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 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 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....
I can't imagine who would be drawn to this book. The "romance" novel aspects of the book are so off putting it's hard to imagine even the most enthusiastic romance novel fan finding anything to enjoy here.
I've enjoyed broad range on apocalyptic novels, from classics to modern day comedic novels but this book has gone somewhere I'd never imagined and it hurts the genre as far as I'm concerned. It will pass as I blot the book from my memory.
Lackluster and the material is such I doubt anyone could read this with a straight face.
NO! The women as the protagonists and one a lesbian and it all goes horribly off the tracks as it degenerates into a standard romance novel where women just need a good really hunky guy to make things right. The sex in this book is the scariest part.
Choose a genre... Romance or Zombie but for gods sake not both!
I think this book would be enjoyed by pre-teens or teenage girls as the authors writing has a "juvenile" tone. Definitely not worth listening to unless you enjoy banal conversations about hooking up with "hot" construction workers while zombies moan in the background. The author tries to show the emotional struggle of one of the main characters between staying faithful to her now dead wife or hooking up with the hot guy she's just met a couple of weeks ago and it falls flat. The other female character constantly goes between clutching at her female friend for comfort, to jealous cow and then to zombie killing b*tch in an unrealistic manor.
I enjoy post-apocalypse novels of all types (nuclear, zombie, disease etc) so no this book didn't turn me off the genre as a whole but I certainly will read a few more reviews before buying again. If you're looking for some good post-apocalypse novels try "Cell" (kind zombie-esque), "The Road", "Swan Song", "The Stand", "The Hunger Games Trilogy", "The Long Walk", or "The Children of Men".
The only redeeming quality is the general premise of the story and that's about it.
There should be a drinking game for every time the words 'fingers,' 'truck,' or 'lesbian,' appear in this book. The vocabulary leaves much to be desired.
This book quickly devolves into a typical romance novel fairly quickly. I don't understand the point in making Katie bisexual if all she's going to do is fall for a guy (a rather dull one at that) anyway. This book was just awful. The author needs to expand her vocabulary. "loco loco loco"
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
wow! what a creepy beginning! jenni, dressed only in her bath robe, is half catatonic, standing on her front porch watching little fingers reaching for her under the door. the fingers desperately trying to find purchase of her flesh is her youngest child, who has come back to life after being half eaten by his own father. around jenni, the whole neighborhood is in chaos. jenni is so traumatized by what has just happened that she can't move.
katie, a prosecutor, is on her way to work in her convertible bmw when she's confronted by a mob of the undead running up the street. a kindly old man saves her, and his dying words are, go! go! go!" in her flight from town, katie ends up in jenni's neighborhood and watches in horror as a stunned jenni just stands there as her husband and eldest son break through the bay window to feast on jenni's flesh.
katie, now driving the old man's truck, rescues jenni before her family can eat her, and they flee the neighborhood. the first half of the story revolves around jenni and katie fleeing the city and heading into the country. i liked this part b/c it was tension-filled, seeing if they could stay ahead of the infection that's spiraling out of control.
after jenni and katie rescue jenni's stepson, jason, a hoard of zombies forces them to change their planned route back to their safe house. fleeing the zombie swarm, they find sanctuary in a small town that started fortifying itself as soon as the first zombies attacked.
there's a lot of tension that ebbs and flows and culminates in their final push to safety behind the town's hastily erected walls. the story then takes a breather as jenni, katie, and jason are introduced to the town and people there.
the story slows down and then becomes something a kin to a love story. jenni and katie are both attracted to the same man, travis, who is the de facto leader of the town.
i won't divulge to many details, but i'm not sure if i believe the transformation of jenni's character. then again, i'm not familiar with the psychology of abused women. mix in a zombie apocylapse, and she's more of a teen girl with a serious crush and a penchant for putting her life on the line than a mother and a survivor.
while jenni's displaying adhd, katie's pining away for her wife, lydia, which kind of makes the love triangle interesting since katie's branded a lesbian by the whole town.
there is zombie action in the second half of the story, and it is made more interesting by the fact that some zombies seem to be smart. but the second half of the story is dominated by interpersonal and intrapersonal conflict.
character flaws aside, i enjoyed the story. i know most zombie stories have one dimensional characters so perhaps, i'm a little more critical in my review of the main characters in this story b/c i became attached to them in the very beginning.
even though i liked this story, i don't have a burning desire to download the second book. there are a couple of other books that i've got my eyes on. so if i do run out of zombie stories to listen to, i may come back to the series.
"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
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
It was ok
I was interested in listening to this book. Two hours in and the 'strong bonds' are horribly unbelievable. I actually hate the Jenny character, she gives women a bad name. I feel no pity for her, I just feel annoyed. They have been driving around in a truck for two days and all of the sudden Jenny is glomming onto Katey like she can't live without her. Katey starts out a lesbian and then within 15 seconds of meeting a good looking man she's thinking she's really always been bisexual. Seriously ... you've just fought a hoard of zombies and the first thing you think is how cute the first guy you see is? You're not shell shocked? And when the pal u just met is separated from you for a short while you go totally ballistic crazy in front of people you just met. If this is what battered women act like I don't want to read another story with them in it. I would have preferred Jenny being SILENT until a breakdown that gets all the craziness out of her system. She is just too damaged to be a decent character. It's going to take another unbelievable plot device to fix this story. Her stepson seems to have a high opinion of her. This really had potential to be the start of a great series! I have 4 hours left. I hope Jenny's personality does a 180 or I probably won't read the next book. Disappointed.
Report Inappropriate Content