Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy is an internet sensation. The first two books, The First Daysand 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.
About the Book
The First Days
by Rhiannon Frater
As The World Dies Book One
SciFi & Fantasy
Tor Books (Imprint of Macmillan)
July 5, 2011
I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding this book. I have heard great things about this book and the description really appealed to me so I was excited to dive into this one. The book opens right in the middle of some rather heartbreaking zombie action and I was sure that I had made a good choice. There were some things that I absolutely loved about this book but there were other things that bothered me. It was a book that I didn’t want to put down even while I grew more annoyed with each page.
At the start of the book, Jenni is trying to get away from her husband and two young children who have recently become zombies. The imagery was very well done and I could envision those tiny toddler fingers reaching for his mother. Katie happens upon the scene in a truck and rescues Jenni. The pair has no idea what is going on or what they should do. They eventually head out of town and eventually meet other people who are just trying to survive as they are.
I thought that the zombie scenes were very well done. They were descriptive enough that I could picture everything quite well and I found them to be rather exciting. I thought that the confusion regarding the situation that some in the community seemed to have kept things really interesting and felt authentic. I liked the survival aspect of the story and enjoyed seeing the characters adapt to their changing environment.
I did have some pretty big issues with this book. I didn’t care for one of the main characters at all. I thought that Jenni was okay at the start of the book but as I read I disliked her more and more. I think that the book would have been a lot stronger without her and I have to admit that I kind of wished that she would be eaten by a zombie before everything was over. She wanted to be the only person to be close to Katie and had some rather unreasonable behaviors if Katie was in any danger. Jenni also seemed to be very focused on finding a new relationship when it seemed like she probably had a few other important things to think about.
I also had some major issues with the fact that Katie’s sexuality seemed to take over the story at times. Katie lost her wife, Lydia, at the start of the epidemic. She loved Lydia and thought that the way she mourned her was very well done. I just got so sick of all of the other characters talking about the fact that she is into women. She was doing all of these amazing things but the only thing anyone wanted to talk about was her sexuality when she just wanted to be left alone to mourn her wife. Katie’s sexuality does end up being a bit more complex which just added more unnecessary drama.
I am glad I read this one and do think a lot of readers will like it a bit more than I did. I found this to be a rather exciting zombie story with enough action to keep me turning the pages. I don’t think that I will be reading any further in the series because of the issues that I did have with the story.
The review copy of this book was borrowed by the review from their local library. All titles reviewed on this blog are a fair and honest assessment of the book. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review. For more information regarding our review process, please visit our Review Policy & Review Request Submission page.
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