Aug 25, 2011

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater review

The First DaysJenni only thought her husband couldn't become any worse a human being. She thought wrong. After being bitten the night before, Jenni's husband is turned into one of the undead & decides to make a meal of his family. Barely escaping with her own life, Jenni is rescued by lesbian, lawyer Katie in a pick-up truck. Katie too has lost all that she has after her wife become one of the undead. As the women get to know one another they start to comprehend the reality of the situation they face. The infected are dying & then coming back to life and the government is the last group you want to listen to.

On their way out of an over-populated city (soon to be teeming with the undead) they stop for supplies in a rural town. They manage to hole-up with the sweet old married couple who just happen to own the guns & ammo shop while planning their reconnaissance mission to save Jenni's camping-in-the-woods stepson. With renewed strength & spirit the women vow to keep in touch with the couple & save as many as they can because the only way out of the whole mess is through it. If they just keep running, maybe they can outrun the pain of all that they've lost, but at what cost to those who remain?

The First Days is a remarkably stark look at what could be considered a realistic reaction to a zombie apocalypse. Two ordinary women manage to cobble together an existence that allows them to hope for a future while surviving the present. Even better was the fact that this book was set in Texas. Now that may not sound like much, but it's like saying a book takes place in the South, there are mannerisms & societal norms that lend themselves to having a zombia apocalypse book set there.

The book's chapters were broken down into mini-chapters like one would expect to see of a book that was originally released in serial format. The narrator didn't change with every mini-chapter or even every chapter which made it a nice surprise when we shifted perspective. The characters were each unique adding their own personal experience to the situation they wound up in. Even better was how the characters ended up where they were when they met & assisted other survivors. The interactions with local drug dealers, old girlfriends & the founding members of the community really lent a sense of realism to the story.

While there were several editing errors that could have easily been fixed with a little more attention, the story itself was rather engaging & terrifying. This was the first zombie book that I've read & I definitely believe it won't be the last! Give it a shot & let me know what you think!

No comments: