Buggy's Reviews > The First Days

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater
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's review
Mar 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: zombie-problems, shelf-12, end-of-days, horrors, road-trip
Read from February 23 to March 17, 2012

On the heels of my Walking Dead obsession, THE FIRST DAYS fit the bill perfectly and I would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of the zombie genre. From the very first page I was hooked, I mean how could you not be both intrigued and freaked out by passages like this …

“Tiny fingers. So small. So very, very small. The fingers pressed under the front door of her home were so very small. She couldn’t stop staring at those baby fingers straining frantically to reach her as she stood shivering on the porch.”

Jeez, and it only gets better too. Fast paced, scary and gore filled, Rhiannon Frater has created an imaginative and haunting new world here and I wasn't ever entirely sure where she was going to go with it. She never lets the pace up either; every chapter has some form of chaos, action or horror involved. Probably because this was first written as an online serial (later self published and now released by Tor books) There’s also hints of humour (mostly in the absurd) romance, and a multitude of new and interesting Zombie personalities. Old granny zombie comes to mind, still clutching her very much alive cat as it tries to claw its way free from her arms.

Both the main characters are unique and interesting. Jenni is pretty screwed up and had a tendency to be all over the place (huh?) but I still found it refreshing to read about a zombie apocalypse from the female perspective. (Think Thelma and Louise meet George A Romero) All the secondary characters they contact along the way (living and dead) leave lasting impressions too and I can’t wait to continue on with this trilogy.

The story begins with those tiny fingers; they belong to Jennie’s baby who, along with her young son has just been eaten by her abusive husband. All three have risen, transformed forever into ravenous zombies. Just as her husband manages to break through the living room window a truck pulls up, the female driver yelling at her to get in. The driver is Katie, a former prosecutor who has just lost her wife but somehow in the mayhem managed to secure a truck, a weapon and a dog. The two form an instant bond and hit the road, trying to get out of the infested city.

With no real plan Jenni suddenly remembers that she has a stepson away at camp so they head out to rescue him. Throughout this read our characters kept having revelations; like sexual orientation or how many members are in the family. This was somewhat annoying but at least it kept me guessing. Before long Katie and Jenni discover the joys of watching zombie heads explode, how the rules (established in the movies) don’t necessarily apply and to what means their world has changed forever.

They eventually meet other survivors; a husband and wife team holed up in a gun store and a large group of refugees building a walled fort in a small Texas town -where the girls decide to settle. Here we meet Travis and Juan, the love interests and leaders who set about establishing a new safe community while the dead scratch endlessly at the outside walls and the survivors slowly begin to turn on each other. Cheers
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Reading Progress

03/17 page 335
02/14 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by AH (new) - added it

AH Great review, Buggy. I must really start this series.

Buggy Thanks AH, its really good. Unique. Hey how are you enjoying summer? Lucky girl

message 3: by AH (new) - added it

AH It's amazing. I think we'll pay for it next month with record breaking cold. It's 25C here today - unheard of for March. Almost no snow left at all. I'm just scared that the flowers will get damaged when we get that spring blizzard.

Buggy LMAO, We had snow yesterday!! I talked to my brother who was wearing shorts and drinking beer in the back yard while his son ran around in bare feet. Its all crazy.We're supposed to get the warm temperatures out here. You're right though it must be weird to think that your cold weather could return any day.

Bark's Book Nonsense I never heard of this one before now. Thanks for the heads up!

Buggy Welcome Barksless, I think you'd enjoy it a lot

Greta is Erikasbuddy Super awesome review! I just read this a couple weeks ago and zomg... FABULOUS!!! I'm really hoping they make a series out of this 'series' (lol) sometime. It would rock!!

Buggy Hey Greta, thanks wasn't it fantastic. Really went well with my Walking Dead obsession. And this would also make a great series.

Have you read either of the next ones in the trilogy? I'm thinking I'll order theAs the World Dies: Untold Tales Vol 1 Getting Katie's wifes story :(

Greta is Erikasbuddy I've only read this book but I plan on reading them all.

Do you follow the author on FB? SHe actually posts a lot about the Walking Dead :)

Buggy Wow I'll definetly have to check her out on FB. Thanks

Cool to know she's a fan, very similar worlds. I believe hers came first though?

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Greta, the author actually commented on my review. I think it was the last book. She is cool as hell. BTW -Didn't know you watched the walking dead. I love it and will miss it.

Greta is Erikasbuddy Buggy wrote: "Wow I'll definetly have to check her out on FB. Thanks

Cool to know she's a fan, very similar worlds. I believe hers came first though?"

I'm not sure if her world came first though. I think the first Walking Dead comic was published in 2003. It's probably pretty close.

Buggy OH right I forgot about the graphic novels, I was thinking just TV

message 14: by Rhiannon (new) - added it

Rhiannon Frater To answer your question, I was told about THE WALKING DEAD when I was writing the story as an online serial in 2005. It was just hitting its stride and becoming popular. That being said, I have never read it. AS THE WORLD DIES was born out of my love of zombies and my love for Texas.

The books are optioned for a TV show, but that doesn't mean it will ever get made. I have my fingers crossed.

Thank you for the lovely review.

I enjoyed it.

Rhiannon Frater

message 15: by Buggy (last edited Mar 22, 2012 06:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buggy Rhiannon, Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on my review (when you're obviously busy kicking Zombie ass!)

The Walking Dead similarity was of course only meant as the highest of compliments, (The Texas Fort reminded me of the farm) and on that note I would love to see your world come to the small screen. Although honestly I already see those tiny fingers under the door, late at night when I'm trying to sleep. So thanks for that! LOL

On another note I just tried to order As The World Dies and Fighting to Survive from the Book Depository and they were Sold Out. Just thought you'd like to know. Happy news for you.
Thanks again

message 16: by Rhiannon (new) - added it

Rhiannon Frater Awesome to hear they were sold out! A writer likes to hear that. I hope the fort is much more exciting than the farm! (I was kinda bored with that plot.) I think its inevitable when writing about zombies that there will be comparisons with George Romero's films and THE WALKING DEAD. It doesn't bother me per se, though I do feel my books have a unique take of the zombocalypse since the setting is a small town in Texas Hill Country. But maybe that is just my Texan pride speaking. :)

Rhiannon Frater

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