Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater

Book: Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #2
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic / Zombies
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository
Available Formats: Ebook / Paperback
Publication Date: November 8th, 2011 (TOR)
How Did I Get This Book: From Publisher, For Review
Description: Picking up where The First Days ends, Fighting to Survive features the further zombie-killing, civilization-saving adventures of a pair of sexy, kick butt heroines and the men who love them. A hundred or so survivors of the zombie plague have found tenuous safety in the walled off center of a small Texas town. Now the hard work of survival begins—finding enough food; creating safe, weather-resistant shelter; establishing laws; and fighting off both the undead who want to eat them and the living bandits who want to rob and kill them.

Fighting to Survive won the Dead Letter Award for Best Novel from Mail Order Zombie. The first book in the As the World Dies trilogy, The First Days also won the Dead Letter Award and was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner. Tor Books began bringing this series to a wider audience with the Spring 2011 publication of The First Days.

While The First Days dealt primarily with the mad scramble to get to a safe place, Fighting to Survive focuses more on living during the zombie apocalypse. The characters are forced to take a deep look at themselves and really see what they are willing to do to ensure their survival.

The town is growing – more and more survivors are being brought in and within comes a new danger. Now that people are feeling more secure with the whole zombie issue, they begin turning on one another. As the group expands, politics really start to come into play. Everyone has an opinion about how things should be run, including how crimes should be dealt with.

I still think that the characters are the best part of the series. Jenni, Katie, Travis and Juan are all easy to love. The relationships and interactions among the four are interesting and full of heart. I think that with this fab-four Frater has struck gold. I especially love Jenni & Juan. And their loca love.

I honestly enjoyed watching the characters struggle with their individual issues. I know that sounds terrible, but let me explain. It’s the zombie apocalypse – I think we all would have a few issues. Seeing the characters try and work through things makes it authentic. Katie and Jenni are both haunted by their past; Jenni still struggles with the death of her boys and abusive husband, while Katie struggles to move on after Lydia. All of the characters are plagued with nightmares and they all show moments of insanity. But, honestly, who wouldn’t?

Once again, Frater delivers in the whole suspense department. There is one section of the book in particular that constantly had my stomach in knots. I won’t give out too many details (because you all should read this book), but the group decides that they finally need to secure the hotel. You know, that one that the zombie maid fell off on in the first book. As you can probably guess, things don’t exactly work out according to plan.

There was honestly, only one thing that bothered me about the book. The word “gawd”. It’s nothing knew, Frater used it in the first book as well. Every time a character uses the word ‘god’ (as in ‘OH MY GOD. CHECK OUT THOSE ZOMBIES.’), it is written as “gawd.” That is not a word. I do not care if you chose to pronounce it like that (which, I don’t), it’s still not a word. It makes me think of teeny boppers on their cellphones saying things like, ‘oh my GAWD. He’s 2 HAWT.’ Needless it say, it gets under my skin.

But back to the main event. Basically, every element that I loved from The First Days in incorporated into Fighting to Survive. The characters are interesting, relationships are growing, boundaries are tested and limits are reached. Frater also doesn’t tip toe around things; she is pretty upfront and gruesome with things. But, come on now, it’s a book about zombies. You have to expect some gore.

Favorite Quotes:
She was his passionate little Irish-Mexican firecracker and it as hard to see her struggling with nightmares.
There mere thought of being mauled to death by one of the undead kept him sufficiently paranoid.
"I wouldn't trade my loca for the world."
"I know I'll come back alive. I've got too much to live for. Like giving you hell and eating Doritos."
Abruptly, the door to the kitchen was flung open and the waitstaff flooded into the room, ready for their breakfast.
Sometimes she thought wryly, it was as if they were playing some terrible game of cowboys and Indians, hiding in their fort made of odds and ends. Of course, in this case, if the Indians breached the walls, they would eat the cowboys.
Travis wasn't sure he knew how to breath anymore.
"Fuck the dead," she whispered. "This is our world."

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