I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.As the World Dies Untold Tales by Rhiannon Frater
Source: the author
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Synopsis Volume 1:
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…Synopsis Volume 2: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…Synopsis Volume 3: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.
The End of an Era
Stories are demanding creatures. At least they are in my experience as a writer. They’re born out of the ether, fully formed and begging to be told. The characters chat away in the back of my head while I’m trying to do something else, distracting me at the worst of times. I catch vivid glimpses of these other universes when I fall asleep and wake up desperate to write down what I’ve seen. At times I feel completely haunted by the tales desperate to be told and harassed by their ever-present whisper in my mind. Stories harass me until they are fully told then fade away like wisps of smoke. Even if I were to try to grasp onto them to wrangle one last bit out of them, they elude me and vanish.
Stories can be such bitches.
Yet, I love being able to bring the worlds and characters to life in the mind’s eye theaters of my readers. It’s always wonderful to hear from the fans of the As The World Dies trilogy. They share their insights into characters, their favorite parts, and sometimes even chide me for character deaths. I’m always touched by how much the fans of the story love the characters. It means so much to me as a writer to know that people care so much for the story I have told.
The difficulty with writing down the stories that are born inside my head is figuring out exactly what information I should impart to the reader. What is important for the audience to know and what is superfluous. A lot of times there is a whole lot of additional information floating around in my head. As the writer, I have the inside scoop on the characters and the world-building. Oftentimes I have to find a way to impart the most important aspects of the back story without filling the book with information unnecessary to the main story arc.
The Untold Tales were written for the fans. They are my love letter to the people who had stood by the trilogy since its inception. There was a lot of additional information bouncing around inside my head that never made it into the original trilogy. Also, when the books were revised for the Tor editions, I removed some scenes and information that wasn’t important to the main story. These nuggets became the foundation for the Untold Tales.
The rules for the Untold Tales were simple:
- The story had to revolve around a character that did not have their back story revealed in the trilogy.
- The story had to add depth and clarity to the character.
Example One: Peggy tells about what happened to her on the first day of the rising, so this is not an untold tale. We know what happened to her.
Example Two: Katie knows her wife, Lydia, died on the first day, but does not know how it happened. How Lydia dies is an untold tale.
The final untold tale in Untold Tales Volume 3, Emma’s Story: The Fearless Zombie Killer was taken from the original epilogue of the online serial that I later excised and declared non-canon. Emma was always an important part of the As The World Dies universe in my mind, but I couldn’t find a way to bring her into the Tor version of the story. When I finished her story, I knew I was finally done writing in the As The World Dies universe.
I started writing As The World Dies in August of 2005. I finished writing Emma’s Story in 2013. After eight years in the world of Jenni and Katie and all their friends, finally and truly, I finally reached THE END.
How many times is Rhiannon Frater going to make me cry?! Her books always seem to break through my tough exterior and make me bawl like a little baby, and these Untold Tales were no exception. Do you think you can handle the Feels?
While the Untold Tales could easily stand alone, giving someone a quick zombie fix, I really think they worked well as a companion to the As The World Dies trilogy. The give the reader a whole new view to their favorite (or detested) characters. I really enjoyed getting to know Lenore and Ken better. It made their journey mean so much more to me. I didn’t care much about Eric, until reading his Untold Tale. Then there are the characters we had never met before like Tito and Emma. I can’t imagine the story being complete without them.
The short stories vary from a slower pace, to breakneck speed. There were parts where I had to take a break because there was literally no breathing room. There was a great variety to the whole sequence of tales, and it kept me insanely interested right until the end. And maybe even after… I’m going to be dreaming about these books for a long time to come!
One of my favorite aspects of these stories was the way characters made guest appearances in each other’s stories. You get a very clear image of how they all weave together, from beginning to end. They support each other, nobody left standing alone. It really shows how much thought Rhiannon has put into the overall story. She puts forward a very clear image, and by giving us the Untold Tales, she has filled in every possible gap from the trilogy.
While the trilogy is phenomenal on its own, I can’t imagine having read it without these stories. They made the story mean so much more to me, and made me cry that much harder. DAMN YOU, RHIANNON! I even cried in public!! *Oh, the shame*
One winner will get the complete Untold Tales series (Volume 1-3) in eBook format
Grand Prize: A bookmark, Untold Tales Volume 1-3 in paperback, and an audiobook of Volume 3 – Open to US/Can
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