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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
The one star review was unfair and uncalled for since it does not review the work itself. That being said I loved this book. After months of watching Rhiannon's blogs in mouthwatering anticipation, I am sated even though I was sad when the book was done. I could not put this work down. Rhiannon did her homework when it came to researching the zombie genre. I am very fussy about my zombie books and I have read a lot of bad zombie books. I see a lot of work where the author attempts to freshen up the genre and give zombies some special powers. You cannot freshen this genre up by changing the mechanics of a zombie. Flesh-eating zombies should never have supernatural abilities or be driven by some unseen force. It takes the horror out of the monster when you mess around with zombie traits. They should stink, be gross to look at and have a vacant relentlessness. It just is not scary if a zombie is driven by more than insatiable hunger for living human flesh. You will not find supernatural zombies here. They are the perfect decaying corpses we love to read about. Some are fast and some are slow, but all are deadly hungry.
This work is also evidence of Rhiannon's growth as a writer. Her style has matured so much from the first installment. It is evident that when she said she was spending painstaking time to make the third and final entry to "As the World Dies" she meant it. It is a polished plot line focusing on the struggles of our heroines in the last stand between man, man, and the dead. The writing is vivid and imaginative and results in believable characters you cheer for and characters you hope will be on the menu for the next zombie horde. True zombie afficienados will appreciate this work for what it is and if you have not had the chance to read the first two installments you will be just fine due to the excellent character development, however, you will be cheating yourself. If you are looking for a paper version, check her blogs or talk to permuted press. This is 5 star work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Having previously read David Moody's brilliantly harrowing Autumn series and David Wellington's Monster Nation trilogy (which I felt ran out of steam by book 3) I was keen to get my teeth into another committed relationship with another worthwhile author.
But what was this ?
A female author of a zombie trilogy ?
And the main characters both women also?
I was slightly concerned that I might have to dig into my feminine side to have any kind of affinity with these two hellcats as they slew their way across the Texan wasteland that Rhiannon Frater so evocatively bought to life amidst the living dead.
But you know what?
She hooked me in from the very first chapter, the urgency of those opening chapters did not let up and the neither did the ever expanding cast and narrative.
I think for me the true beauty of this trilogy is the ability to be able to identify with such a large cast of characters and to find an empathy for most and even a hatred for a few.

I loved the fact that Rhiannon Frater has created two such rich literary characters in Jenni and Katie and that to me, as a male reader, to bond with them, to even feel protective toward them speaks volumes for her writing style.

I found it a refreshing change that the story doesn't take the usual assumption that all power and running water along with the internet vanishes within the first 24 hours of the plague starting.
Indeed I emailed the author those very thoughts and was not anly surprised to receive a reply but to be told that she had researched that fact and had been assured that that may very well be the case that power could survive along with a percentage of the population.

The concept of the of the varied and colorful occupants of the fort town that eventually becomes home and the efforts taken to defend same kept me spellbound throughout all three volumes.
The cool headed Nerit, the ex Isreali army sniper is another fantasticly strong narrative and Peggy, Katarina and host of bit players make such a strong ensemble cast.
I enjoyed that whilst the main characters are female there was careful consideration not to make the male leads ineffectual and simply additions to their female heroines.
They sprang to life on the page, Travis with his can do commonesense approach to fortification of the town and Juan the TexMex sidekick and major facilitator of getting things done in the most efficient manner.
Bill with his beergut and calm cool and sweet Ken the haidresser all keep you hoping for humanitys' survival and that is the main magic involved in this trilogy
Even Crazy Calhoun has you rooting for him until the very end.

All in all the most satisfying Zombie literature, let alone trilogies, I have ever read.

Ms Frater hints at the end that she may revisit the fort and the survivors in a post "As the World Dies" book, I for one would love to know where these characters go and what they achieve in the years ahead.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
An amazing end to an amazing trilogy! With AtWD:Siege and the trilogy finished, Rhiannon Frater has firmly and permanently etched her name at the top of the list of zombie genre masters. The only bad thing I can say I about AtWD:Siege is that it ends this beautiful masterpiece of a trilogy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Siege is the culmination of the As The World Dies trilogy and draws to conclusion the stories of Jenni and Katie along with the rest of the residents of the fort that has grown and evolved since we were first introduced to it as readers of the first book of the trilogy. And while the fort become more of a safe haven for those who live behind its walls, things are no more comfortable than in the past and in fact will become more intense for them all before the story comes to a conclusion.
This is by far the biggest of the three books and deals with a great many different plot points, far too many to elaborate on here. Lets just say that Rhiannon Frater has created a very detailed and character rich tale that gives us some really interesting folks leading complex and challenging lives as they fight to survive during the zombie apocalypse. We do get to meet many new characters, based on the fact that another group of survivors, from a mall, are introduced and create some major challenges for Katie, Jenni, and the people they care about.
We are given plenty of surprises as the story unfolds and the author is in no way bashful about picking off significant characters. The story is drenched with heartwrenching twists that will leave those who have grown attached to the cast of characters gasping in shock and surprise. Now I am not going to change my tune from my past two reviews-I often feel that this story is almost overloaded with emotions: we are reminded at every turn about the loses these characters have faced and the people they remember and miss that were killed in the apocalypse. Given that this story also has elevated the involvement of ghosts that were only vaguely a part of the last book to where they are key role players in this story, the emotional content gets even stronger here. Many of the characters are visited and spoken to by the ghosts of those they have lost and not only that, the ghosts shape the story tremendously. I felt that their role was perhaps a bit more than they needed to be but that is a minor quibble in the big scheme of things.
I have no complaints with how the story itself unfolds. I am always a big fan of turning the readers expectations on their ear and Rhiannon Frater does just that here. She does not give you what you might expect but instead tosses some good curve balls to keep the plot shifting and surprising us.
For those who like plenty of gore and action in their zombie tales, this book, like the previous two, delivers. The action can be intense and I particularly liked the sequence in the mall as everyone flees. It was well laid out and choregraphed by the author to give us the maximum amount of intensity.
I do have to say I would have liked more of what provides the book its title: Seige. I felt that the final battle with the zombie horde was surprisingly short for the amount of build up that took place before hand leading up to it. That is another minor quibble though, because everything leading up to it is very intense and satisfying as far as action and violence goes. Rhiannon is definitely a girl who is not afraid to get as messy as the boys when it comes to the gore factor. You gotta love that.
Ms. Frater is a terrific voice in the zombie genre and beyond that into the realm of horror in general. She creates extremely well developed characters that you can invest in and really grow attached to with great ease. She has a passion that shines through in the story that is second to none and I would recommend this book and this series to anyone who loves apocalyptic fiction. My reviews of the previous two installments in this trilogy were 4/5 stars and this one gets 4.5/5 because I felt this trilogy as a whole is outstanding and this installment gave us a very complex story on its own that comes to a very satisfying conclusion, but leaves you wanting more stories about those who remain to carry on the fight for the human race.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2009
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Having devoured the trilogy in a week, I can sum these works up in a single word: exquisite. The story is compelling, the characters are vividly real, and the dynamic tension is as heart-stopping as it is heart-breaking. What you have here is an author who not only understands the nature of the genre, but who also understands the human condition. Fans of George Romero will appreciate how Frater gets this truth, and communicates it perhaps better than Romero himself: the most fearsome enemy is within.

She gets all the important undead-related details set perfectly, and then treats the reader to a story that unfolds in unforeseeable ways. There are negatives, even perhaps annoyances for some, but they are more than overcome by the exquisite elements that truly make the reader care about the outcome.

On top of all this, the books also feature a variety of subplots dealing with a surprisingly vast number of social issues relevant to our day. From the outset, the reader is forced to contend with controversial viewpoints on matters that seem insignificant relative to the threat of the undead, but turn out to be just as challenging to the characters we care so much about. Fortunately for us, Frater manages to handle the issues without subliminally taking sides or grinding a personal axe; the matters are dealt with but left open to the reader's discernment.

For all it's worth, this latter aspect may be the most enduring part of this work. While other recent books "mashup" zombies with classic literature, Frater has done better. She legitimately raises zombie drama to literature status. As Moby Dick was to the whaling industry, so this trilogy is to our fears of the undead. We find Ishmael in Katie, Queequeg in Jenni, Starbuck in Kevin, Stubb in Juan, and Ahab in another. There are also more to discover later in the story. Yet to confine this work to a single analog is to misrepresent its significance. Unlike other pop fiction series of teens and vampires, this work covers humanity's waterfront with authentic meaning. Like all good literature, it forces the reader to take a good, hard look in the mirror.

Are you prepared to survive well in the world of the undead? That is the ostensible question. Frater's real question is much more difficult to answer: are you ready to survive well in the world of the living?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
Rhiannon Frater does it again! If you have read the previous two books, you won't be disappointed with this final installment. It is touching, believable, and a thrill ride! The author seamlessly weaves a tale that draws you into that world from the first page. You laugh, you cry, you are a part the fort family and you genuinely come to care about the characters in this book. If you haven't read the other two previous books...WELL what are you waiting for? If you love zombie books or just horror books you will NOT be disappointed with these books!!! They will undoubtedly earn a permanent place in your library just as they have mine!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have rally enjoyed reading the "As the World Dies" trilogy. It is interesting to read a zombie series told from a feminine perspective. Despite being written by a female author do not think this book skimps on action, adventure and gore, it doesn't. Very enjoyable and thrilling read that brings the story to a satisfying end.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
The first time I read the series I enjoyed it as a not terribly well written but quick, enjoyable read. Kind of like a guilty pleasure reality TV show that you don't tell anyone you watch. Second time through -not so much. Although, again, for the most part a pretty quick read, though I found it easy to put down when the characters would continuously reflect on their current situation, adding nothing to the story. I'm not sure if this is a product of the fact that it was originally written in installments and the author felt it was necessary to remind the readers of the events that brought us to the current situation and bring the reader up to speed? What intrigued me originally was the concept of two women fighting together to survive. Then at the earliest convenience, they pair them off with two men and the characters talk about their adventures from the first book for the rest of the series. I think this series appeals to a lot of people because of the soapy/romance novel elements used to describe the characters and their relationships. The fantasy elements of the story, the fact that everything works out relatively easily and conveniently for them, i.e. the electricity never goes out for a year or more (explained away in one sentence), that food and sanitation never become much of an issue (getting low on food, send out a team) also makes the setting very comfortable and appealing. It's interesting that the titles imply a struggle, yet there never really is one.

The author makes constant reference to George Romero and his zombie films but what Romero does in his first three films is test the characters resolve and explore the fragility of society in the face of calamity. In these books, the author wants the characters to enjoy the story as much as the reader, therefore everyone, for the most part, gets along pretty well, the marauders they encounter are pretty easily dispatched, and the siege described in the title of the third book really couldn't have gone any better for the survivors. And the ghosts. I actually don't have a problem with an author introducing something along those lines, but when it becomes a tool she wields for such convenience, then it truly detracts from the story. The ghosts literally appear whenever necessary to tell the living characters everything from prophetic warnings about the world, to calming reassurances, to immediate warnings of "Wake up, there are zombies coming" or "So and so is about to get killed, you need to go help them." Then after explaining the ghost rules ad nauseam, the author fails to follow those very rules by having them continue to appear at will.

What this book represents to me is the coming world of online self-publishing and all that that entails -good and bad. The good is that many more authors can get their work read by many more people. The bad is that many of us will end up reading it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2009
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
After waiting for months for the final installment, I was excited to get the chance to finish the story. To me, it was the weakest of the three books. The writer relied too much on supernatural aspects such as ghosts and spent too much time on how much some of the characters loved the others. Too many main characters were killed off in a short amount of time, and the final battle was anti-climactic, illogical, and left me dissatisfied. Catapults throwing household junk at zombies? Seriously? An overall good story, but less than expected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Read for Fun
Overall Rating: 5+
Story Rating: 5+
Character Rating: 5+

NOTE: I feel the need to start my review with a note this time. I have read (and rated) 468 books and have only given 40--5 star ratings. Both The First Days and Siege got 5's from me. I can not stress how well written, brilliantly executed, and boldly told this series is. You must read it even if you don't like zombies. It is a story of humanity, heartbreak, and hope!

First Thought when Finished: That is a way to end a trilogy!

What I Loved: When a series comes to an end, I look for 2 things: closure and hope. As a reader, I need to feel closure for both the characters and myself. I need to know that this particular phase (emotional, physical, challenge) has been met and that the characters are off to face a new phase in their lives. I also need hope. I need to feel like their world goes on and that they embrace the life that they have been given. That this life (yes I realize it is fictional) they have is worth fighting for and the future (no matter how bleak) holds hope for a better tomorrow with loved ones. These key elements allow me to feel that I was lucky to have shared this part of the characters journey and for now we part ways. Rhiannon Frater managed to break my heart, sew it back together, scare me to death, and finally leave me with hope that these characters that I have come to love would move on from now and into the future! I could not ask for more from a story than what I was given in Siege. It was a very fitting end to what will be one of my favorite trilogies EVER!

What I Liked: My favorite thing about Rhiannon's writing (both series that I have read) is her ability to create complex characters in all shades of grey. However, with this series it was her ability to build a world that was compelling and believable. It is not often that you get both compelling characters and a world that almost counts as a character all its own!

Final Thought: Both The First Days and Siege received 5's from me. I stand behind those ratings 110% and recommend these books to anyone who enjoys a really good story told with a ton of courage and alright just a bit of gore (really there is gore--I have to mention it LOL)! Get thee to the bookstore! You won't be sorry!

PS: I am not leaving out Fighting to Survive--I gave it a 4.75! This is probably the highest rated series (outside Harry Potter) that I have given. Truly it was just brilliant!
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