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As The World Dies: The First Days: A Zombie Trilogy Paperback – August 14, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


The First Days

Best Zombie Book of the Year: Explorations

Dead Letter Award for Best Novel: Mail Order Zombie

“‘This world is fragile.’ This truth lies at the core of Frater's intensely compelling first novel. This outstanding first effort, the first book in a trilogy, will appeal greatly to zombie fans, but the undead are merely the catalyst for a far more disquieting tale of societal collapse.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

The First Days is a lean, mean read. You'll blow through this faster than a herd of undead at an all-cheerleader buffet. Buy this book now so you can say you liked Frater before she became the Next Big Deal In Horror, because that's where she's headed.”  —Dread Central

“This is a world where zombies existed in media before they became ‘real’ and there are a ton of little easter eggs throughout for zombie fans. Romero’s films are references, as is The Zombie Survival Guide.”  —BuyZombie

Katie and Jenni are first drawn in short, sharp sketches and fleshed out as the story progresses. By the end of the book I was laughing at their jokes and feeling what they felt, excited to see what happened next. The First Days plays on deep-seated fears and pushes the limits constantly.”  —Café Libri

“From literally the first page, Frater pulled me in and never let go. The First Days had me thrilled, excited, sad, and happy. If you love strong characters, exciting plot and of course zombies then I'm sure you will love this.”  —Book Chick City

“From the first page, the reader is plunged into a terrifying but riveting nightmare. Frater does not shy away from depicting the story in all its gory detail, never forgetting a healthy dose of black humor to keep things from sinking into bleak despair.”  —So I Read this Book

“Everything felt so real and haunting. Beautiful. I really, really enjoyed this book. It reminds me of The Walking Dead in terms of the pace and the story progression. This is good stuff! Zombie fiction fans, this is definitely for you.”  —Reading Good Books

“Every scene is packed with action, conflict, and zombie killing goodness. All the secondary characters Jenni and Katie encountered, from the husband and wife survivalists holed up in their gun store methodically sniping their infected neighbors, to the Reverend who saves Katie’s life and his dog’s at the expense of his own, were fantastic.”  —All Things Urban Fantasy

“Terrifyingly realistic and vividly horrifying, this book is feverish and electrifying—amazing in every sense of the word.”  —The Bookish Brunette

“Rhiannon Frater’s much-heralded debut novel The First Days—the opening salvo in her As the World Dies trilogy—combines two of my favorite genre fiction elements: zombies and the Apocalypse.  The compelling narrative and endearing duo of female protagonists make this a ‘must read’ for anyone who considers themselves a fan of zombie fiction or apocalyptic fiction. Jenni and Katie are like Thelma and Louise of the Apocalypse. There is definite social commentary at play here and a healthy dose of zombie-powered pop culture references as well—but, for me at least, the thing that makes this novel so remarkable is Frater’s ability to draw the reader in to the minds of the two protagonists and experience the end of the world—and the beginning of a new one—through their eyes.”
Unabashedly Bookish

“Holy smokes! This book was a wild ride of awesome. It reminds me a lot of The Walking Dead, with the heavy emphasis on survival and character relationships, and a healthy dose of zombie terror. All the secondary characters were glorious and each played an important role in the progression of the story. Jack the German Shepard made my heart sing with joy. Recommended for any Zombie fiction fan or those looking for a great character-driven postapocalyptic survival story.”—Smash Attack Reads

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rhiannon Frater lives in Austin, Texas with her husband. She has previously written two different columns for Central Texas magazines covering the underground music and film scene. She loves zombies and Texas.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438250800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438250809
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #934,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm so torn as to how to review this book because it had several things going for it that I flat out loved, also had one thing that made me want to chuck it across the room several times while reading.

THE FIRST DAYS is basically Thelma and Louise meets The Walking Dead. Jenni is a young battered wife who is about to be eaten by her husband, son, and baby when Katie, a stranger, pulls up in a truck and rescues her. The women quickly bond over their respective losses. Katie lost her wife, and Jenni nearly her whole family. They meet several interesting characters on their escape from Houston including the reluctant leader of a band of survivors they join named Travis. *WARNING* The first scene is one of the most upsetting things I have ever read. Mothers are especially cautioned. *Spoiler* It involves a woman watching her zombie husband eat their baby out of a crib and later what is left of the baby, now a zombie too, tries to get to the mother. Later a different zombie baby, this one an infant, has it's skull bashed in. *End of Spoiler*

The story is so good. It was initially written as an online serial, so every scene is packed with action, conflict, and zombie killing goodness. And I couldn't ask for more from a zombie infested world than I got in THE FIRST DAYS. It's terrifying, chaotic, and full of misinformation and seemingly insurmountable odds. All the secondary characters Jenni and Katie encountered from the husband and wife survivalists holed up in their gun store methodically sniping their infected neighbors, to the Reverend who saves Katie's life and his dog's at the expense of his own, were fantastic.

I wish I could just stop there and give this book a glowing recommendation, but I can't, and it's mostly because of Jenni.
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Harry Dresden on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sorry Ms. Frater to give your book a bad review ....... but it was really bad. Why make a big deal about the lesbian relationship? People are turning into zombies and eating each other!!!!! And what's WRONG with the woman, Jenni? Is she mentally/emotionally challenged in some way that we aren't specifically informed about? Her reactions, comments and behavior are just so far out and just plain idiotic.

All in the time span of a few hours, she saw her child killed and eaten by her husband, watched them turn into zombies, saw a man's head blown off and had to run for her life to avoid the same fate. Right after a man's head is blown off, Jenni says in awe "His head just kinda popped". That was it. A few sentences later she's offered food to eat and this is her reaction - Jenni sighed contentedly, obviously relaxing. "I'm so happy we are here. It feels good to be around real people, not dead ones. Or stupid ones. We saw a few of those on the road."


I also have to say that the part in the first chapter of the book where she says over and over and over and over and over (you get my drift!) where the "the tiny fingers" kept reaching for her really got on my nerves. I guess that was my first indication that I wasn't gonna be happy with this book.

I made it through chapter 3....... and that was it.
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81 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Patrick S. Dorazio VINE VOICE on October 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I guess I should apologize. This is the tenth review of this book and the first one that is not giving this book 5 stars. Nine in a row with all five star reviews is a pretty solid streak and my four star review should not put a damper on things that much. It is just that I cannot provide a review that is filled with as much overabundant praise as the previous reviewers.
Rhiannon Frater has gone where...well, many men have gone before, but very few women. In fact, as I scan my bookshelf that is filled with all sorts of zombie stories I can't really see another female author that pops up there. A few short stories, for certain. When I look at vampire titles there are plenty of women involved in the mix, but as far as the walking dead are concerned, it has been pretty much the boy's club up to this point.
The author provides a fresh, female perspective to the zombie apocalypse. No worries, zombie fans, this is no "girl power" feminine manifesto, though going into this story I had my concerns. The two main characters are certainly two characters that could have fallen into that realm: an abused housewife who is set free by both the advent of the zombie apocalypse and by a ultra confident lesbian attorney who hits the road with her in a desperate attempt to escape the mass slaughter going on around them.
The author does a good job of taking two characters that could have easily been turned into stereotypical archetypes and fleshing them out into real people. Beyond those two characters we also are provided with a variety of strong male and female secondary characters as well. These two fit into this mixed up world of zombie apocalypse, yet they don't overpower it.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K. Nettles VINE VOICE on June 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I couldn't give this book four stars for reasons that other reviewers have well-covered: a checklist plot line and some aspects, such as the romances, are forced. (Seriously, a couple weeks into survival mode is way too early for anyone to be worried about getting a new dad.) And yet, the book is worth reading because the author explores human cognition and reactions to the initial event in ways that are more realistic than most books. For example, the government is not in evil cahoots with the zombies, but is giving out some initially bad advice based upon their own poor understanding of what is happening; family members refuse to leave their homes because they still love and have faith, not because they are stupid; some choose to wall up in fortresses of their own making rather than head for the larger community safe-haven. In other words, everyone figures out the danger at their own pace and each chooses what they perceive to be the safest path. The interesting part is seeing how those decisions work out for everyone.
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