October Releases

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Mesmerized Blog Tour - Guest Post + Review + Giveaway: The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater

Author: Rhiannon Frater
Format: Mobi
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Pages: 244
Publisher: Permuted Press
Genre: Horror/Post-Apocalyptic/Science Fiction

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Synopsis from Goodreads
It is silence, not screams of terror, which proclaims the end of the world… 
Minji Nordim is vacationing in Las Vegas with her small family when she witnesses the beginning of a terrifying apocalypse. When humanity is transformed into mindless drones by a terrifying supernatural event only Minji appears to be immune.
Thousands die instantly, but the other affected people are drawn to the Nevada desert. Nothing stands in the way of the mesmerized. Not fire, not heights, not rubble. As the bodies pile in the streets and the relentless wave of the mesmerized plods into the deadly desert, Minji is trapped in a burning city attempting to rescue her affected family.Can one woman save her family and the world? 



Apocalyptic Inspirations
Rhiannon Frater

I’m a child of the 1970s. I grew up terrified of Jaws, fascinated by Star Wars, enraptured by Close Encounters of the Third Kind and frightened of disasters, natural and otherwise (Towering Inferno, Earthquake, etc). I’m also a child of the Cold War, and in the 1980s a nuclear apocalypse felt very tangible and real. The television movie The Day After solidified my fears of nuclear war. It seemed inevitable that the human race was destined to be eradicated. In both fiction and real life, humans appeared very talented in imagining a variety ways to bring on apocalyptic destruction. My childhood dreams were filled with mushroom clouds and nuclear winter.

It wasn’t until I saw Night of the Living Dead that I discovered the thrill of an apocalypse that had no chance of happening. Therefore, the movie was fun and scary. It was then I realized I like my apocalyptic scenarios to be rooted in make believe, not reality. Since zombies, Godzilla, Xenomorphs (Alien films) and pod people are the stuff of fantasy, it allows me to be scared, question myself on what I would do, and enjoy the adventure aspect of a story without the nagging real life fear of nuclear winter, pandemics, natural disasters, etc.

Writing about fantastical apocalyptic events allows me to explore human behavior in a “safe” environment.

In The Mesmerized, a supernatural event takes over the world bit by bit and only a few are immune to its power. The minds of those affected are completely subsumed, making them nothing more than puppets with the loss of free will and awareness. This is terrifying to those few survivors who aren’t affected since there is no way to stop the mesmerized from self-destruction. Once an area falls under the event’s power, the mesmerized began a long trek toward the epicenter and nothing (including the Grand Canyon) deters them.

My main character, Minji, is faced with trying to save her husband and two small children. The stakes are high for her and she spends a lot of time trying to rescue them on her own. I wanted to explore motherhood, loyalty, and love against the framework of an apocalyptic event where the mother is the only one who might possibly save her children. How far will she go? What is she willing to do? How can she handle not only the emotional burden, but the physical one of trying to get her family to safety?

These are all questions that can be asked of any person surviving a real life disaster, but placing it against the backdrop of a supernatural apocalypse allows both me and the reader to enjoy the adventure aspect of the story, too.


    The Mesmerized is a story about a woman named Minji who is on vacation with her family. They are enjoying themselves in the city of Las Vegas. Things are going great when out of nowhere, an attack happens. Everyone is frozen by a massive headache and some people die instantly. No one knows what is going on, but it keeps happening and it is spreading. People are being controlled by something that is moving them in one direction. Minji's husband and daughter are among them. She must do anything to save them. Minji seems to be the only one that can since she is immune. That immunity, however, means more than she realizes.

     Woooooow!!! Now this is sci-fi horror. Oh my goodness, if this isn't turned into a movie, I have officially lost all faith in Hollywood (whatever is left anyway). I loved Minji in this book. Her strength is so immense. She is a regular woman who has been set on such a seemingly impossible path. I loved that she didn't crumble and lose it even when she wanted to. Her family means everything to her and she will do anything to protect them. She is more lucky than most and she knows it.

     I also enjoyed most of the side characters. Simone was a godsend. She is a business woman who also has a husband and kids. But she is far away from her family. I love that she jumps on in to help Minji with her baby, Bailey, and Ava who is affected. Jesse and Alec were great especially Alec. He is quite interesting. Things really pick up when he shows up. Then we have Arthur. Arthur is the guy you would want to avoid. If there is an apocalypse, he is the guy you never  have at your back because he will only watch his own. He drove me nuts. There are times when you feel sorry for him. You do understand his frustration. However, I get the feeling, apocalypse or not, he was always an a**hole. He was just a terrible excuse of a human being most of the time.

     The story was incredible. I loved the mystery. The idea that people are so mesmerized by something they can't see is so interesting. People are walking and they don't care how. They drop from buildings, walk straight into lakes, walk until their injuries or the environment kills them. They are essentially zombies. They don't eat people though. They just walk to their deaths. I loved where the mystery of this outbreak went. Uncovering it all was such a captivating experience. Frater didn't hold anything back. She has once again delivered a story that was easy to get lost in.

    Overall, this is one hell of a story. The build up may be slow for some people. I loved it though. The pacing added extra suspense for me. Frater really makes sure that you know her characters and what they are about. It is one of many things I love about her work. You get very emotionally attached to her characters very quickly. Her books have made me tear up in the past and this was no exception. The connection to Minji was so strong. You can't help but think about what you would do in her shoes. We also get a couple of chapters where we see other people going through the same thing as Minji. They were a bit random, but you will understand why they are there. Again, may be strange for some. Nonetheless, this was one of a terrifying story. Once you start it, you won't be able to stop. There is still some mystery left with this story and it would be great to get more. However, given how this ended, it would beyond insane. Not sure if I could handle that. This book is a must-read. Frater is one of my favorites and this is one of the reasons why. Highly recommended. 


*This book belongs to the following challenges*
The Book Vixen's 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


About Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater was born and raised a Texan. Though she has lived in various towns all over the state, she finally settled in Austin, Texas where she met her husband and worked as a governmental consultant. 
During her travels for her job, she was inspired to write the story of two women fleeing into the Texas Hill Country in an attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. Originally published as a serial online under the title AS THE WORLD DIES, she later self-published the series in three novels to satisfy the many fans of the story. The first novel in the series, THE FIRST DAYS, won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The second book, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE won the 2009 Dead Letter Award in the same category. 

The AS THE WORLD DIES books were purchased by Tor in 2010.The first book, THE FIRST DAYS, was released in July 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The second, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, was released on November 8, 2011. The third book, SIEGE, will be released in April 2012. 

She is also the author of THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS, PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES: A Vampire Novel and two novels in the Vampire Bride Series (THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE). All her works have been optioned for either TV or film.

Rhiannon continues to live in Austin, Texas with her husband and is now a full-time writer.
She is represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry Literary + Media agency. 

Follow Rhiannon Frater Here: 
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