Review: The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Posted 30 November, 2011 by Amanda / 18 Comments

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

Genre: Horror
Format: paperback from Danielle @ Ramblings From This Chick
Read: 10/4/2011 — 10/5/2011
In Six Words: Loved the writing, not the zombies.

Rhiannon Frater — Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Amazon — Paperback | Kindle
Book Depository — Paperback
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Book Order

1. The First Days 
2. Fighting to Survive
3. Siege


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.
-from Goodreads

Why I Started Reading This Book and General Thoughts

After reading Felicia’s five star (wine glass) review, I figured I had to give The First Days a shot (a sip?).  I wasn’t exactly sure if zombies were my thing, but with a book that has gotten a few rave reviews, I thought it would be worth it.  It was, in a way.  I did learn that I am apparently not a fan of the zombie/post-apocalyptic genre.  I think that the constant danger and threat of dying keeps me from getting attached to the characters and story.  I, um, need my happy endings?

A More In-Depth Look

Despite not being a zombie fan, I am most definitely a Rhiannon Frater fan.  From the opening lines, Rhiannon Frater draws you in with chilling descriptions and a sense of foreboding that refuses to dissipate.  Reading The First Days left me feeling on edge, waiting for the next catastrophic event to happen.  I found the characters to be interesting — flawed, but honest and real, even if the characters occasionally got on my nerves.

In many ways, Jenni and Katie are complete opposites.  And yet, the two of them have been thrown together — by chance and luck, no less — and form a strong bond.  The adage that opposites attract works well for the relationship between Jenni and Katie.  They both fulfill an important role in the other’s world.  Eventually we meet more people who will become central to our characters: Jason, Travis, Juan, Ralph and Nerit, all of whom are vital to the story in some way.

I found myself putting the book down a lot, though I suspect the reason for this is has to do more with me than anything related to the book.  The post-apocalyptic genre doesn’t quite appeal to me.  If you do like this genre, or you like zombie horror stories, The First Days will a book you do not want to miss.

You Might Enjoy This Book If…

Zombie and horror fans will probably enjoy The First Days.

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Filed under: ESR: 6, Horror, Review: Amanda, ,


18 Responses to “Review: The First Days by Rhiannon Frater”

  1. I know zombies definitely aren’t for me, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about Rhiannon Frater in general, so I’d like to give her a try. I’ll have to go through her booklist and see what else I can find:)

  2. Thanks for the honest review! I actually do really like dystopians (and recently, zombie apocalyse novels, who knew!), and hearing that you liked the characters is heartening to hear because, for me, that’s what makes a novel. Especially one with this kind of plot line.

    So yup, probably going to check this one out. :)


  3. I love that Rhiannon is a consistent writer with great character development. I do think you need to like Zombie novels to love this one because there are some definite icky gorey zombie moments—little fingers under the door :)

    I think if you like Vampires and Historical Vampires you will like Tales of the Vampire Bride. I really enjoyed it—kind of a throw back to “old” vampires!

    • In terms of character development, I think I actually liked this book better than Pretty When She Dies. I am looking forward to trying Tales of the Vampire Bride, though!

  4. I read the companion books to this series and really liked them. I had bad luck with zombie books beforehand (I mean, all they do is walk around, grunt, and eat people — give me a hot vampire any day) but was pleasantly surprised by Rhiannon’s writing style.

    Mind you, I still haven’t read the ACTUAL series behind the companion books, but I wouldn’t mind giving them a shot.

    So far, my favourite Rhiannon book is ‘Pretty When She Dies.’ Hot vampires, romance, and no icky zombies (well, kind of).

    • What I’ve found about zombie books is that they really come in all different shapes and sizes (more figuratively speaking than literal =P). This was more of the traditional horror zombie story.