Leea's Reviews > The First Days

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater
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's review
Jun 07, 2012

really liked it
Read from January 08 to 09, 2013

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 survive. It was as easy as that.

Well, i'm all for Plan B, I mean what's the fun in letting the walking dead have all the fun. I'm sure glad that Jenni and Katie wen't with Plan B because it made for one entertaining read. Gruesome, graphic, realistic and at times hilarious were some of the finer points in The First Days. Sometimes post apocalyptic books can be very serious to read, but this book was fun, had me at the edge of my seat and had me thinking about my favorite show, Walking Dead and comparing the two.

The Characters:

“It’s okay to cry now,” Katie murmured. Jenni covered her face with her hands and wept. For her dead children, for the dead world, and for her newfound freedom…

At first our cast of characters is not large. We have Katie, who on her way to work was attacked by a zombie an older man saved her and she later found her wife turned. Katie runs (literally) into Jenni who in shock is being chased by her children and husband that have turned. These two women from vastly different worlds are thrown together in a situation that no one is prepared for. Both have issues and baggage but find an instant connection to each other. They decided to make there way together, to trust the other and to fight with everything they have. Both reeling from the loss of the ones they love, they find shelter within a gun store. This is where the action begins and relationships are formed. In this new world, living is the only choice they all have. I don't want to go into too much detail and ruin the fun but we meet some interesting characters along the way. One of my favorites is Travis and Juan. Oh, Juan... you sly devil you snuck right up on me with your undercover hotness and in the end stole my heart.

The Plot

“It’s not the end, Katie. Just the next step,” Ralph finally said. “We are all acting like we’re at a funeral,” Katie decided with a sigh. “I think we are. The funeral of the world. And we’re the mourners, the survivors, picking up the pieces and finding a way to move on,”

The story is not totally unique but what I enjoyed was seeing the 'outbreak' from the moment it hit, reading the emotions and thought processes of Jenni and Katie. Parts were scary but Jenni and Katie always included that little joke or funny comment to make then feel realistic in a way that some people use humor to quash a stressful situation. Loved seeing how Jenni used her vast knowledge of Zombie movies to teach Katie how to kill the undead and what they need most of all to survive, guns and ammo. Again, I don't want to spoil anything but I really enjoyed taking this journey with Jenni and Katie.

This book was not without it's faults and here are something that did bother me. Ms. Frater is clear from the beginning that Katie is a lesbian and It was refreshing to read about her loving relationship with her wife. At a point in the book (view spoiler) I did get over this towards the end of the book but It still bothered me.

In conclusion, I loved this book, it was fun and entertaining to read. The true testiment is my rushing into the second book in the Trilogy, Fighting to Survive. I cannot wait to read more...

Some of my favorite Jenni and Katie funny quotes:

“Daddy, what are they?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. The damn Russkies are behind it, I know. We never could trust them. Everyone else is saying terrorists, but I’m telling you, Katie, the Soviet Union never really died.”

“We’re meals on wheels,” Jenni said with a bitter laugh. “Chewy center is what it’s all about,” Katie said gloomily.

“So, basically, I’m risking my life because you pansies don’t want to pick up tampons,”
she said, arching her eyebrow critically.
All three nodded. “Yep.”
“Pretty much.”

Also, I got to read this book with my buddy Wendy F. and we had a blast chatting out way through this book. Thanks Wendy! This is you and me (or Katie and Julie) kicking some Zombie *ss!!!
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Reading Progress

24.0% "Holy crap... this is good, like really good. Wonderful mix of horrifying events/moments and just a tad of humor." 2 comments
35.0% "Just met Travis... Oh boy!"
53.0% "Jenni and Juan?"
70.0% "Tinker bell of death. Lol!!!"

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Regina This is fun stuff. It isn't the same character study that Aftertime is, but I loved this series in a different way. Do you know if you have the indie version or the Tor edited version?

Leea No... haha!! Okay, it's a Tor edited version - is that okay?

Regina Definitely. :)

Leea Good, I haven't started yet.

Wendy F Love the picture, hahaha!!

Leea If only one was blonde like Katie. Haha!!

Stacia (the 2010 club) Woot woot! So happy you guys liked this one!

Regina Wow that was fast! I devoured this book too. Will you be reading #2? Leea having lived in Texas do you recognize any of the places they travel through?

I love the picture too. :)

It would be fun to watch a buddy read of you all 3 for the third book. :)

So what about the walls!? In walking dead they should have built a wall around the farm. It frustrated me that they didn't. Especially after reading this book.

Leea Regina, I don't recognize any of the places names in the books. My guess would be somewhere more south, not sure why but from what they said about the weather reminded me of South Texas. I have to say that only in Texas would a pair of girls be invited in to share food, guns and shelter. haha!

Wendy and I are going to start book #2 today :) It's a fun series and i'm so glad I finally read it.

Yes, WALLS!!! I now understand what you mean. haha! I think that's what I enjoyed so much about this book, seeing the beginning of the zombies, how Jenni and Katie's (and others) come to terms with this new world.

Wendy F I totally get what you mean!

I think the difference is that in this book they were already on a construction site, so they had all the supplies and everything right there. It made it easier to complete that fort as fast as they did. Whereas in walking dead, it was just a farm. It would have taken them forever to cut and build the supplies for a wall. (They did get a version of this in the new season though, with the prison.)

Regina They had supplies though. Once the barn secret was discovered, they could have used the barn to create a fence. They could have at least created a fence around the house and one pump. They could have foraged for supplies at nearby farmhouses. There were lots of options.

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