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. And 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.
©2008, 2011 Rhiannon Frater (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"One of the few zombie novels fueled by the power of feminine protagonists in an apocalyptic world gone wrong." (Harrisburg Book Examiner)
I love a good Zombie story / end of the world. This is OK but I think it's really geared towards young women not a guy in his 30's... I like story's that talk about tactics, food supply problems, society falling apart... This one breezes over most of the things I like and tends to focus on the emotions of the two young women and how the strong hard working guys look....
"Tiny fingers. So small. So very, very small. The fingers pressed under the front door of her home were so very small. She could not stop staring at those baby fingers straining frantically to reach her as she stood shivering on the porch".
This is the opening to "The First Days" and Ms. Frater had me hooked with them. Personally, I think it's probably the best opening lines I have ever read, and the book lived up to my expectations. It's a fantastic read with an excellent narrator. If you are a zombie fan, or even if you aren't, this is still one of the better books I've heard. I've already downloaded the second book in the series and started listening to it
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
The names of the first two characters starts the story off confusingly - Katie and Jenny - and it went downhill from there. And I'm not convinced the author kept the characters straight either: it felt like sometimes Jenny was the hysterical useless twit, and at others it was Katie. Unless both women were supposed to be hysterical twits?? perhaps...
Jenny is an abused wife, but this felt like a feminism 101 version of spousal abuse. Jenny recollects how she was planning to leave her hubby, then a few pages later, she goes on about what a terrible wife and mother she was, and how much she needed a "strong" person (aka Katie) to follow. It's like the author read a book about how abused women behaved, and tried to incorporate this into the book. Including a moment where Jenny was going to "pay back" Katie by offering her sex. It didn't feel real - especially since I'm pretty sure women don't turn lesbian in a matter of a few hours.
And Katie says when offered the opportunity to join an armed group: "I think we're better off on our own"??? are you nuts? Yeah, sure... a couple of people against the world - it's even irrelevant that they are both women... nobody wants to face a zombie apocalypse with just one other person at their back. (Of course, the next day, they're all gung-ho to join a group...the reader is not told what stimulated this sudden change of mind.)
Then when they finally find a place where they think they'll settle down to stay (the author - I mean Katie - tells us directly that they want to stay here)... all of a sudden Katie (a lesbian) realizes that she has felt a connection and "feeling that they have a future together" with a man she met 30 seconds ago. Err... I'm not clear if this is meant to show that lesbians turn straight when necessary, or...
It is one of the more poorly plotted (two women take a road trip through the zombie horde, then they take another one), stereotyped (lesbian and abused wife), and repetitive (enter building, fight zombie, run to truck, run over zombie, rinse and repeat) zombie books I've read. I decline to read any more in this series.
Try Mark Tufo's zombie books if you want this type of story with better plotting and characters who act more like normal people would. Or Grant's Deadline series if you like more conspiratorial zombies. Or the Day by Day Armageddon series for a journal style one, or the Undead Situation for a one-off zombie book... they're all better written.
I'm a horror nut! Zombies in particular! Epidemics, end of all things! Also enjoyed Game of thrones very much!
Surprising, Real, smooth
I think many zombie Genre Books compare to each other so maybe here I will say where I feel it Differs. Where many Zombie books deal with zombies,Death,chewing,tearing,ripping etc.. this story will also tell you stories inside of stories which will smoothly lead you into stories which all get tied up into a Zombie Tearing and chewing Story.. YA FEeL Me!
Believe it or not Jenny! Probably first Female Character I've been down with! Most end up being the bimbo sexpots who after they are sexed out nobody minds they get eaten (by zombies). Well not here, No Sir!! This young lady is Bad Ass, Kick Ass, Fiercly Loyal & protective of her friends/Family.. And I picture her being very Hott! I actually imagine her looking very much like the author of the book!!
Tag Line..?. I don't get it... If I'm guessing at your meaning correctly I'd have to say
"Trow Em Ova Dat Dere Wall, Make it Known Ya Best Nots Mess wit Texas"
The Little Fingers at the very start of the book.. Uuggghh unless your not human it tugs at you! Hard for any parent to imagine!
what started out as a great apocalyptic zombie novel turned into a harlequin romance novel...these women are more concerned about the cute guys than they are surviving and mourning their families
I just felt the book was just filler in between two covers. The main character I just couldn't get into, I enjoyed the abused housewife character that should of been more explored and centralized. This book just lacked something to me.
something better, maybe a repeat of
good voice acting ?
Disappointment in time I will never get back
I would look into the morning star strain, day by day armageddon, or even One Second After by William R. Forstchen.
I grew up with books... not with television.
This was your standard survival against Zombies book. The "spin" was the relationship between the two female characters which would have been waaaay more interesting if things had gone where I thought they were going. (Trying not to give anything away here.) I'm debating on the second book - which may be promising as we are going to be introduced to raiders as well as the ongoing fight against zombies. Overall, it's a typical zombie book that I would score right in the middle. Worth a credit only if you've read everything else.
The gun shop owners I live in small town USA and know them
Getting the teen son from summer camp
Good listen kept you driving even when you are close to home
The characters were well developed and there was hardly any down time or calmness.
I think guns and zombies go together perfectly, so it's all good!!
I am a big fan of the booming Zombie genre and this was a good story. As the genre grows it seems there is a risk of doing the same thing over and over. This story seems to take a uniquely strong look at the emotion involved in witnessing the people you care about being transformed into the living dead. I am looking forward to what Frater has to offer in future installments.
I cant believe somebody reviewed this book who doesnt like zombie stories and bought it by accident - how useless is that? I found this book very well read and easy to listen too. It isnt scary but I never thought it was meant to be. It is a story about people and how they react to an unreal situation and it interested and entertained me enough to buy the second book before I completely finished the first (so I could get right on to the next part of the story).
"Not my cup of tea"
Pretty much everything. I don't know why this is so popular, because this book to me had very few good qualities. Some of the problems, in my opinion:
1) The time scale does not match the character development, and within a couple days the main characters have developed a very close relationship, rescued someone, killed loads of zombies, witnessed several humans-turning-zombie-events, met other survivors and ended up in a colony that somehow has had the time to build a sort of fort. The plot is on speed while the actual time scale is in no rush at all.
2) Emotions. There are far too many of them. Or rather, the author has this need to describe them far too often. Don't get me wrong, if there's something that there is a lot of in a situation like this, it has got to be emotions. And zombies. However... Every little bit of emotion, whether its fear/sadness in some zombie-situation or jealousy/anger/love/lust in social situations, we hear about it. In detail. This kills all the mystery, leaving the characters fairly uninteresting, and their personalities feel constructed. End result: I didn't connect with any of them.
3) And quite frankly, this is a total zombie soap opera. I drew a little map of who wants who, and who doesn't want who at a particular time, but then changes their mind again later, and who tells who their secrets, and who feels this then, but that now, and it goes on and on. Not at all my sorta thing, far too tedious and unnecessary.
4) Although it does have it's moments now and then, most attempts at humour falls flat. For example, there's a scene where three grown men, two of which are the central "dream guys" (characters tend to be either perfect or completely flawed, with an exception in Jenni, who's a complete lunatic - but very pretty, so its okay), are going out to get supplies. Only, they can't get it all, because tampons are embarrassing. No, seriously, they have to bring Katie along, because they are too embarrassed to go out there - in a zombie infested world where you risk your life just by being alive - and pick up a feminine hygiene product. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This would have been funny if they were joking about it, or if they were genuinly embarrassed, but able to pick it up anyway. But no. These three knuckleheads need to risk one extra life and bring the woman with them. This was so unrealistic to me that I actually got angry. I don't know a single man that's that useless, and Rhiannon Frater puts three of them in this book. How on earth does she justify this?
If this is anything to go by, then no.
No, I haven't, but the narrator was the best part about this book, so I certainly won't mind listening to anything else read by her.
Mostly disappointment and confusion at how this gets good ratings.
(Too) fast-paced action with too many unrealistic scenes and too much noise (emotions and drama) to be anywhere near as good as it could have been.
From the opening lines, this novel had me hooked. It haunts me still. I listened to this book about a year ago, and have read many zombie novels since. This one (and the two more in the trilogy) remain my favourites. World War Z has - justifiably - the reputation of being the best zombie novel, but this trilogy isn't far behind. It has engaging, powerful characters, a good storyline, and an excellent balance of character-driven and action-driven interest. I strongly recommend it if you're a zombie fan. If you're not - yet - start with World War Z. And the reading is excellent.
First a warning: as a new father I found the opening scenes so distressing I almost stopped.
Overall I was interested in the characters development and enjoyed the zombie apocalypse elements of the story. Occasionally I felt like I had accidentally strayed into a mills and boon which I personally found stylistically jarring.
Story grips you right from the start. You get drawn into the characters straight away, have ordered next book before I've finished this book.
"Not so terribly bad..."
Ok, this is not a bad book but more your mediocre attempt at zombie literature. She writes well enough but unfortunately it is full of clichés, it is very very predictable and of course, the good guys all stay alive. It is entertaining enough but if you're a serious reder of zombie horror, avoid this at all costs. If you like teen supernatural readings like Twilight and such, go for it!
"Its a zombie road trip."
What utter tosh. I thought books about zombies rising up and taking over the earth died out years ago. I bought this title by mistake, but didnt send it back because I assumed it would to be OK. Mistake compounded.
Even the gruesome bits aren't frightening. No terror or suspense.
The narrator has the sexiest voice ever though.
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