Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book review: As the world dies: The first days

As the world dies, tiny little fingers will haunt you

The First Days: As the World Dies

Tiny little fingers, showing under the door, clawing to get out. And a woman in a pink bathrobe staring at them.

"As the world dies" has one of the best and most visual openings I have read in a while. It is harrowing and raw. It sent shivers down my spine. Soon we find out what has led to such a terrible scene, and why a woman is standing outside her front door in a pink bathrobe.

Zombies. The world ending. Everything has gone to hell.

The story revolves around Jenni and Katie, two survivors of the zombie-apocalypse, and how they rely on each other to survive and protect those around her.

Rhiannon Frater, the author, put in some well spent effort and time into developing the characters in the book. The result is a book so good (get ready for the cliché) I could not put it down. Really. I stayed in a parking lot for half an hour, reading, because I needed to know what happened next. I was thoroughly immersed in the plot and I became attached to the characters. The characters are not only well developed, so are their relationships with others. Frater also spends time developing the secondary characters, which I appreciate since it gives more life to the world in the book.

Because the characters are so well developed, Character interaction works well to further show us more depth. The dialogue is entertaining and well done. So is the visual narration; it made my imagination visualize the fort and Katie and Jennie's actions.

Even though the plot is very well drawn out, the book does feel repetitive at times in the narration and description. I cannot count the times that the narrator mentions how much the smell of tobacco jacket Katie wears reminds her of the elderly man who tried to help her and of her father.

I little more editing could have helped. Some action scenes are weird and choppy in their transition. But, I can get my critiquing mind to ignore the issues because the plot more than makes up for it.

Frater stays true to the zombie genre and does not assign the zombies crazy abilities. Zombie fans will appreciate the zombie movie references as well as the mention of a certain zombie survival book we all love. This is an excellent start to a great trilogy, one I cannot wait to continue reading. This is a must for the zombie genre fan.

Update 5/4/11: I contacted the author, Rhiannon Frater, to get more info about the upcoming publication of the rest of her books. As I suspected, she IS fleshing out the characters more and adding stuff. So, I am going to wait for the re-published versions. She mentions the second book has 80 more pages!

These are the original self-published books by Rhiannon Frater. The entire trilogy is done. They are just being re-published through Thor.
As The World Dies: The First Days: A Zombie TrilogyAs The World Dies: Fighting To Survive: A Zombie Trilogy (Volume 2)As the World Dies: Siege: A Zombie Trilogy: Book Three (As The World Dies Trilogy)

Other great zombie books:
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living DeadThe Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded AttacksWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

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