Shelley's Reviews > The First Days

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater
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's review
Aug 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-releases, zombies
Read on August 21, 2011

*Rating* 3.5
*Genre* Zombies/Horror/Science Fiction


The First Days premise is easy to understand and follow as Rhiannon Fraters characters find themselves running and fighting for their lives, while trying to live in a world where everything they ever knew has suddenly changed for the worse.

The First Days is often vivid in its descriptions of the killings the main characters partake in order to remain alive for another day. It’s a story about facing the reality of a zombie-apocalypse while others remain faithful in their belief that the media and those in power are not lying to them when they say this is all due to race riots, and mob violence and nothing more.

What is most obvious to me the reader is that Frater is a huge George Romero fan and has most likely watched every movie in the Living Dead franchise. But then, she’s not alone in that regards. Her references to several newer versions of the franchise actually were used by the survivors to protect themselves against the hordes of zombies coming after them.

*Character & Story Summary*

Jenni is an abused wife who is on the verge of running away when she suddenly finds herself under attack from her entire family. (Husband and two sons) They have been reanimated into zombies and now they want a piece of her flesh. It seems that her husband was bitten by a panhandler and reanimated into a zombie and now he has infected the rest of the family. There is another son, Jason, but he is away at camp and presumed to still be alive by Jenni.

In another part of town, Katie, a prosecutor, watches in horror as her partner Lydia chases her back to her car while trying to eat her. Lydia has been reanimated as well, and it appears she was viciously attacked. Katie, who apparently got lost along the way, arrives in the nick of time to save Jenni from her reanimated family. The two of them end leaving town as fast as they can while being chased by hordes of rampaging zombies while being low on gas.

Katie and Jenni form a survivors bond which crosses into mutual respect and friendship. These women come from two different backgrounds and sexual orientation but the only thing that matters is trusting the person next to you to have your back.

There was a point in this book where Katie’s sexuality actually started to become a burden and a strike against her instead of something that is none of anyone else’s business. I find myself restraining my opinion since in another book that recently came out, the main characters sexual orientation became a point of discussion. I don't want to go there with this book and thus deny readers a chance to read a pretty decent story.

Even though Jenni and Kate are considered the main characters, there are others that Frater introduces along the way that make a huge impact on the lives of both women. The most important ones are Ralph, Nerit, Juan and Travis.

This is my second book from Rhiannon Frater I’ve read in the past year and am trying to find the next book in the series so that I can finish it out. The first was Pretty When She Dies which is based on a vampire heroine and is also a dark and bloody affair.

I’m not sure why this has been compared to Thelma and Louise meets the Walking Dead but readers and reviewers based their opinions on what they believe. The comparison is pointless in that neither Jenni nor Katie is running from the law. Running from zombies yes, but that is what happens in every zombie novel.

Rhiannon Frater
As The World Dies
1. The First Days (2008)
2. Fighting To Survive (2009)
3. Siege (2009)
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Reading Progress

08/21/2011 page 65
19.0% "Ah yes, nothing better than an old fashioned zombie novel to brighten the day with!"
08/21/2011 page 138
41.0% "Book reminds me of Dawn of the Dead except the survivors don't end up at a mall." 2 comments
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Deborah Unless you already own this edition, you might want to switch to the new Tor edition.

Shelley Thanks. I saw this as a giveaway, but Goodreads decided what version I was going to read. Have to pay more attention I guess.

Deborah Normally I wouldn't say anything because most people don't care about the edition, but in this case there is a big difference between the original self-published version and the new Tor edition.

Shelley And, I appreciate that you did. It's like getting ARC's from netgalley, and having different total pages from the actual release.

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