January 20, 2013
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
So I'm only partially familiar with the Walking Dead universe. I've seen the first season of the tv show, and that's about it. This was my first introduction to the Walking Dead in written form. And I have to say, it was well done. Gruesome, but exciting.
With the Biters (zombies) taking over the United States, a small band comprised of Philip, his brother Brian, Nick, Penny (Philip's young daughter) and another buddy are on their own trying to survive. Hearing about a safepoint in Atlanta, they begin an excruciating journey to get there only to find that the city has been taken over by Biters and there are few normal humans left. And everybody is out for themselves, as things get worse and worse, sanity gets hard to hold on to.
Philip is a pretty compelling character. He's smart but neurotic and he has a mean streak he can't seem to control. His greatest love is for his daughter and when he gets into a rage, even she disappears from his view sometimes. You're never sure what's going to happen with him, which is thrilling and scary at the same time. Brian, his brother, is more of a wimp. He's the heart of the operation, and he seems to genuinely care for his family, but as he follows along he doesn't add much to the group. Even his musings on the cause of the zombies doesn't get far. And Nick, well in the beginning he's normal, but turns into somewhat of a religious zealot and becomes nearly as unbalanced as Philip. The zombies aren't actually described as much aside from their rotting and want of flesh, but that's to be expected, they aren't exactly human and capable of emotion anymore.
For a plot I think it was pretty exciting. They're in danger at every turn and having to carry around a little girl who's father is unstable adds a whole new element to the story. I'm not familiar with the character of the Governor, but if this is his back-story, he must be a pretty warped individual. This book definitely kept me reading because I wanted to see who would survive and what would happen to them. And surviving was tough, with all the blood, gore, and even rape in this book it's a rough read. The TV show is just as bad, but there is so much violence in this book I had to look away from it at times and give my head a little break. It's not for those people who have weak stomachs. My only complaint would be, that despite being over 300 pages, this book just felt rushed. They were constantly hurrying around and there wasn't much in the way of meaningful dialogue because of it. It was mostly just action scenes.
A good book, and because of this one I'll probably check out the others in the series. And I might return to the TV show to see what happens after the first season. As gruesome as it is, it makes you root for human survival.
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor