Read this review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/09/first-days-fantastic-zombie-apocalyptic.htmlHoly smokes! This book was a wild ride of awesome. I knew from the very start that this book would deliver because the very opening chapter sucks you in with a very gripping, horrifying scene. Let me preface by saying that this book is not for the faint of heart, and this very first scene may be extremely disturbing to some. But for me, a twisted, gore-lovin’, sicko – this scene spoke volumes for the disturbing story ahead. I was pleased to read a post-apocalyptic zombie book that was character-driven. This book reminds me a lot of The Walking Dead, with the heavy emphasis on survival and character relationships, and a healthy dose of zombie terror.I enjoyed examining the two leading ladies, Katie and Jenni. It was interesting to experience how each lady dealt with Hell on earth, and more importantly, how their situation changes them. Jenni goes through the biggest transformation, and while it might seem confusing and irritating to some, all I could think of was the serious psychological symptomology. She starts out in severe shock over the demise of her family and ends up a gun-wielding, back-up-so-I-can-have-a-clear-shot-of-that-zombie-kid wack-a-doo. It was easy to laugh at Jenni, but for me, I just wanted to give her a big hug. She was obviously maladapting to her environment but she was in survival mode, and honestly, who knows how someone would act in this situation! I think we’d all be a bit nuts.While this book is pretty serious throughout, the author threw us some laughs at just the right moments. Later in the story, you meet Juan, who really shines with his funny personality. My favorite scenes involve Juan and his light-hearted, inappropriate comments.“Katie is a lesbian, but I don’t think---““No, no, dude, they’re together. Everyone knows it.” Juan grinned and nudged him with his elbow. “Too bad they don’t like guys. Maybe they’d invite one of us to have fun, you know, if they liked the ol’ man meat.”Travis gave Juan a long look. “Man meat? Really?”Juan is known as the local zombie expert because he’s read The Zombie Survival Guide a few dozen times. Juan soon realizes, in humorous ways, that maybe he doesn’t know as much as he thought.“They’re breaking all the fucking zombie rules!”All the secondary characters were glorious and each played an important role in the progression of the story. Jack the German Sheppard made my heart sing with joy. I really loved that the author made him a prominent fixture in the lives of her characters, as his companionship was much needed. Of course there is romance, and while I could have done without it, it didn’t take away from my love of this insane journey of survival and rebuilding.