Happy Halloween to all of you guys! And I decided that since it's Halloween, I might as well do a review about this certain zombie trilogy that I've read not-so-long ago. Sorry for the lack of Synopsis, as I couldn't find a reliable one at the net.
I'm a big zombie fan. Period. There is something about these mindless, excruciatingly slow, flesh-eating but lethal creatures that scares the hell out of me. I mean, sure, ghosts are scarier for me but zombies never fail to give me an adrenaline rush everytime I read, watch or hear about them. So that explains why, aside from reading romance, historical fiction, chick-lit and YA novels, I also make it a point to check out zombie novels. I've read The Zombie Survival Guide and The World War Z by Max Brooks and I enjoyed both of them.
But it's about time that I need to replenish my bookshelf with another zombie novel. And this one caught my attention.
As The World Dies is a zombie trilogy written by newcomer Rhiannon Frater. Both the first and second installment of the book won the Dead Letter Award for Best Zombie Novel of the Year. And because of such acclaims, I have high expectations for the trilogy.
As The World Dies tells the story of two women named Jenni and Katie who banded together to survive the onslaught of the zombie apocalypse. It's Thelma and Louise meets The Walking Dead, in my opinion.
The plot didn't disappoint me. It's full of action and gore, which I look for in a zombie novel. But the quality of the writing is subpar. The redundancies present in the paragraph were kind of annoying, but you shouldn't really expect much from a novel that was only self-published. Maybe it was wrong of me to expect highly from the author, since it was her first time to write a book. Going back to the redundancies, here's a few snippet from the opening scene:
So very, very small.
The fingers pressed under the front door of her home were so very small. She could not stop staring at those baby fingers straining desperately to reach her as she stood trembling on the porch. The cool, morning air lightly puffed out her pink nightgown. Her pale fingers clutched the thin bathrobe tightly closed at her throat as she continued to stare at the child's hand grasping in her direction.
I knew we needed weather stripping, she thought vaguely. Texas weather could change so fast and this early March morning was crisp.
The gap under the front door was far too large. These new modern homes looked so fancy, but were actually not very well built. If they had bought the nice Victorian she had wanted there wouldn't be a gap under the front door. A gap large enough for that little hand to slide underneath.
The tiny fingers clawed desperately under the edge of the door.
The banging from inside the house had reached a steady staccato. It had a rhythm now, as did the grunts and groans. The sound terrified her. But what was truly horrible were those tiny, desperate fingers pressed under the front door of her home.
Straining to reach her.
Her voice caught in her throat as blood began to trickle out from beneath the door."
I felt that there was too much 'door' word for me but nonetheless, the opening scene started off with a bang! As a reader who imagines the story on her head, I didn't have a hard time making a movie out of it.
However, Jenni, one of the main characters, was very, very annoying! Yes, I understand that she's a battered, friendless, trophy wife but her dialogues were waaay too amateurish. I felt like she was always trying to do that 'baby talk' for the sake of being cute, which definitely, isn't by the way. And not to mention, flirting with their uber hot rescuer not less than a week right after witnessing her own children die! Wow. Seriously. Wow. Shouldn't she give herself a little more time to grieve from the death of her sons rather than flirting like she's a horny high schooler? That, for me, isn't very realistic at all! I also find myself rolling my eyes a lot of times when in just less than a day after the zombie apocalypse started, Jenni has developed this uncanny ability to shoot zombies point black in the head. An ability that takes sharpshooters and skilled marksmen years to develop.
On the other hand, Katie sucks less. She's way more mature than Jenni in terms of both thinking and action. But almost everything that were written about her was her sexuality. Also, it didn't make any sense to me that Katie decided to keep her real sexuality a secret and entrust it to a 12-year-old, very moody teenager, which happens to be Jenni's stepson. I mean, what was really wrong in admitting that you're actually a bisexual and not a lesbian? Right? Right?
But you know what? Jenni and Katie were the characters that I don't really mind dying. Sure, they were the heroines of the story but I felt that the sub-characters were much stronger than the main ones.
All in all, I recommend this novel for the zombie enthusiasts out there who are looking for a 'guilty pleasure' read.