Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

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 Examiner. AmericanHorrorBlog 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.


What I liked:

I loved the female protagonists in this book. It isn't often that you find a zombie apocalypse book with two females as the lead characters. The flow of the story was very well done, as was the plot. The tension kept climbing and you just weren't sure what direction the story was going to go. Excellent.  I liked Katie and Jenni as characters and thought that Frater did a great job showing the stress and mixed emotions that can be felt during times of upheaval and crisis. The end of the world violence and turmoil was also well written. Nerit in particular was a fascinating character and I look forward to reading more about her.

Of course, I have to mention the zombies. Frater does a great job of describing the zombies and how they relate to the suvivors. I felt like I was there.

Jenni was another interesting case. Watching her husband kill her infant child and dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence in general was a great element to put in the story. A mother having to cope with the loss of most of her family as the zombies take over everything is a great plot element.

What I didn't:

While I usually have no problem with alternative lifestyle books, it works better when it just becomes part of the story and not a statement. I liked Katie as a character. She was my favorite character in the book actually,  but the Q&A session with Jenni's son Jason about what it meant to be lesbian or bi was a little more than I thought was needed. The story would have been great with Katie being whoever she was without all the baggage. She is a beautiful character and I am looking forward to the rest of her story.


I enjoyed the story and dropped whatever I was doing to read more and find out what happened next. Finding out it was the first in a trilogy made me very happy, as I grew to love the characters and care what happens to them. Frater does an excellent job in showing the humanity in the characters she has created and also showing the depths of depravity that the human race can succumb to during tragedy. Tor has found a great series with these books and I thank the publicity department for sending me a copy for review.

Released on July 5, 2011 The First Days is the first of a trilogy written in small daily doses over Frater's website. She has won the Dead Letter Award for the novel twice and the series has been optioned for television.

4 1/2 out of 5


  1. I absolutely HANDS down LOVE this book! Seriously, it is my 'comfort' read. Is that strange? Ehhh, so be it!

    I think the reason Katie 'explained' to Jason so extensively about her sexual orientation, because SOME people are NOT as open minded and would just be like, "Oh- NOW she's not a lesbian anymore... how convenient."

    That's how I felt anyway...

  2. What I mean is- that's WHY I felt like she explained it so thoroughly.

    (lol! Re-read it after and it sounded like I meant I felt as if it was convenient that she wasn't a lesbian anymore!) *smacks forehead*


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