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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