The First Days
TOR (335pp, $14.99, Paperback July 2011)
Reviewed by Beth Dawkins
The First Days lives up to its title. Opening with Jenni getting attacked by her own children pulls the reader right into it. Housewife Jenni witnesses her abusive husband chewing on their near infant son. Jenni flees while her older son stays behind to confront her zombie husband. By the time Katie enters the picture Jenni has barricaded herself on the porch. Katie hasn’t had the best of days. She went home to find her wife turned into a zombie, and has decided the best thing to do is to get out of town. She is trying to find her way out of the city when she comes across Jenni. Katie is there in the nick of time for Jenni, who is forced to make a mad dash for Katie’s truck. The two women form a bond with one another as they go out to rescue Jenni’s stepson, and find a safe haven in a small town to start rebuilding their lives.
This is the first installment of a trilogy, and a rerelease of an originally self-published title. The heart of the novel is about what happens to people during the zombie apocalypse. They have to come to grips with their loved ones turning into monsters, and the bleak future. The story is nothing new, yet it is done in a very compelling way. After Jenni and Katie set out to find Jenni’s stepson, they find themselves forced towards a town containing other survivors. The town of Shady Springs former construction crew has put together a perimeter fence that is keeping the zombie hordes out. It is in the town where the story slowed down. A lot of time is spent on what each character feels about certain situations, and how they come to decisions. The two lead men are introduced near the middle of the book, and once they enter the story a lot of time is spent on how each character feels. The narrative can at times slow the story down, but it is a character driven story.