Review: The First Days by Rhiannon Frater


The First Days
by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #1
Published: July 5th 2011
Genre: Horror, Zombies
Source: Purchase

My Rating:

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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.

My Thoughts

The First Days begins with a heart-wrenching scene that dropped my jaw and set my fingers at the ready. I knew from the first paragraph that I would be voraciously flipping pages until the end. Jenni is on her porch in her bathrobe watching Benji’s fingers claw at her from under the door… those tiny fingers… as her husband pounds at the window on the other side of the door, his appetite for her living flesh growing with each second. When Jenni’s eldest son crashes through the front window, ready to make a quick meal out of his mom, she finally finds it in her to scream. Fortunately for Jenni, Katie hears her cries and pulls up in a white truck, and off they ride… unfortunately, not into the sunset. They are about to embark on the most horrific journey of their lives, squarely in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

Ugh, I lie awake at night fearing a similar scenario — my family being attacked by zombies. It’s no joke, I actually lie in bed and think about how I will get to each of my three children, blissfully sleeping in their beds, and my husband to make sure they all get to safety. That’s a lot of people to get to if zombies bust through my windows! I have major anxiety over this. Yes, it’s a drawback to being zombie-obsessed, but it is what it is.

Anyway, as Jenni and Katie zig-zag their way out of the suburbs, trying to find their own way to safety, Jenni remembers that her stepson is away at camp. Feeling as though she has failed her own children, she sets out to find and rescue him. He’s the only person she has left in this godforsaken world. Katie has already lost everyone in her life to these creatures so she has nothing left to lose. Rescue mission it is! They meet some really awesome characters along the way, the Toombs couple being my favorite, and happen upon a town that is doing everything they can to survive. It’s not all unicorns and roses, though. Nothing ever is when Rhiannon Frater is being the wheel of a story.

I know what you’re thinking, the zombie genre has been written to death so what makes this one special? The answer is simple: Rhiannon Frater has an exceptional gift of being able to bring her characters to life, forcing you to feel something for them, whether you want to or not. Her passion for storytelling is evident in every word she writes. I’ve read a lot of zombie novels over the years, and it’s always hit or miss when it comes to falling in love with the characters and the storyline behind all the blood, gore, and snarling corpses. Frater has never once disappointed me, no matter what she’s writing about, and she has proved it once again with this book. Her ability to create a crumbling, zombie-filled world that brings terror to everyone in it is extraordinary. I was afraid while reading this book. Heck, when my tablet beeped at me because the battery was dying, I didn’t curse it for being low, as I normally would have. I actually gasped and threw my hand over my pounding heart because it scared the living crap out of me!

I highly recommend The First Days to all who love the zombie genre. I guarantee you’ll be racing to grab the next installment as soon as you finish reading it.

About the Author


Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) , as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog),and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.