I am very much a fan of zombie lore, so whenever I find something worthy of my time, I tend to finish it in a second. Or maybe two weeks, because, you know – job, and real life obligations, and stuff.
Rhiannon Frater‘s As the World Dies is my first time reading a zombie novel written by a woman. And since her trilogy is so army-versed, it was very easy for me to get immersed in this universe, because all of the gun crazy talk felt very appropriate.
The First Days is the first volume of the As the World Dies trilogy. The start is a bit shaky, but soon enough you find yourself a new pair of bad ass Thelma and Louise, stranded in Texan land, with zombie hordes following them diligently.
We meet Jenni and Katie, one a battered woman and one a prosecutor. Two girls that have nothing in common, except loss and the will to live, not just survive. The writing is also shaky this first book, but it gets so much better with Fighting to Survive, the second installment.
Book No. 2 finds them surrounded by survivors who look up to them, in a society determined to make the most out of this bleak situation. Maybe, if The Walking Dead wasn’t so keen on killing all the fans favorites, it would sound and feel like Frater’s trilogy. But thank god it doesn’t, because this girl knows what she’s saying and we needed something this good in our lives.
Rhiannon Frater plays out easy psychology with talent, and grows her characters into bad asses with natural pen-work. She masters the build up in a manner that never suggests that something big is going to happen. Her last book, Siege, is basically an avalanche waiting to happen, but you’d never guess that, after reading Fighting to Survive.
Of course, the author cannot help but kill off important characters, beloved ones even, because this is the Zombie Land and we are spared no tears, but Frater is very good at managing loss and gain when it comes to her characters.
As the World Dies might be a bit feminist, especially when placed into a world laced with the undead, but it’s a necessary read for all the zombie fans out there. You have beautiful, albeit one dimensional, female characters, LGBT representations, men without the annoying, unnecessary machismo, courage, fear, wilderness, pure evil and death by numbers. Rhiannon Frater’s universe is almost complete, so why not be a part of it?