Book Reviews: As the World Dies: Untold Tales by Rhiannon Frater—and a Giveaway

As the World Dies Untold Tales 1As the World Dies: Untold Tales Volume 1
Rhiannon Frater
Rhiannon Frater, July 2012
ISBN 978-1441440464
Trade Paperback

From the author—

THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country. But theirs is not the only tale to be told. In the first volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

Deep in the Texas Hill Country, a man and his little dog takes refuge in a bed and breakfast located in the hills above a doomed town where an infested rescue center might unleash the hungry undead…

On a deserted highway slicing through the desolation of West Texas, a woman struggles to survive as she faces the horrifying aftermath of the rise of the zombies…

And finally, discover what happens on the first day to Katie’s beloved wife, Lydia, as the world dies…

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I’ve never read the As the World Dies trilogy but I always like a good zombie story so I was delighted to have a chance to get an introduction to the trilogy through these collections of short stories and novellas. I’ve just finished the first and I must say I’m impressed.

In the first story, we meet Katie and Lydia and, in just a few brief moments, begin to understand what all the alarming news reports mean. The relationship between the two young women is heartwarming and I quickly grew to like them. is this the same Katie that stars in the trilogy? I’m not sure but I hope so because I want to get to know her better.

Monica…now this is a woman I can really appreciate, not afraid to do what has to be done without hesitation and I love her almost immediate acceptance that the zombies are real and that she has her cousin’s obsession with zombie movies to thank for her own survival. Her goal now is to reach Ashley Oaks, Texas, where she hopes to find her family but a chance meeting with Ramon might stop her in her tracks.

Eric’s story is a stark reminder of how isolated we would feel when, for whatever reason, we don’t have access to instant communication with the outside world. It’s bad enough when the cellphone gets lost or the cable gets cut off…imagine if you couldn’t find out what was happening even if, as in Eric’s case, the disconnection is self-imposed. Still, his intentions were good and I couldn’t help empathizing with him while I also wondered how he managed to become so controlled by the unpleasant Brandy. As the day unfolds, Eric will learn where his priorities must lie but, eventually, he’ll find others who are also trying to survive. Ashley Oaks is the haven he and Stacey will seek but they won’t make it without their stalwart companion, the loveable Pepe, who has a knack of sniffing out the zombies. I love all three of these characters and enjoyed my first introduction to Jenni as well as running into Katie again, if only briefly.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2013.

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As the World Dies Untold Tales 2As the World Dies: Untold Tales Volume 2
Rhiannon Frater
Rhiannon Frater, March 2012
ISBN 978-1470081362
Trade Paperback

From the author—

THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country. FIGHTING TO SURVIVE: AS THE WORLD DIES continued their story as the two women joined the members of the makeshift fort in Ashley Oaks in the fight for survival against not only zombies, but the evil designs of bandits.

But theirs is not the only tale to be told.

In the second volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

In a nearby town Ken and Lenore have started their regular routine at Ken’s Beauty Salon. A terrible accident brings the undead plague to their front door and soon the best friends are scrambling to escape their overrun town…

Katarina is just finishing her shift at a roadside café when a badly injured man stumbles through the front door. She quickly realizes that to survive she must learn to kill…

And finally, a trapped family must face the fearsome truth that sometimes zombies are not the worst monster they have to fear as the world dies…

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Katarina makes a living slogging through long, tiring days at a diner in Ashley Oaks but she had no idea what a bad day really was until the man came in. Her entire life has been one of bitterness and devoid of any happiness or love but even that is about to look very, very good. At last, Katarina will find her backbone…and a kind of freedom.

In “A Terrible Moment”, Debbie would rather indulge her unreasoning hatred destroy her entire family than find a way to escape this horrid new danger. She makes a choice that is incomprehensible and from which there is no return…and no salvation.

Small-town Texas proves to be no safer than the big cities around the country but what does turn out to be true is friendship. Lenore and Ken are as different as night and day and, yet, they have been comfortable with each other. Now, that comfort means everything to them, especially survival. Although there are times when any sane person would want to kick Ken to the curb, what with his endless whining and falling apaart, you still can’t help but like him. Along with Lenore and Ken, we also meet the kickbutt Tito and the indomitable Grandma but whether this little group will make it to safety is up for grabs.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2013.

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As the World Dies Untold Tales 3As the World Dies: Untold Tales Volume 3
Rhiannon Frater
Rhiannon Frater, June 2013
ISBN 978-1489517814
Trade Paperback

From the author—

In the third volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

Returning to Texas after celebrating his divorce in Vegas, Rune, a biker cursed with the ability to see ghosts, discovers that the world is being taken over by the hungry undead. Soon he realizes he will have to depend on all his abilities to survive not only the ravenous zombies, but the dangerous men lurking on the back roads of Texas.

Senator Paige Brightman abandoned the Madison Mall and its inhabitants to the hungry hordes, but her journey did not end there. Her attempt to reach the president’s safe haven called Central has far reaching ramifications for her and the people she abandoned.

The final in the three stories reveals the aftermath of the great battle in SIEGE as one woman faces the ultimate decision whether to live or die in a world of the undead.

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Rune is a man of honor, belying his appearance as a biker, and my heart broke for him at every turn while I became more and more admiring of him. An unusual communion with the ghosts of the innocent dead leads him on a path he would not have expected of himself and he finds his own kind of redemption.

Not everyone trying to survive in a zombie-filled world can be a sympathetic character; it wouldn’t be logical that only nice, honorable people would remain. Senator Paige Brightman is the perfect person you love to hate and her being a politician adds to the many reasons to want the worst for her. Her creation of a “distraction” during a harrowing escape is what she’s all about in a nutshell and I found myself urging the zombies on.

Emma Russell is an everywoman, struggling to make it on her own in this terrible new world. She’s another one who sees ghosts and they just may lead her to salvation.

Emma is my favorite character of all that are introduced in these three volumes but all have a place in my mind now. This has been the perfect way to gain entry into Ms. Frater’s zombie world and I’m looking forward to reading the full trilogy next. Zombie stories run the gamut from cheesy to enthralling and, having read these collections of shorts, I believe Ms. Frater has hit the enthralling end.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2013.

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About the Author

Rhiannon FraterRhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) , as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog),and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets).  She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

You can find her online at:

Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/astheworlddies
Twitter:  twitter.com/rhiannonfrater
Blog:  rhianonfrater.blogspot.com
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhiannonfrater/
Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com

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Giveaways!

(1) Leave a comment here for a chance to win an ebook copy of the
entire Untold Tales trilogy. The winning name will be drawn on the
evening of Monday, October 28th and the prize will be sent out
after November 11th. This drawing is open internationally.

(2) To enter the drawing for the Grand Prize, click on this Rafflecopter link.
Prizes: A bookmark, Untold Tales Volume 1-3 in paperback, and an
audiobook of Volume 3.
Open to residents of the US and Canada.

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