Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: The First Days by Rihannon Frater

Summary: Katie is driving to work one beautiful day when a dead man jumps into her car and tries to eat her.  That same morning, Jenni opens a bedroom door to find her husband devouring their toddler son. 

Fate puts Jenni and Katie—total strangers—together in a pickup, fleeing the suddenly zombie-filled streets of the Texas city in which they live. Before the sun has set, they have become more than just friends and allies—they are bonded as tightly as any two people who have been to war together. 

During their cross-Texas odyssey to find and rescue Jenni’s oldest son, Jenni discovers the joy of watching a zombie’s head explode when she shoots its brains out. Katie learns that she’s a terrific tactician—and a pretty good shot. 

A chance encounter puts them on the road to an isolated, fortified town, besieged by zombies, where fewer than one hundred people cling to the shreds of civilization. 

It looks like the end of the world. But Katie and Jenni and many others will do whatever they have to to stay alive. Run, fight, pick each other up when they stumble, fall in love…anything is possible at the end of the world.

Kim's Review: This was the first zombie apocalypse book I've ever read, and I went into it expecting gore and blood and action left and right. There was some of that in this book, and the fighting scenes were the best parts. However, I was pretty unsatisfied overall. One thing that grabbed my attention in the first few chapters was the fact that one of the main characters and narrators, Katie, was queer. This surprised me a little just because I felt it was an interesting angle to take. Throughout the novel though, it becomes more of a romance, and ends up seeming more like a novelization of a Lifetime movie than a zombie apocalypse novel. A lot of things frustrated me, mostly regarding how the author handles Katie's character and her relationships. Nearly half the book is about Katie talking to others about her sexuality and relationships. There's a lot of conversation about "turning her straight" or assuming she is in a relationship with Jenni, the other main character, who repeatedly mentions she is straight. Personally, I thought too much time was focused on Katie's sexuality and relationships. There are zombies out there who want to eat your brains, and every other conversation is about who Katie's attracted to? Seriously? I doubt Frater meant for it to come across as offensive, but it seems more like she's trying too hard to make a statement than anything else. This irritated me so much throughout the book, I can write a whole other book about it.

The writing was really simple; if not for the sex scenes and gore, it feels like it could be a book for a sixth grader. Therefore, I was not really sucked into the book, and at times picking it up felt like a chore. I hardly even cared for the characters. The dialogue also seemed fake; some of the things the characters said just felt awkward, like nobody would say it in real life. Considering this is supposed to be an adult book, not even YA, the writing and plot were underwhelming.

Unless my school's Zombie Book Club makes me, I'm not planning on reading the sequel. I can probably predict what would happen anyways, sparing myself the dull characters and boring love triangles.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go ahead and comment!