Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: Siege (As the World Dies: A Zombie Trilogy #3) by Rhiannon Frater

As the survivors continue to seek stability in their lives, forces both inside and outside the fort walls move them toward a final, climactic conflict between the living and the dead. Jenni, Katie and the others discover that they are not alone, that there is another enclave of survivors whose leaders plan to take over the fort.

Faced with a series of difficult decisions, each choice they make could lead to the deaths of those they love or, if not careful, their own demise.

Meanwhile, an army of the dead is descending on the fort.  Soon, the living will face their ultimate fear......a siege by the dead.

But they will fight to the end to survive...

As the world dies.

Many, many thanks to Rhiannon Frater and TOR Publishing for providing the Siege ARC for review.

***As a disclaimer, I am trying to not use character names in parts of this review.  If I used names, this would be completely spoiled for you. ***

Review:  Heartbreaking and heartwarming.  Destiny and sacrifice.  Hope and despair.  Laughter and tears.  Death and new beginnings.  Human spirit and evil intentions.  

This conclusion to Rhiannon Frater's As the World Dies series has it all.  I admit freely that I cried like a baby during scenes in this book, and I was so very happy during others.  Rhiannon Frater excels at writing emotion into her characters, and she certainly goes above and beyond in this installment of her zombie trilogy.

This book opens with Jenni being reminded of the tiny fingers, of her own children, sliding beneath her front door on the First Day.  She is out on a mission with other survivors who are under attack by zombies.  Katie is back at the Fort, attempting to remain relevant to the safety of the group, even though she is in a delicate situation.  The rest of the survivors are trying to continue along with life in the new world, even trying to recreate the normalcy of the old world.  One of my favorite parts of that "normalcy" was the beauty shop the survivors opened.  Ken and Lenore became two of my favorite side characters in this book because of their beauty shop and the endearing way they bicker with one another.

While life at the Fort is going along better than expected, there is a massive event that changes the course of many lives.  Blanche Mann is back at it, and attempts to leave the fort with prisoners.  During the altercation, a main character is gravely injured.  This character is stabilized, but needs additional medical equipment and supplies.  To me, this was the turning point in this novel.  A group of survivors volunteer to make a supply run to a local hospital.  This is a risky proposition, since hospitals are nothing more than death traps.  All of the "infected" people went to hospitals during the first days, so the hospitals are full of zombies.  

The hospital mission is a success in the sense that all the needed medical supplies are found and make it back to the Fort.  It is also an incredible disaster, as a few beloved characters are killed, and a couple of others are captured by the military group that has a safe place in a Mall.  While at the Mall, the egomaniacal Senator in charge of the military base wants to claim the Fort, and she is completely ruthless in all ways.  She will do anything to achieve her objective, no matter who dies or is injured in the process.  There is a coup, and all hell breaks loose.  A few Fort survivors show up with the military to attempt a rescue of the Mall survivors.  This is the beginning of the saddest part of the book, in my opinion.

We lose a very important character, and it broke my heart.  The character death, and the resulting chapters that deal with the feelings of the survivors, was some of the most emotional writing I have read in ages.  I literally had to put this book down and walk away from it, so that I could continue reading with a clear mind.  

The ghosts of loved ones past are still visiting the survivors at the Forst.  Lydia makes another appearance, as well as a few other characters that have passed on.  One character in particular makes a big appearance and warns the Fort of impending danger.  I liked this aspect of the story.  There were ghosts, but Frater didn't make it a huge part of the book.  I think she used the ghosts in a minimal, yet effective, way.  

We finally discover the identity of the Vigilante.  I had a feeling who the Vigilante was, but the reveal was well done, and the character's change in behavior was something the reader hadn't seen before.  There were some very scary moments surrounding the Vigilante in this book when he attempts to kill more Fort survivors.

There is a siege of zombies at the end of this book.  Thousands of zombies are walking towards the Fort, and the Fort's defenses are not working.  There are some tense moments as the survivors decide how to deal with the siege of zombies.

One character that I have to mention, whom I grew to love, is Otis Calhoun.  He became my favorite side character, with his paranoia and crazy thoughts.  Otis obviously had some mental issues, but he brought a lightness to the storyline, and ended up playing the part of hero later in this book.

"What is it, Calhoun?" Travis couldn't help but smile at the sight of the old man, who was wearing some sort of weird hat with what looking like a miniature satellite dish on top.  "Is Nerit going to have the Amazons help us tomorrow?"  Travis grinned, then shook his head, "No, they're staying put on Paradise Island."  Calhoun frowned. "They don't live on Paradise Island." With a scornful look, Calhoun stalked off, muttering about Amazons not helping like decent women should.

The only remaining question I have about this book involves Jason.  It would be interesting to read more about these characters in the future.  There were many mentions of Jason being the "John Connor" of this group, and I'd be very interested in seeing how that plays out down the line.   

The ending of this book was bittersweet.  I think it wrapped up as nicely as can be expected.  There were several deaths, a lot of gore, and a lot of sadness.  Two deaths in particular bothered me even more than the main character death because they could have been avoided.  This is a world where death is expected.  Every day, all of these characters face death.   It's not a nice world.  In this world that Frater created, humankind is just as dangerous, if not more so, than the zombies.  However, the end of this book is full of hope for the future and small moments of happiness.  

I am so happy that I read this trilogy.  Although the premise of this story is a zombie infestation, the book is more about surviving than zombies.  It's about the human spirit and hope and relationships.  I am so sad that this ride is over, but am so glad that I was along for the ride.


kimba88 said...

I own book one and recently won a finished copy of Seige..I cannot wait to consume them..lovely review!

Lilly @ (LillysBookIsland) said...

happy you like it, sound like a good book I will make sure to check it out soon ... Great review :)

Jamie said...

Hope you like it as much as I did. It's a great finish to the series!

Rebecca said...

Okay okay okay. I give up. I'm putting these books in my budget for next month. How can I not? These reviews you've written literally have me on the edge of my seat, fingers itching to sell more of my stuff so that I can afford to buy them NOW before waiting to get paid!

interesting essay said...

Wow the review is quite interesting and looking very close to what there would be in the book...well I have already red many stuff of Rhiannon Frater and I find them really great reading trips indeed...just wanna grab this one also..!!!

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