Review: Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater

Fighting to Survive Rhiannon FraterFighting to Survive

Author: Rhiannon Frater
Tor Books
Publish Date: November 8th, 2011
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5 Zombies

Synopsis: 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. – Goodreads

Review: Like the first book in this series, Fighting to Survive focuses more on the act of surviving the zombie apocalypse (no easy task) then on an overarching plot. There are plenty of smaller story-lines that bring all of the characters together and go a long way towards keeping readers invested and the action nonstop, the zombies do the rest of the work.

The first chunk of the book focused on the massive task of clearing the undead out of the local hotel so that the survivors could relocate and enjoy a bit more luxury and privacy. Every floor brought its own challenges and the plan definitely didn’t go down without a lot of things going horribly, horribly wrong. There are close calls for everyone and not even the best characters are guarenteed to make it out in the end. I felt like I had a fist wrapped around my heart throughout this entire part of the book.

We’re also once again faced with the vigilante who had decided to take the forts justice into his/her own hands. This seems to the one of the few plot points (not relating to character relationships) that will carry through the entire series and I’m not sure how I feel about how it’s being handled. I’m kind of hoping it’s an established character and the reveal will be this epic, shocking moment, but at the same time I don’t think there are very many characters whose reveal would actually shock me. We’ll see.

The characters continue to be the driving force in what makes these books so fantastic. The scars of the incredibly traumatic first days still live on for everyone which makes everything else seem that much more real. Just because your children being eaten alive by their father in front of you happened in book one definitely doesn’t mean you’re over it by book two. Progress is made though and all of the main characters are slowly making peace with their new lives in their own way. Of course, the relationship between Katie and Jenni is still the highlight of the book and it’ll give you a case of the warm and fuzzies seeing how they are still a source of strength for each other.

While the overall tone and style is the same, Fighting to Survive is still a different kind of book reading experience than book 1. Everyone is now faced with the challenges of starting a new society, in addition to surviving the zombie threats that seem to just keep coming. The politics of the fort get really juicy and more than a little complicated and that makes for a great read. You know, just in case I haven’t mentioned yet that I’m really enjoying this series.

There are ups and downs throughout this entire book and it’s the emotional roller-coaster that is really going to get you hooked.

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