The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Rhiannon Frater

November 1, 2011 at 2:22 am (horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

The First Days: As the World Dies by Rhiannon Frater

I’m a little burnt out at the moment, so I hope I do this book justice. It’s interesting, because while I start my story ideas with the mental image of an ending, Ms. Frater says her inspiration started with a very specific beginning. One of the two female protagonists, Jenni, witnesses the tragedy of her zombified abusive spouse killing her two children. It is a moving scene, and is followed by a very exciting rescue by Katie, the second female protagonist. Frater allows the reader to be privy to the start of a special friendship, one that will carry us to the end of the book (and into the sequels).

Their travels through the newly zombie-infested state of Texas takes them to unusual places, introduces them to interesting people like Ralph, Nerit, Travis and Juan and allows them to develop a sense of trust in one another. The story takes a human-oriented approach to the zombie genre, exploring the emotional response of those exposed to such a horrific event, and displaying an understanding of how people might react to the loss of friends, family and loved ones.

I honestly enjoyed this book and it is definitely a sound example of the genre. The beginning was jarring and throws you mercilessly into the story, and the ending is action-packed and satisfying, but there was a point midway through the book, a transition point between start and finish, where the pacing slowed more than I would have liked and the book got too “chick-lit”y for my tastes. It was a brief section however, and it didn’t mar the entirety of the book. The only other minor detail that wasn’t exactly to my liking is that I had a real difficulty relating to Jenni at first, because of her victim mentality. She seemed to shake that way of thinking just past the half-way point of the novel, and while still a little immature in her mindset, I could relate much better to her after that.

Despite these small issues, I’d still qualify this as a five-star book. I’m not sure if the hard-core gore-craving male zombie fan would be able to forgive these things quite as easily, but that doesn’t change the fact that I personally found this to be a really good book. It is certainly on my recommended reading list.

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