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The First Days

(As the World Dies #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  9,432 ratings  ·  1,134 reviews
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
Paperback, 331 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Tor Books (first published August 14th 2008)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  9,432 ratings  ·  1,134 reviews

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Oct 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
I cannot understand what everyone sees in this book. I was expecting "Thelma & Louise" plus zombies, and that's...sorta...where it started, but it just got worse and worse as it went along. To begin with, the (somewhat) interesting action scenes did not in any way make up for having to hear about everyone's feelings every three seconds. About halfway through the book, I felt like I'd gone from "Thelma & Louise" + zombies, to "The View" + zombies. I think if it had been written in first person th ...more
Rhiannon Frater
Dec 15, 2008 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this novel, so I've read it more times than I care to count. I think I almost have it memorized. :) ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Zombie stories are my guilty pleasure. They're exciting, full of action, gory, but they terrify me to bits. Surviving a zombie apocalypse is no easy feat. So, as expected, I read this with my heart pounding from start to finish, knowing that these people are most likely doomed no matter what, because zombies always win… always. It was such a rush!!

An incredibly frightening zombie story- The First Days, as the title conveys, starts at the very beginning of a zombie apocalypse. People are getting
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody.
Recommended to a by: I don't know, but I want to slap them.
Could it be? Is this really a zombie novel with two bad ass heroines kicking butt and taking names? Oh. No. It isn't.

I'll give Frater credit where credit is due: this story starts off like a really awesome slap in the face. We're introduced to Jenni, who is staring at the tiny baby fingers of her toddler son reaching under a crack in her door. Why? Because her abusive and zombified husband is having him for a snack. Her other son has been bitten by her husband, too, and is trying to claw out of
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the book Angelfall or the t.v. show Walking Dead
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Regina
Back by request. It's time for another game of :

THIS was round 1.

Onward to round 2. *Edit* All spoiler tags are safe to click on. The tags are only here for the purpose of the game.

Although, really, this could have been "dude" round 2. More than a few instances had me thinking the word again. How could you not, when there's blood and guts flying everywhere?

And here we go...

An abused housewife is forced to leave her house in a hurry when her jackhole husband and two children (one of whom was a to
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 t
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Pure Textuality PR.

I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding this book. I have heard great things about this book and the description really appealed to me so I was excited to dive into this one. The book opens right in the middle of some rather heartbreaking zombie action and I was sure that I had made a good choice. There were some things that I absolutely loved about this book but there were other things that bothered me. It was a book that I didn’t want to put
Mar 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Amateurish, badly written and repetitive. Premise: My kids got eaten and turned in to zombies but he has such a nice ass, she giggled to herself.
I absolutely loved this book. Love, love love it.

In less than a day, the world dies, when it gets taken over by zombies. Yes, zombies. The idea alone made me laugh as well. Until I read this book. My smile faded pretty quickly.

This is the story of two different women, who come from different worlds, who somehow manage to from a bond that runs deeper than blood. Together, they are stronger, smarter, and better. I feel about as fiercely protective of Katie and Jenni as they do of each other, despi
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: zombie lovers

At the heart of it, aren't most zombie books/movies the same? The crisis starts and the challenge becomes dodging flesh eaters while reuniting and rediscovering humanity. One of the things I love about the apocalypse is that everyone is prey. Division of sexes, ages, races, sexualities all become so arbitrary when it's human versus undead. What do people do then? Further divide or overcome difference?

This book? Cherry Twizzlers all the way, baby. You know, you eat one and it's cherry goodness, s
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: zombies and the people who love them
Recommended to Ian by: Stacia (the 2010 club)

This book reminds me of so many movies. It’s Thelma & Louise meets Mr & Mrs Smith meets Pulp Fiction meets The Killer meets The Day of the Triffids.

It’s something of a Bullet Ballet with two very cool heroines killing zombies in just about every way imaginable. Everything from bull bars to shovels and of course bullets. There is so much carnage in this book that it becomes cartoonish which is pretty much par for the course with zombies.

It’s over the top, up in your face, and pretty damned funn
Jenni Arndt
Mar 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: purchased-ebook
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

I bought the first days after reading many glowing reviews on GoodReads, I went into it with pretty high expectations. I wouldn't say I was let down per se, but my expectations definitely were not met with this one. The First Days by Rhiannon Frater is about two women essentially banding together to face an unexpected zombie apocolypse. It chronicles their journey to save Jenni's stepson and get to a safe haven in a small Texas town. The book star
Ashley - The Bookish Brunette
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zombies, favorite
OH. MY. GOD. Where do I start? From the very FIRST paragraph- I was hooked!

Jenni- with an 'i' is standing on her front porch staring at "tiny fingers" trying to claw their way out from underneath the front door. Her terror IS MY terror from the very beginning, as she recounts the events of her family being transformed into flesh eating zombies before her very eyes.

Her abusive husband had come home the night before claiming that a homeless man had bitten him, slept on the couch and Jenni was awak
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

No one… except for Rhiannon Frater. Her vision of a Zombie Apocalypse was far more gruesome, gory, slightly funny and violently delightful.

The Characters
Katie is an ex-prosecutor (in pre-zombie days) who was married to the love of her life, Lydia. When Katie drove back home to get Lydia, well… Lydia was in the front yard chewing on the mailman. So, Lydia didn’t make it past the first day so Katie flees and seeks shelter somewhere and ends up runni
4 Disturbing Intriguing Stars!

"So small. So very, very small.
The tiny fingers clawed desperately under the edge of the door.
Straining fingers. Straining to reach her.
"Benjamin, please stop," she whispered."

This was disgustingly good! Two women, Jenni and Katie, find each other among the chaos of the walking dead, both have lost everything dear to them. This is the story their survival, finding others who live, and creating a new life in the face of death! Great read anytime, but with Hallow
Jan 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book. The imagery is striking, but the writing left a lot to be desired. It felt barely edited, and the quality of the writing kept pulling me out of the story. I couldn't stay interested because from the beginning, small details kept confusing me. The whole part with the baby fingers under the door was so convoluted. We kept jumping from the husband to the other kid to the baby and how she felt about the house and random mentions of blood and it felt way overdone. T ...more
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twilight fans
Recommended to Brainycat by: > what are you reading > zombies
I bought the trilogy based on recommendations I found on another forum. I made it 64% of the way through before giving up. It really wants to be a great story, but it gets bogged down by over explanations. The character development reminded me of Robert Jordan - give each character Their One Trait, then never pass up a chance to cut'n'paste The One Trait into the narrative, even if it breaks the flow of the story.

The action is thin and predictable, but I kept reading through it expecting the cha
Carolyn  Storer
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
"The First Days" is the first book in a new zombie series by Rhiannon Frater. Originally self-published all three books in the series are now being released by Tor US in fairly quick succession. As soon as I heard about this series I knew I had to read it, and squealed with delight when Tor offered me the first book to review - well, you know how much a love the zombies ;)

"The First Days" is an action-packed, character-driven novel and was immensely enjoyable and fun to read. I had difficulty pu
Jul 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
As a woman with a taste for apocalypse stories, I went into this novel with high hopes. After the first two chapters, I knew I should stop reading but I finished anyway. What spurred me on was the potential this book had - two female protagonists who survive and flourish during a zombie apocalypse? Count me in!

Unfortunately, the quality of the prose was severely lacking. Frater often repeats herself and falls into the age-old trap of telling, not showing when it comes to emotion and character de
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it

After finishing The First Days the first book in the As the World Dies trilogy. I came to one conclusion about all Zombie books. The main characters have only two choices in this world:

Plan A. Let what happened crush you, or in Jenni and Katie's case let the lose of those you love bring you to inaction. Then ultimately you will join the reanimated dead.

Plan B. You could put your big girl panties on and fight with everything you have.

They had to keep calm. They had to keep strong. They had to
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
Full review to come when I have time to write it, but for now, here's...


- Some of the more shocking and brutal moments will please hard-core horror fans
- Author doesn't play it safe and takes many risks while telling her story
- The action almost never slows down
- The events remains interesting, even when the story really doesn't work, which brings us to...

- Frequent convenient plot devices may strain the reader's eyes by causing them
Eva Marie
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who already loves this type fo book and/or zombies & anyone who likes fiction really
Recommended to Eva Marie by: Felicia A
I'm almost at a loss as to what to say here because I know next to nothing about zombies or this type of book. I picked this up for two reasons and two reasons only. One was because the reading challenge I'm doing this spring has a task where I needed to read a sci-fi book. I asked my friend Felicia what she would recommend and she sent me this book. I figured that at worst I would be able to plow through it and at best it would be milding entertaining. I've always been way more of a non-fiction ...more
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of zombies & Rhiannon Frater's writing
As the World Dies: The First Days is a fantastically scary zombie read that has you cheering the strong survivors until the end in a "world {that} had slid sideways into hell."

The story begins with Jenni, ...a strange, strange girl in a strange, strange world", muttering to herself while watching "those tiny fingers ... pressed under the door ... tips of tiny fingers raw and skinless". We quickly come to realize that those tiny fingers belong to her now undead son. Somehow she manages to flee t
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen I'm jumping back in to the Zombie books again - and what a way to start with this one! It delivered but didn't WOW - it has all the normal cliches of a zombie apocalypse but with an added bonus. Our heroine is introduced as a lesbian and is fighting her inner turmoil over her lost wife and the chance to have a new relationship with Travis.

I loved the characters but got really pissed off at some of the townspeople and their narrow mindness over the LGBT lifestyle. It's weird but I foun
I forced myself to finish this as about a little more than half way through I was ready to give up. So not my kind of zombie novel.
S.K. Munt
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zombies, apocalypse
5 Zombie Stars

This was just a straight-up good Zombie book, and has basically everything I look for in a Zombie adventure: Lots of time in cars on the highway, lots of foraging, the building of forts and the banding together of people. It's nicely paced- so it goes minute by minute and day by day without skipping large sections of time, the zombies are how zombies ought to be with nothing fancy thrown into the mix, and the writer's got the goods as far as world building goes and paints (what one
DNF at 50%

I tried with this book. I really did...
This book kept showing up on my recommended list, and the blurb sounded good. A zombie story with two women kicking ass? Sounds great, right?
Unfortunately, for me, the story just didn't follow up on the promise.

I think it was a combination of several things that didn't work for me.
Mainly it was the way the author describes... well everything. A lot of it seems like it doesn't have any place in the story. Like it's been put in as a page filler.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Original published in 2008, The First Days is perfect for fans of the Walking Dead TV series and the trilogy would make a great gift for any zombie fan. In this first tale we follow Jenni and Katie, two strangers who survive the first day in Texas. The two escape the city and we follow them as they meet others, build strong friendship and end up in a fortified rural town that besieged by zombies.

Frater can weave a tale and pull the reader in, from her easy descriptive writing style to the fast p
Aug 14, 2015 rated it did not like it

I rarely ever rate books that I don't finish, but this one was that bad. I just couldn't get through it...past 19%.

Meet Katie. She is a complete idiot. This woman is fully aware that she is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, and she refuses to buy toilet paper at a gas station with her still functional CREDIT CARD because it is "too expensive," thinking that she won't be able to pay it off.

Now meet Jenni. She is aware that these creatures terrorizing the town are zombies and is the one to i
I have never been afraid of zombies - but I am now!

This book is so intense that I ended up with a cramp in my hand because I was holding on to the book so tightly. GOODNESS!

Action packed and fast paced. Readers should be warned that it is fairly graphic in it's descriptions. I found the first chapter to be the most difficult to get through so if you can make it through it then you have no worries about being able to handle the rest.

Loved the characters and I'm really worried that some of my fav
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Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of 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).

She was born and raised in Texas where she currently resides with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets).

She l

Other books in the series

As the World Dies (4 books)
  • Fighting to Survive  (As The World Dies, #2)
  • Siege  (As The World Dies, #3)
  • After Siege (As The World Dies, #4)

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