05 July 2012

Review: The First Days (As the World Dies #1) by Rhiannon Frater

The First Days (As the World Dies #1) by Rhiannon Frater

Published: 5 July 2011 by Tor

Pages: 335 (paperback)

Source: Own library

Genre/s: Zombie

Synopsis (Goodreads)

The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni's stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town. There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.

My Thoughts

There are very few female writers of the zombie sub-genre and Rhiannon Frater is probably one of the best-loved - and rightly so. With an ability to write perfectly towards her target audience, and create stories that are enjoyable and accessible to any reader, The First Days is one of the best female-protagonist zombie books I have ever read.

Starting with one of the most disturbing opening scenes of any zombie tale, and screaming through the zomb-apocalypse at a fast pace, whilst developing characters in a way that defies any reader not to care for them, The First Days is a book not easily forgotten.

Katie and Jenni are the perfect girl-power partnership - both vulnerable in their own ways, with baggage that sometimes impairs their ability to see situations as they really are, but their friendship is strong, despite the extreme circumstances under which it was rapidly formed. Katie is outwardly strong but inwardly vulnerable, and Jenni is an open book - fluctuating between despair and euphoria, both of which are completely plausible reactions to the world pretty much imploding in front of their eyes.

As well as Katie and Jenni, the secondary characters are also extremely well fleshed-out, from the ex-Israeli sniper to the swarthy, smart-mouthed construction worker, and all the others in between. The action scenes are very well written, and there's no pages and pages of weapons discussion - its revolvers and rifles, shovels and spikes. Lengthy descriptions of weapons is something I tend to zone out of, so it's another big tick for The First Days that things are kept simplistic.

I did read The First Days just after it was first re-released by Tor, but it was just as good the second time around - I can't wait to read the rest of the series!


  1. So much love for this book, and the whole series!! I hope you like reading the next two, Juan is awesome hehe. Great review!

  2. Such a fan of Frater's work. She is truly a BOSS!

  3. Eeeeep! I have been wanting to read this series so damn bad. I actually have this trilogy sitting in my Amazon cart, but haven't bought them yet. Ugh! I need to jump on this. Lol.

    Great review, Kat.

  4. I have not read too much in the way of zombie fiction. LOL - probably not the right kind of think to admit to around here - but this does sound interesting.

  5. Good for you! There IS more. I need to read these, but I am afraid that Giselle will send zombie hordes after me if I don't love it. lol. Just kidding, fyi.

    I really love this cover for it.



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