“Well," Jenni said with a wry smile, "at least we live in Texas, where people actually own guns and hunt.” - Rhiannaon Frater, The First Days
The First Days (As The World Dies) by Rhiannon Frater is the first book in the As The Wold Dies series. Yes, that's a pretty dramatic title right there...as the world dies. In this book we get to know Katie and Jenni, two totally different women who end up in the same car fleeing from a city infested by zombies. It's a pretty classic zombie roadtrip about Katie's and Jenni's journey to find safety and a new life in a pretty messed up world. The main theme like in most zombie novels is survival but it's also a story about a friendship that probably would never exist under different circumstances.
Well, you all know me (you probably don't, but lets pretend), I love my apocalyptic zombie stories. I've always just been a bit too fascinated about how people get on when the world falls apart (especially if the falling apart part contains some flesh eating people). And yes, The First Days did fulfill my need of action, excitement and apocalyptic survival. This is a pretty classic zombie novel. Some people in a car who has to learn to use dangerous weapons and raid supermarkets (I just always enjoy the parts in apocalyptic stories when they get to raid a supermarket). I would say that it reminded me a lot of The Walking Dead (and that's a good thing because I'm a The Walking Dead fan, no surprises there).
But...Yes, there is a but, there was something missing for me to completely fall in love with this book. I never felt the urge to run home from work just to read another page. I think my main concern was that I never really cared that much for any of the characters. I guess I found the characters a bit too stereotypical for my taste. The author made some desperate tries to make them original and surprising, but they never really surprised me. My other concern with this book was that I didn't find the story original enough. Yes, there's a few key elements that a zombie story has to consist of and they were all there but I also like a zombie novel to consist of something new. An original twist, a surprising fact or something that throws me off my feet and this book doesn't really have that.
So my final verdict is that The First Days gives you that exciting and action filled ride you expect from a zombie story and it does that part pretty good, but that's pretty much it. I just wish there was something different or that the characters had more depth to them or...because I did enjoy this story and it had a lot of potential and I will most probably give the sequel a go sometime in the future. So, I give The First Days by Rhiannon Frater 3/5 stars.
This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.