Book: The First Days by Rhiannon FraterSeries: As the World Dies #1
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic / Zombies
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository
Available Formats: Ebook / Paperback
Publication Date: July 5th, 2011 (TOR)
First Sentence: "So small. So very, very small."
How Did I Get This Book: From Publisher, For Review
Description: 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.
Fast-paced and exciting, filled with characters who grab your heart, The First Days: As the World Dies is the beginning of a frightening trilogy.
How do I even begin to describe The First Days? Well, I guess I could start with fabulous, stunning and completely kickass. How’s that?
In all seriousness, The First Days is quite possibly the best zombie book I’ve ever read. It’s got everything you could ever ask for; two complex and interesting heroines, an exciting yet terrifying plotline and a healthy (or should I say unhealthy) dose of killer zombies.
What really makes The First Days stand out from other zombie books is definitely the characters. While Frater is great at the action parts of the story, she is phenomenal at the character development. Truthfully, most zombie books have great action. And The First Days does too – which is outstanding. But you can really tell that Frater put into a ton of effort in creating her characters. They are likable, dynamic, intelligent and just plain interesting. The story doesn’t simply rely on the zombies to sell the book; the characters do that on their own.
Like I said before, there are two main heroines – Katie and Jenni. While they both are marvelous, I must say Jenni takes the cake for me. Jenni is understandably a little damaged by the zombie apocalypse and it sets her a bit off kilter. She develops an incredibly aggressive side and takes up zombie killing as an official hobby. Honestly, she is just a hoot. Let’s be honest, the zombie apocalypse is not exactly a cheery topic and she adds a touch of humor to the book. At the same time though, Jenni is incredible fragile. The woman witnesses her family turn into zombies. As much as I loved her warrior woman side, I also loved seeing her breakdown. I also loved the relationship between Katie and Jenni. They think of themselves as “War-buddies” and are incredibly protective of each other.
As the book progresses, the two meet a few different groups of people, most notably Juan and Travis. Juan and Travis are two construction workers who sort of unofficially run survival group that is holed up in a small town. The two men befriend Katie and Jenni and the four of them together are just magic. My favorite of the guys was easily Juan. Like Jenni, he has a humorous streak and a rather sharp tongue.
The only aspect of the story that I did not like was the abrupt change in Katie’s sexual orientation. Katie is introduced as one thing and then switched midway through the book. It felt like the author changed her mind halfway through in order to fit a romance in for Katie. The way it was done was incredibly abrupt; it felt like the author was trying to pull the wool over my eyes. I was told one thing and then was handed a great big old “gotcha” later on.
However, all in all, I LOVED The First Days. It was intense, interesting and undeniably entertaining. I just could not put this one down. In fact, I’ve already read the second one and now am just itching to get my hands on the third. If you are a fan of zombie books you simply must read this one!
Katie let the curtain fall back into place. Standing before the window, she felt herself let go of the old world and embrace the new. She would survive this. She would go on. That was all there was to it. She wouldn't give up without a fight. She would do whatever it took to survive.
Finally they had started shooting zombies. That was much better.
"Well," Jenni said with a wry smile, "at least we live in Texas, where people actually own guns and hunt."
She'd been questioning Jenni's sanity for a while now, but then again, they were all slightly insane now, weren't they?
Juan nonchalantly drove the shovel through the head of the zombified maid, and the drama was over.
"You're a strange, strange girl in a strange strange world."
"So, basically, I'm risking my life because you pansies don't want to pick up tampons."
During the meeting, Jenni paid attention only when they talked about killing zombies.
The crux of the argument was that Jenni was a bloodthirsty psycho and would waste all of the ammo while Juan was too stupid to understand guns were made to be fired.
Wow! I'm more of a badass than I thought.
Just like that, everything was very different between them.