Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rhiannon Frater: The First Days

In the first novel in a zombie apocalypse series Rhiannon Frater explores what happens when two women are thrown together and the only way that they are similar is the need to survive.

It is the morning that the world ends, the dead are coming back to life, but the government is not willing to call it anything other than a bad case of Ebola. Katie a prosecutor was just getting for court when she is confronted with something that used to be her wife. Jenni who was only trying to protect her kids from her abusive husband now finds herself fleeing all her family. Thrown together by chance, these two women must face the new and every changing world together. They will need to fight and adapt in order to survive. But how long can a prosecutor and a suburban house wife last on the road with zombies chasing after them?

This book starts out with a very creepy beginning. All I could picture after I put the book down the first time were a child’s fingers under the door desperately trying to get out, trying to get to his mother, but he wasn't looking for a hug, well unless it was a blood and meat filled hug. This first scene is what draws the reader in and sets the expectations of the book. I will say for a horror aspect it never quite reaches this height again, but Frater already has you hooked, so she has done her job. This book has some interesting action scenes in it as Jenni and Katie attempt to find a safe place to live for even just one night. However, my favorite thing about zombie books, is to see how the author adapts the people within the book, and how it may not be the zombies that the characters should fear the most. I think that Frater did a great job showing how the zombie apocalypse affects people differently, people cope in different ways and then there are people who will take advantage of chaos situation. I believe that this is where Frater excelled within the book, as the overall story and action were slightly lack luster.

I am not a fan of Jenni as a character, she is too whiny and emotional for me, however, this is not to say that she is not a good character in a book, she is just a hard character to like. Jenni represents a different aspect of how people can change but also stay the same in a zombie apocalypse. She did not like her life before the zombies occurred she was planning on taking her children and leaving her abusive husband, but that choice was made for her. Now Jenni has a life where she may not be safe, but she does not have to worry about someone who supposedly loves her hurting her again, therefore, in a way her life has turned out for the better. However, due to the fact that she was in an abusive relationship so long it has shaped some of her thought processes, for example thinking that she can only fix things through sex. This also means that it takes a while for her to find her own inner strength instead of just relying on the people around her.

Katie was by far my favorite character within the book. She was a great mixture of hard and soft. She knows that she has to adapt in this new world to survive, but she is struggling with the fact that she was unable to kill her wife Lydia when she is turned into a zombie and this fact constantly haunts her. I did not like that the novel started with Katie portrayed as a lesbian, but enter in a good looking strong male character and Katie is all of a sudden bisexual, just seemed a little bit odd to me and Frater attempting to do something that was more towards the norm and that there was this need to have a relationship like this in the book. I did like that Katie and Travis do not have an instant sexual relationship. If that would have happen I would not have finished reading the book.

This book has a very different type of narration, which I could not figure out. The novel is never told from a character's point of view but there were points within the book where personal thoughts would be within the description of that was going on around the characters, but the reader never knew whose thoughts they were. Therefore, there were times when I did not know whose head I was in or if I was even in one of the character's head or was in the overseeing narrator’s thoughts, it was a little bit confusing at times. I took to thinking that I was in Katie's head, even if she was not there, as she was the character I liked the most within the book. I think this may have been just a rookie mistake for Frater, and I am interested in seeing if this may have changed in the next books in the series

Frater's book does not add anything new or different into the now ever popular zombie genre, so if you are looking for something new this book will not be for you. However, Frater does a good job in keeping with the classic zombie and drawing the reader in through her characters and their fight for survival. Overall, I would say this is a good read, and will appeal to most people who like the zombie genre.
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1 comment:

  1. I think I may just have to give this one a try. I'm not a huge Zombie fan but I do like the occaisional one. Great review :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages