending completely, but I also like the opening of Chapter 1. There is such sweetness and sadness in that opening scene with Dwayne and Maria.
My favorite scene to write was toward the end of the book. There is this massive action sequence that was such a blast to watch in my mind’s eye theater, but was a total bitch to wrestle onto paper.

Do any of your characters names have a special meaning?
Well, Dwayne is named after Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Aliens. Maria is a bit of a Ripley, so why not? Maria’s name just came to me, so that was organic. I did name Lindsey after Lindsey Wagner, the Bionic Woman. I snagged Denman’s name from a former co-worker, and I re-named one solider Cormier after Giselle of Xpresso Reads. She was a test reader and I did it as a tribute to her nitpicking and making the book so much better.

Is this really going to remain as a stand-alone novel?
I have no plans to continue. I don’t want to saddle myself with another series. I have three that are going right now and it’s exhausting. It’s also a bit of a trap. I have a lot of other novel ideas in my head, but I’m obligated to my readers to finish up those series as quickly as I can. For a time, writers could take years to put out the next installment in a series and that was okay. Not anymore. Readers expect a book a year in a series, so I’m avoiding trapping myself with a new series for the time being.
That was the big allure of writing THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING. It was a standalone.

I’m flattered, but a little overwhelmed with how much demand there is for a sequel. I have no ideas for a sequel. My time in that world pretty much ended with the final scene. Plus, I love where this novel ended. It was such a perfect ending. I have no desire to muck it up.

Would you ever think about revisiting the world you created and simply change the point of view?
Nope. The heart of the story is Dwayne and Maria. I wouldn’t continue on without them. It would feel empty and bland. Those two characters are why I wrote the novel. The world around them was dynamic, but the second those two are out of the equation I lose all interest.

Could you tell us anything about your next big project?
PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is coming out in the near future. I’m working very hard to get that novel done. Also, I have a paranormal YA coming out with co-author Kody Boye. It’s called THE MIDNIGHT SPELL and I love it so much. It’s a blast. There will be one more AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES volume released this year that wraps up that series. And I have a short story collection that will be coming out later as well called CTHUHLU’S DAUGHTER AND OTHER HORROR TALES. There might be a Last Bastion short story in that one. Maybe. We’ll see.

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The Giveaway!

Rhiannon has been kind enough to offer an ebook copy of The Last Bastion of the Living for giveaway! Open Internationally. Giveaway ends July 17th, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy and the author of several other books: the vampire novels PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES and THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. The first two books in her zombie trilogy, THE FIRST DAYS and FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, are available now in bookstores. SIEGE will be in bookstores on April 24, 2012.

Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/astheworlddies
Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater
Blog: rhianonfrater.blogspot.com

 

 

Thanks for visiting! Let me know what you think about the new cover!

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Blog Tour Stop + Author Guest Post! Siege (As the World Dies #3) by Rhiannon Frater

April 26, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Guest Post, Read in 2012 13 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Stop + Author Guest Post! Siege (As the World Dies #3) by Rhiannon FraterSiege by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #3
Published by Tor on April 24, 2012
Pages: 365
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel

four-stars

Siege is the conclusion to Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy, which should appeal to fans of The Walking Dead. Both The First Days and Fighting to Survive won the Dead Letter Award from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner.

The zombie illness has shattered civilization. The survivors who have found tenuous safety in Texas defend their fort against the walking dead and living bandits.

Katie has made peace with the death of her wife and is pregnant and married to Travis, who has been elected Mayor. Jenni, her stepson, Jason; and Juan—Travis’s righthand man—are a happy family, though Jenni suffers from PTSD. Both women are deadly zombie killers.
In Siege, the people of Ashley Oaks are stunned to discover that the vice president of the United States is alive and commanding the remnants of the US military. What’s left of the US government has plans for this group of determined survivors.

Today is my official day on the Siege Blog Tour and I’m super excited to have Rhiannon stop by with a guest post on her favorite zombie stuff today! How fun right?? But first… check out my review for Siege.

That was damn awesome. 🙂 Siege was hands down my favorite from this entire series. I loved how everything was concluded because it was far from perfect and typical of what one might expect from a world with zombies: nothing ever goes right and NO ONE is safe!! In Siege, fighting the zombies has become the least of their worries. After a member of their community betrays them it causes everyone to realize that the zombies are not the only things that people need to fear.

The thing I loved most about this small community of survivors was how strong, independent and extremely resilient they all were. (Almost) everyone was ready and willing to work hard and do their part in the community but of course there were the individuals that still thought themselves better in various ways and wouldn’t be ‘reduced’ to menial labor. Those particular characters cracked me up because I know for a fact there will always be those people in the world, especially the women still wearing high heels and makeup while the world is going to shit.

This one had me on the edge of my seat for almost the entire story. It was exciting, nerve-racking, emotional and incredibly realistic… a real nail biter. A well written story of survival and doing anything and everything to secure it. Siege didn’t lose any of its original snarky humor but still managed to be one highly emotional thrill ride. If you’re any kind of zombie fan, do not deny yourself this series!

And now let’s see what Rhiannon’s favorite zombie items are!
_______________________________

Guest Post

Ever since I started writing about zombies, I have been given a ton of cute zombie merchandise by family, friends, and fans.  I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite zombie stuff that is available for purchase. Some of the items I already own, some I don’t.

Enjoy!

10.  Brain Cupcakes

How cute are these? I totally want them! Perfect for when the nieces and nephews are over and playing zombie video games or watching zombie movies.
Available at Amazon.

9.  Dismember-Me Plush Zombie

This was a gift from a friend and I love him!  He’s so much fun to pull apart when a book is frustrating me. Right now he’s in pieces on my desk!Available at Think Geek.

8.  Ghoulia Yelps from Monster High

My niece LOVES Monster High. And I admit, so do I. My husband bought me Ghoulia Yelps, the daughter of the Zombies, as a gift. I love her. She’s so adorable despite being dead. In the cartoon on the Monster High website she’s the smartest of all the kids, though she can only talk in moans.
Available at stores everywhere!

7.  The Zombie of Montclaire Moors Statue

I saw this guy on the table of another author while at an event in Los Angeles. I WANT HIM!  Of course, the neighbors would have a fit.  Oh, well, I guess that is what back yards are for.
You can get him at Toscano.

6.  My Zombie Ate Your Honor Student Bumper Sticker

Yes, I have this on my car. yes, I love it. And yes, I’m sick of all those honor student bumper stickers on the SUV’s careening around Austin. *evil grin*
Available here.

5. Zombie Head Cookie Jar

Need, want, will kill to have it!  I love this cookie jar so much.  It makes me giggle whenever I look at it.  Since I love making cookies, this is a must have item on my next birthday.
Also at Think Geek.

4. Zombiewood Wench Dress

I admit I would have to hit the treadmill a lot more often to fit into this dress, but I think it’s so adorable. I love it.
Available here.

3. Zombie Necklace

I would definitely wear this and with pride. I love the old school font and the sparkles. ACK…does this count as a sparkling zombie?
Available here.

2. Iron Fist Zombie Shoes

I own these!  I wanted them so much I ordered them from the UK long before they became available in the US. I like to wear them at book signings and at conventions. I’ve busted the heels TWICE, but always get them repaired. Love them!
Available here.

1.  Iron Fist Zombie Purse

When to purses, I’m a Betsey Johnson girl, but when I saw this purse, I squealed. WANT IT! WILL HAVE IT
Available here.
What is some of your favorite zombie stuff?
______________________________
Thanks so much for stopping by Rhiannon, your top ten list is awesome (and I totally want that bumper sticker!!!) Be sure and check out the rest of her As The World Dies: Zombie Trilogy below on Goodreads.
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Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon Frater

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon FraterFighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #2
Published by Self-Published on February 17th 2009
Pages: 307
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Siege, The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel

three-stars

 

Katie and Jenni have found new lives with the survivors of their makeshift fort, but danger still lurks. Nothing is easy in the new world where the dead walk and every day is a struggle to keep safe. As the elements, bandits, and the zombie horde threaten their safe haven, Jenni and Katie join the other survivors in fighting to survive as the world dies.

 

*Please note I read the older, self-published version. There is a newer, edited version available but my review is not based on that version.*

The Storyline
Fighting to Survive picks up a few weeks after The First Days left off: Katie and Jenni are helping establish a new life on the fort and working to minimize the ongoing danger of the zombies. Nothing much happens (in my opinion) in regards to the zombie as this book focused mainly on expanding on new characters, the growing of existing relationships, and establishing more problems outside of the zombie issue. The writing was still a bit stilted for me and I still love the zombie action scenes far more than the character interaction scenes.

The Relationships
So I totally get that everyone is living day to day not knowing how much longer one another will survive, but does that give everyone the right to become a bunch of hussies?

“We just decided today,” he explained. “Life is so short. We just don’t’ want to waste time. We’ve been sleeping together in my tent. Might as well make it official and be a family.”

Uhh… okay?

Jenni and Juan were already together in the last book and their relationship steadily progresses until they are eventually living together. Jenni and Juan’s relationship is strange though and I’m not positive whether they actually like each other or not. And I swear… I was going to snap if I hear Loca one more time.

Then there’s Katie and Travis. In the last book Katie kept trying to keep Travis at bay by continuing to remind him that she is in fact lesbian and no she will not be with him. Her reasoning behind this was explained in the last book as she didn’t want to tarnish her memory of her wife Lydia even though she did have feelings for Travis. View Spoiler » I felt that whole storyline and the ending was anticlimactic and definitely inevitable. But… View Spoiler »

Final Thoughts
Reading these books back to back has caused me to become quite cynical. I do plan on finishing up the trilogy but will come back to it at a later date when I’ve managed to forget some of my irritations. I’m hoping the third one has lots of zombie action scenes and EVERYONE gets eaten! hahahaha

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Book Review – The First Days (As the World Dies #1) by Rhiannon Frater

October 28, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The First Days (As the World Dies #1) by Rhiannon FraterThe First Days by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #1
Published by Self-Published on August 14th 2008
Pages: 336
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Fighting to Survive, Siege, The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel

three-stars

Katie is driving to work one beautiful day when a dead man jumps into her car and tries to eat her. That same morning, Jenni opens a bedroom door to find her husband devouring their toddler son.

Fate puts Jenni and Katie—total strangers—together in a pickup, fleeing the suddenly zombie-filled streets of the Texas city in which they live. Before the sun has set, they have become more than just friends and allies—they are bonded as tightly as any two people who have been to war together.

During their cross-Texas odyssey to find and rescue Jenni’s oldest son, Jenni discovers the joy of watching a zombie’s head explode when she shoots its brains out. Katie learns that she’s a terrific tactician—and a pretty good shot.

A chance encounter puts them on the road to an isolated, fortified town, besieged by zombies, where fewer than one hundred people cling to the shreds of civilization.

It looks like the end of the world. But Katie and Jenni and many others will do whatever they have to to stay alive. Run, fight, pick each other up when they stumble, fall in love…anything is possible at the end of the world.

*Please note I read the older, self-published version. There is a newer, edited version available but my review is not based on that version.*

No one… except for Rhiannon Frater. Her vision of a Zombie Apocalypse was far more gruesome, gory, slightly funny and violently delightful.

The Characters
Katie is an ex-prosecutor (in pre-zombie days) who was married to the love of her life, Lydia. When Katie drove back home to get Lydia, well… Lydia was in the front yard chewing on the mailman. So, Lydia didn’t make it past the first day so Katie flees and seeks shelter somewhere and ends up running into Jenni.

Jenni (with an i, and don’t you forget it) is a stay at home mom who was in an abusive relationship and mighty unhappy with life in general. When she wakes up the morning the zombies first rose, she discovered her husband shoving chunks of her baby’s flesh into his mouth. Not exactly an ideal situation to wake up to first thing in the morning! There’s also a moment involving tiny fingers that will make several appearances throughout the book. I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

Jenni kinda drove me nuts. She was so odd sometimes, being a completely freaked out whiny chick one minute and then laughing maniacally and stabbing zombies in the head the next minute. And ironically, Maja and Wendy both claim that Jenni reminds her of me, minus the craziness. Suuuurrrreeee, guys.

Katie was odd too and I think the writing focused entirely way too much on her ‘lesbianism’, not that I’m against it, it’s just the town and the people had wayyyy too big of an issue with it and it kind of started to wear on me after a point.

Insta-Love and Love Triangles
But of course some insta-love and the occasional love triangle needs to be tossed in, why not? Insta-love pretty much makes my eye all twitchy so when this situation developed I was quite irritated. Not only was their insta-love but a love triangle to boot. I? Was not a happy camper.

So we have Jenni who falls madly in love with Travis (instantly) and OF COURSE Travis loves Katie (instantly). *yawn* Where’s a zombie when ya need one? But once Jenni realizes that Travis loves Katie she (instantly) falls for Juan and they end up hooking up in a janitor’s closet. Hmm… need I say more? I think not.

The Writing
So I didn’t realize this until I was towards the end of the book that this was actually a self-published novel (there is a newer published version that’s super shiny and new for those of you who are interested), which I can see in retrospect. It’s definitely one of the better self-published novels that I’ve read and I did really enjoy it. The action scenes were spot on intense, scary, and extremely ghastly.

Once the book began focusing on the living and everyone was settling down building up walls and doing all kinds of normal stuff… the book went a little downhill for me. The interactions between the characters weren’t all that natural and it came out sounding stiff and unbelievable at times. I began hoping that a zombie would show up and eat someone.

The first half of the book (or so) was a solid 4 stars for me but the second half really lost some steam so I’m settling on a solid 3 star rating. The ending wasn’t exactly a clean wrap-up so I feel like I stopped at the end of the chapter, rather than the end of a book. Will I be continuing the series? Most likely.

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