Series: As The World Dies #1
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Science Fiction
Published by St. Martin's Press
Reviewed by Miranda
Katie is driving to work one beautiful day when a dead man jumps into her car and tries to eat her. That same morning, Jenni opens a bedroom door to find her husband devouring their toddler son. Fate puts Jenni and Katie—total strangers—together in a pickup, fleeing the suddenly zombie-filled streets of the Texas city in which they live. Before the sun has set, they have become more than just friends and allies—they are bonded as tightly as any two people who have been to war together. During their cross-Texas odyssey to find and rescue Jenni’s oldest son, Jenni discovers the joy of watching a zombie’s head explode when she shoots its brains out. Katie learns that she’s a terrific tactician—and a pretty good shot. A chance encounter puts them on the road to an isolated, fortified town, besieged by zombies, where fewer than one hundred people cling to the shreds of civilization. It looks like the end of the world. But Katie and Jenni and many others will do whatever they have to to stay alive. Run, fight, pick each other up when they stumble, fall in love…anything is possible at the end of the world.
A warm Texas morning turns deadly as a killer virus stalks the human race turning them into zombies. Family, friends and neighbors turn against those they love as they become ravaged by the unforgiving virus. Jenni a housewife and mother of three suffers from shock as she watches most of her family turn into something out of a horror film. Katie a successful lawyer survives the initial shock by the grace of god and the kindness of a stranger. Jenni and Katie are thrown together by their circumstances and the will to survive what seems to be the end of days or at least the end of the world as they know it.
The First Days is their story. Jenni and Katie have to learn how to survive in this new and dangerous world. They find a haven in a small town but can it last? Who can you trust in this new world? Some of the zombies seem smarter than others how can the survivors fight the undead?
The First Days is an explosive debut of the As The World Dies trilogy from Rhiannon Frater. I find myself engrossed in the deadly new world featured in The First Days. As I read the first page I felt my pulse begin to speed up with the swift and deadly writing. I felt like I was Jenni standing in shock watching her baby’s tiny little fingers claw at the door. This story is so enthralling I have trouble thinking of anything else. I cannot wait to read the next story, Fighting to Survive. Ms. Frater’s characters are so real they are like your family, your neighbors, or that really good friend you met in college. As I rapidly devour the pages of The First Days I constantly ask myself, “What would I do to survive?” I think you never really know the lengths that you’re willing to go to until you are in a life or death situation. I find The First Days to be a mesmerizing dichotomy of despair and hope. One minute everything is positively grim, death surrounds everyone all the time and then there is this small glimmer of hope that makes it possible to go on in this new world.
Now, I know we specialize in romance here at Joyfully Reviewed and this story doesn’t scream romance but there is a whole lot of love in The First Days. There is so much love for humanity. Total strangers will put their life on the line to save someone and sometimes they lose. The First Days isn’t your typical story. Don’t expect everything to be tied up in a neat little bow; zombies are around and people are going to die, even people you love. There is something that strikes such an emotional chord within me I have trouble even contemplating it: Mercy. Would I be able to end someone’s life after they became infected even if they asked me to? Growing up we are taught that killing even in the name of mercy is wrong. The First Days takes everything you’ve been taught, every moral you thought you held high and tosses them out the window. This is a new world with new rules and new morals. It becomes humane to end an infected person’s life before they turn into a flesh eating zombie.
As Jenni and Katie find their haven there are some romance possibilities. Towards the end of The First Days Ms. Frater gives the ladies some romance and even better reasons to live in this undead world. I won’t give any romance details because I love the twists and turns and don’t want to give anything away. I will say that I find Ms. Frater’s progression of these two characters to be fascinating and I’m eager to continue their story. The First Days is one of those stories that come along once every blue moon. You do not want to miss this intense remarkable thriller! The First Days packs a mega punch to the gut with its indelible heroines, gruesome plot and its captivating glimpse into the darkest and brightest parts of humanity.