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Frail Mass Market Paperback – 13 Sep 2012

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Mass Market Paperback, 13 Sep 2012
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A new and unique take on zombies (Ilona Andrews )

A thoughtful, poignant, and frightening book about the undead (Laurell K. Hamilton )

A nail-bitingly good Zombie romp . . . a cut above the rest (Amber Benson, Star Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer )

About the Author

Joan Frances Turner was born in Rhode Island and grew up in the Calumet region of northwest Indiana. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, she lives near the Indiana Dunes with her family and a garden full of spring onions and tiger lilies, weather permitting. She is author of Dust, which is also published by Penguin. Find Joan Frances at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Outrageously Great Book! 27 Aug. 2012
By AJ - Published on
Verified Purchase
As a college screenwriting instructor, I've never been a huge fan of Zombie stories, mostly because I find them silly and unrealistic. However, I was recommended "Frail" by a friend and was completely blown away. Ms. Turner's premise of zombies and how they come about seems very plausible. The zombie genre has definitely taken a huge leap forward. If Hollywood isn't all over these stories, I want to write the screenplay and get it produced!

Another reviewer wrote "Joan Turner does for Zombies what Anne Rice did for Vampires." I couldn't have said it better myself! These are not your usual "zombie" stories.

In Ms. Turner's first book, "Dust", the story is told by a young woman who becomes a zombie. The book is both heart-breaking and totally riveting. In "Frail" (The author's next book on zombies), the protagonist is a human who must live through a frightening new world where human life is short and dangerous. The discoveries the protagonists make in both books begs the question of what it is that makes us "Human." (There are good zombies and bad zombies.) The characters in both books are extremely well-developed. They have flaws as well as strengths, which makes them interesting and realistic.

I truly enjoyed both books and am hoping there's a sequel to "Frail."

If you haven't read either book, you are in for a treat.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Second in the trilogy, companion to Dust 1 Nov. 2011
By misplaced cajun - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Amy is one of the last living humans from Lepingville (same town Jessie is from in Dust) and she's decided it's time to move on. Traveling through the wasteland of neighboring towns on her way anywhere, she meets Lisa, an ex -- Lisa was human before the outbreak that turned everyone, human and zombie, into something other. Everyone but a handful of frails, those like Amy who were unaffected by the infection. Then Lisa and Amy are taken to a small town where exes are masters and frails have become all but slaves. The order of the world has been permanently swayed and Amy will have to cope if she is to survive. At least with an ex on her side, things are looking up a bit. But Amy is trailed by her own guilt and a creature that could be her imagination or something worse.

Frail takes place after DUST in the trilogy, but features a human protagonist.

It's hard to tell at this point just where the trilogy is headed. Like Jessie in DUST, Amy is kind of losing her mind and the narrative reflects this. There are some return characters from Dust as well. Lisa, of course, but some of Jessie's old gang, too. And it's unclear just why Lisa is keeping secrets from Jessie's old pals.

As zombie reads (and reads in general) go, this series is original and well thought out. There are some really great aspects in terms of the zombie lore and the experiments that caused the outbreak in the first place. The conflict between zombies and humans and then ex humans and ex zombies is interesting, obviously paralleling common us vs them themes. It'll be interesting to see who will return in book three and where the story will end.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Irish Banana Review 31 Oct. 2011
By Hannah @ The Irish Banana Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really just didn't think anything could shock me more than Dust (Book 1 in the trilogy), but I was clearly wrong. While Dust was told from a zombie's point of view, Frail ups the ante on the horror by showing how humans have fared in Joan Frances Turner's post zombie-apocalyptic world.

The story follows Amy, a frail (or regular human) as she tries to survive after an illness created a new breed of super humans/zombies that seem almost immortal. She bonds with Lisa, an ex who is struggling to hold onto her humanity. Their friendship is anything but simple and easy, and it was fascinating to see them working together.

My biggest issue with this book was that I just didn't connect with Amy, the narrator, the way I did with Jessie (narrator of Dust). Kind of odd since Jessie was a zombie, but I digress. I think the reason I connected more in book 1 is because the idea of a novel told entirely from the POV of a zombie was just so fresh and radical, I couldn't help but love it. The perspective of a human seemed somewhat dull in comparison.

This series is unique and fresh, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I recommend you check it out if you love horror, can stomach some unpleasant imagery (`cause there's a whole lot of that!), and are looking for a break in the storybook romances the YA genre is drowning in. This book is about fight and survival, and I cannot wait to see what Turner brings in book 3!
If you liked Dust.. 3 April 2014
By DoBot - Published on
Verified Purchase
A brave sequel ....I think people just wanted her to write Dust again...instead she tells her sisters story..immune to the virus and human in a world were the majority of humanity is dead or worse..A great sequel
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps you have to read book 1, Dust, first 14 Oct. 2013
By Reader Woman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I didn't read book 1, and didn't even realize that there was a book 1. I got this book because the premise was really interesting. Zombies who think, who remember who they were, who have lives, etc. And the book was pretty good with that. But there were many confusing parts.

There are 3 (4? this is what confused me) kinds of "people" here, humans (frails), exs (ex-humans), zombies (zombies), and, maybe specials, which I never quite got, because the last quarter of the book was hard to follow. Seems to me like the exs and zombies described are special, can't be killed, injured, may or may not eat people, and have super strength. The zombies are reconstituted as impossible to kill, no longer decaying, but once real old-fashioned dead zombie, zombies. The exs are never dead zombies, who seem to be very similar to the old style zombie, except they never died so never decayed, and don't stink, but can't talk clearly (whereas the real dead zombies can). The humans are humans, and the specials are what? Not clear. Dead, but now alive, so seem like dead zombies, but they aren't. And they can do bad things to the real zombies and exs, I think. But since this came at the end, it would be a spoiler to go further.

Didn't grasp The Labs, didn't know that Lisa (our main star ex) was a character from book 1 so since the narrator (human, frail) said she wasn't like other exes, I didn't and don't understand why, since I think she was the only ex in the book. But I can't be sure.

I really liked the idea, but since there was a lot missing, perhaps because I didn't read book 1, or perhaps because it was just missing. There was a lot of repetition, and what exactly happened in the end is not clear to me. But without posting a lot of spoilers, I can't spell it out.

I love zombie books, and this is a good new approach, so if you love them too, you might want to read it. But if you don't, don't start with this one. Maybe Dust, which I guess I need to get now.
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