Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies: A Zombie Trilogy #2) by Rhiannon Frater

Katie and Jenni have found new lives with the survivors of their makeshift fort, but danger still lurks. Nothing is easy in the new world where the dead walk and every day is a struggle to keep safe. As the elements, bandits, and the zombie horde threaten their safe haven, Jenni and Katie join the other survivors in fighting to survive as the world dies.

In a world full of death, life was something to embrace.

Review:  Fighting to Survive is the continuation of the horror-filled world overrun with zombies.  Katie, Jenni, Travis, Juan and the rest of the survivors are trying to figure out how to survive in this new and brutal world.  The survivors are attempting to make themselves more comfortable, to find and stockpile food, and to rescue any remaining survivors in the land nearby.  This book is fraught with gory zombie attacks, bandit attacks and the never-ending fear that people now must live with.  And to make things even more emotional, Katie and Travis, and Jenni and Juan are both officially couples, and the worry they have for one another is palpable.  But there are jobs to do, and all the survivors understand this.

The beginning of this book opens with the survivors attempting to reclaim the hotel that is in their town.  This is not an easy job.  There are zombies locked in the hotel, and the entire space has to be searched for any dangers.  All zombies must be disposed of if the survivors are to move into the hotel.  There is a long scene concerning the takeover of the hotel.  There are deaths and there are many, many flesh hungry zombies.  There is a heart-pounding scene that involves Jenni that had me tearing through the pages.  Jenni becomes trapped in an unbelievable scenario that had tears in my eyes wondering how the scene would turn out.  

Nerit really takes center stage in this novel as a leader.  She is a cold-blooded sniper, who will always do what is best for the group, not matter which individual is hurt in the process.  She becomes the military leader of the survivors, as well as a teacher and a very close friend to some of the survivors.  Nerit has the ability to plan ahead and to have backup plans for when things go awry.  She is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Once the survivors reclaim the hotel, there is some peace for a while in the Fort.  Everyone has their own room and bathroom, and just a tiny bit of normalcy comes along with the hotel.  To celebrate the annexation of the hotel, the survivors hold a party, mostly for survivor morale.  There is an intense scene with Katie at this party.  I'm not going to spoil it, but it was very uncomfortable for me to read, and I literally wanted to kill one of the survivors.  As it turns out, in continuing with a plot point from the previous book, there is a vigilante in the midst of the survivors.  In The First Days, an unsavory character was dropped over the fort walls and fed to the zombie hoard.  In Fighting to Survive, a couple of survivor outcasts are sabatoged and left for dead.  So in addition to their survival, the Fort residents have to worry about one of their own being a vigilante.

The survivors continue with food scavenging and rescue runs throughout this book.  On a supply recovery mission, a new threat becomes much more dangerous than it was previously.  There are bandits.   Well-organized and intelligent bandits that are attempting to take over the Fort.  These bandits are the lowest of the low - they steal, rape, kill - anything to get what they want.  It becomes clear in this book that there are worse things our there in the world than the flesh hungry zombies.

After the immediate threats are taken care of, this book ends with a mysterious couple of people spying on the Fort.  I can't wait to read more about these folks and how they will affect the survivors.

Rhiannon Frater writes this book with a constant threat of fear.  I was, again, on the edge of my seat, rooting for these survivors.  I was so very sad when some characters died, and I was cheering for others that made it out of situations alive.  I've grown very fond of the five main characters in this series, Katie, Jenni, Travis, Juan and Nerit.  This book is written not only with fear, but with all sorts of emotions.  When Jenni begins thinking about her old life, I had tears in my eyes.  Those "little fingers" still get to me.  

Jenni is still considered crazy.  As clarified by the author, Jenni is mentally ill.  She was a battered housewife with extremely low self-esteem.  She saw her boys become zombies and try to eat her.  She went from living a life full of horrors at home, to a life full of horrors all around her.  It's no wonder she's acclimated better to the zombie threat than other characters.  To me Jenni is one of, if not the strongest characters in this series.  Nerit pretty much sums it up when she contemplates:

When they'd first met, Jenni had seemed to be on the edge of a breakdown, but somehow she'd pulled away from it.  Yes, she was still a bit crazy at times, but Nerit had a feeling that it was what kept her going.  But then again, weren't they all crazy?

This book was more developed than The First Days, and like the first book in this series, it's very well written and full of horror.  I can't wait to read the final installment to this series, Siege.

On a personal note, I have to give props to Rhiannon Frater with her University of Texas (my alma mater) shout outs throughout this book.  From the University to Sixth Street references, this was a very authentic take on central Texas.

"Got two sons up in College Station, going to Texas A&M."
"Aggies," Felix muttered with the disdain only a Longhorn from the University of Texas could muster.

Reading order of As the World Dies:  A Zombie Trilogy 
1.  The First Days
2.  Fighting to Survive
3.  Siege 


Braine @ Talk Supe said...

This sounds fun although I must admit Zombies aren't really my thing. All those brain eating and decaying bodies terrify me. I know I'm a sissy. I'm limited to reading Manga along with my son but at times I annoy him because I laugh at the wrong moments. LOL good one Jamie

Jamie said...

Thanks, Braine. I have to admit that zombies weren't my thing, either. But I'd heard so many good things about this series, that I HAD to check it out, and I'm so happy that I did. One of the main characters in this book is one of my all-time favorite heroines. And there isn't a lot of brain eating - just fighting to survive and getting away from the zombies.

Rebecca said...

Great review and you've totally got me wanting to go over my book buying limit next month to buy this series. It seriously might happen. If it does it's all your fault!!!

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