Published July 5th, 2011 by Tor
The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.
Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni's stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.
They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town. There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.
The First Days is like an awesome zombie movie times ten. I was originally worried that the zombie genre wouldn't translate well into book form for me as I am a huge fan of pretty much all zombie movies. However, this book was all that I was expecting and then some.
It's not really a new idea for a zombie book, as it is pretty straight-forward zombie killing and surviving, but I feel that Rhiannon Frater really made it her own. One of the greatest aspects of this book is that the protagonists are two women. It is a wonderful thing to read about two strong women doing what they must to survive and battling back zombie hordes on their own. These two ladies, Jenni and Katie, are lucky to make it through the first wave of the zombocolypse. After living under the thumb of a domineering and abusive husband, Jenni has difficulty standing on her own two feet. She clings to the safety and strength that Katie provides for her as they travel across Texas looking for a safe haven away from the big cities. While Jenni is determined to rescue her stepson, Jason, to make up for the loss of her other two sons (which she witnessed being eaten by her former husband), Katie is dealing with the regret that she harbors over losing her beloved wife Lydia that same morning. These two women quickly form a bond that is insurmountable by anything going on around them. They are their new family now and will take care of each other no matter the cost.
Once they get to the refugee town of Ashley Oaks, the reader is introduced to a whole new cast of characters. Every one of them is so distinct in their personality. The group tries to form a new life as best they can in the fortified town, but as time goes on, there is a distinct personality shift in both Jenni and Katie. While Jenni turns into female Rambo, wanting to kill everything in sight and ask questions later, Katie becomes extremely depressed once she actually has time to breather and realize that she has lost her one true love.
The First Days is an action-packed, no frills, zombie novel. I think that if you are a fan of zombie movies, than you will most certainly love this book. It is disturbing and gory at times, but what can I say, that's what I love about it. It isn't afraid to be real, and I can't help but feel that when the zombocolypse does come, this is how its going to go down. I am happy to have this book right next to Zombie Survival Guide on my shelf, and I absolutely cannot wait until the next in the series comes out to find out what happens to the people I feel like I've been through this entire ordeal with. I applaud Ms. Frater for never giving up and her original fans for getting the word out on this amazing internet sensation.