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Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater

Picking up where The First Days ends, Fighting to Survive features the further zombie-killing, civilization-saving adventures of a pair of sexy, kick butt heroines and the men who love them.

A hundred or so survivors of the zombie plague have found tenuous safety in the walled off center of a small Texas town. Now the hard work of survival begins—finding enough food; creating safe, weather-resistant shelter; establishing laws; and fighting off both the undead who want to eat them and the living bandits who want to rob and kill them.

I’ve been looking forward to getting back with Jenni and Katie as they fight their way through zombie hoards and figure out their complicated lives, and I’m happy to say that Fighting to Survive is a superbly thrilling read! Frater has once again balanced the violence, gore and horror of a zombocalpyse with a strong sense of community within the Fort and heartwarming relationships between her major characters.

Having enjoyed reading about Katie in the last book, I found that this time around I still enjoyed her character but became a little weary at the way her sexuality is treated. I understand that perhaps in the small Texan town these things are considered of huge import, but it just became ridiculous the way that everyone had opinions of her sexuality and it became this big issue. And of course, after the Incident in the bathroom, it became an even bigger deal, apparently up for debate by everyone in the community. I believe Frater was trying to demonstrate how a largely heterosexual community reacts to someone who is homo- or bi- sexual, but the issue was dragged on for far too long, in my opinion.

Jenni changed so much in this book that I hardly recognised her. Suddenly confident in herself and no longer relying on the approval of others, she stopped being so clingy and just let Katie alone, which was nice. Their relationship became a lot more balanced once Juan came into the picture! I still really enjoy Jenni’s bond with her step-son because it’s so endearing to read. I similarly enjoyed reading from Travis’ point of view: he is incredibly dedicated to his community and to Katie, and I feel he is one of the more realistic characters in the trilogy. However, there are also a bunch of characters used in this book that I got bored with very quickly: the snobby rich couple who thought they should be in control of everything, the walking, talking stereotype of an African-American homosexual, the ignorant bigot who turns violent at the drop of a hat.

One of the most riveting sequences in the book is the clearing of the hotel, to create space for the residents of the Fort, and it’s done perfectly, managing to give me shivers and set my heart racing. Unlike the previous book, which dealt with Jenni and Katie running from the zombie hoards and finally finding sanctuary within the Fort, this book also deals with creating a functioning, positive community for the survivors.Laws and penalties have to be thought up, a governing structure has to be implemented and each member has to be held accountable for their actions. The main characters are very much present in all of these decisions, and it is nice to see them do something other than hunt and kill zombies (although there is plenty of that too!).

I am loving this series! It’s so brave and enthralling, with heart pounding action scenes and believable interactions between the characters. Frater’s As the World Ends series is a must read for all horror and zombie fans out there, but I also highly recommend it to readers looking for something new to read.

One comment on “Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this series but the fact that you find it thrilling is intriguing to me even though I’m not really a zombie-book fan!

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