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on July 18, 2013
If you're expecting the same thrill ride that you get with other zombie novels, you're going to be disappointed with this one. However, it is better than the first book in this series (The Rise of the Governor) and now that it's in paperback I think it's worth reading.

I realize some people are going to stop here, so here's a 5-star zombie novel that I found recommended in a WD Vol 18 review - Cryonic: A Zombie Novel.

If you do read Road to Woodbury, don't expect to be impressed by the writing. What you will enjoy is learning more of The Governor's backstory, as well as who helped him reach his exalted status. Though, to be honest, the book is more about life in Woodbury than it is The Road to Woodbury.

There are some emotional moments when characters are lost and that gives the book some merit. In addition to The Governor, the novel closely follows Lilly Caul as she struggles to survive the fall of Atlanta. I really enjoyed her moves from one encampment to the next, as my favorite part of zombie stories is surviving "the fall of man."

As you might expect, she ends up in Woodbury and I don't want to give anymore away, but let's just say not everyone will comply with The Governor's desires without question and possibly even rebellion.
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on December 23, 2012
My review is directed toward Mr. Kirkman and Mr. Bonansinga, in the hopes that they might find it as useful constructive criticism when they set out to write their next novel. This is a great story with lots of potential, but the writing style is awkward and overly verbose. The authors indulge in cliché metaphors and have a habit of substituting perfectly good descriptive words for replacements dug up from the depths of their thesaurus. I needed a dictionary on hand in order to read this book, which is a rare occurrence for me. It seems that the authors took every opportunity to replace a perfectly normal word with some completely obscure term, to little effect. In many cases, these substitutions resulted in descriptions that were factually inaccurate. One example is the use of the term "Doppler echo" to describe a sound heard by the passengers inside a vehicle. The Doppler effect is only perceived by stationary listeners hearing a moving sound source (or vice versa), NOT those moving along with the sound source... and there is no echo associated with this phenomenon at all. This is a nitpick, I admit, but it just goes to show that the authors (or perhaps the editors) went out of their way to use "grown up words" when they obviously had no idea what they were talking about. The result is that the book feels sloppy and unprofessional. Listen, guys... Just write the story, OK? I am already hooked by the awesome character dramas you have unfolding in this bleak apocalyptic world. I love the comic. I love the show. Just tell me a story. You gain nothing by shoehorning in some obscure vocabulary just for the sake of looking smart. Stop being unnecessarily verbose and focus that energy instead on telling a compelling narrative.
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on June 29, 2013
Having been given this book as a gift, I wasn't aware of its existence or that of the previous book prior to reading it. However, I've been a fan of "the undead" stories since " Night of The Living Dead" came out.

After reading "The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury", I found it difficult to believe that it is printed by an actual big publishing house. It reads more like some high school creative writing project, totally lacking in research and originality. The present tense, the poor grammar, the use of unnecessary twenty-dollar words, the use of slang, and yes, even incorrect use of homophones which throw off the rhythm , made this appear to have been edited by spell-check alone. And not only is the book packed full of obscure adjectives, but also words that are used inappropriately. It doesn't even make sense. The characters are flat, the story is weak, and the plot is nonexistent.

I read a few other reviews which talk about the author's lack of experience or familiarity with the military (which I heartily agree) and Georgia's geography, fauna, and crops, so I'd like to throw in his apparently limited knowledge of injury and the nature of fire. Florets of tissue coming from a bullet wound? A machine gun that disintegrates a body? A house fire that doesn't generate radiant heat? (A modern house fire will generate a massive plume of black smoke which rises over a thousand feet into the air.) I'm guessing the writers did their research on these subjects by watching old B grade movies.
There's the "this character looks like this celebrity" bit found in teen writing, and the plotless stream of activity shows the book to be less a story and more just a prop for some splashy scenes. Seriously, the writers cannot even build tension in a scene, they have to tell you the scene is tense.

Honestly, the only reason I finished reading this tripe is because it was a gift, otherwise I'd have dropped it in the trash can where it belongs. This book is just plain stupid.

It seems that as difficult as it is for good writers to get into the publishing business, a publishing house might actually read the book they're publishing before they pee on themselves over the sales potentials.

As I'm writing this review I realize that St. Martin's Press must absolutely believe that readers are complete morons. Then again, I kind of feel like a moron for having finished it.
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on March 2, 2014
Presumably any book part of the Walking Dead franchise will be published and will attract hordes of zombie loving readers even if it is as shoddy as this book. Admittedly I normally don’t read books even close to this genre, but since I enjoyed the TV series I thought I’d see what the books were like. The first volume (Rise of the Governor) was fun and had a good twist in the end so I moved on to the next. I am not expecting great writing, but with this second volume there is a steep plummet in every respect. I have read few books with such low standards. It is an assault of cliches, of tired plot, of uninteresting characters and of writing that plods along zombie-like in its lack of creativity (how many times are we really going to have to read the word “ragtag”?), but also of editing. I was blown away by the high school level mistakes and that books are clearly not read by editors anymore before being published. Here is a sampling of some of the most egregious errors that left me shocked: “Portions of the barricade still bare the scars of the recent walker attacks (p.122)” And then AGAIN only TWO pages later: “The crumbling plaster walls bare the scars of violence.” (p.124) Later a less blatant error, but one that should be caught by any editor: “...reduced to a mewling, squealing head of stock in a slaughterhouse, rendered by the jagged teeth and nails of the dead.” Maybe that should be “rended”? (p.214) I give it two stars only because I finished it, compelled by enough curiosity to see how it would end. Given the downward trend I don’t think I’ll be able to “bare” the third volume.
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on November 16, 2013
I really enjoy post-apocalyptic movies and books and such and so I've gotten into AMC's series, The Walking Dead. This has lead me to start buying comic books - for the first time in my life - and I've picked up two novels now from my local public library. The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury is the second in a trilogy that follows the post-zombie outbreak life of the series' super villain, The Governor.

This novel follows another band of survivors and how they end up meeting the Governor and staying in Woodbury. The little town is in its beginning stages and starting to set up a lot of the infrastructure and dictatorship laws. It is weird that they seem to have an unlimited supply of gas for their generators and running water for days, but this is still early in the apocalypse, so maybe they are emptying underground tanks from the local Chevron station and slowly emptying the small town's unusually large water tower.

In total, this book is terrible. Straight terrible. The characters don't develop, the conflict is imagined, the tension is created out of convenience not plot. At times the book tries to be a story of survival then it takes a sharp turn into existential political philosophy and critique. Then it tries to be emotional and takes a gross turn into erotica. The book has no established beginning and has no relevant ending. It's like the authors thought up some interesting scenes, wrote them on note cards, shuffled the deck, and made a book.

I got this from the local library and I can't decide if I should be glad I didn't pay for it, or upset that my tax dollars did.

Either way, I'm glad the book is written at the level of a first grader because that makes it an easy read and the suffering ends quickly. Moral of the story...stick to what you are good at - comic books writers can do movies, but not novels.
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on June 7, 2013
I read the Rise of the Governor and thought it was very well written. I enjoyed reading it and found it easy to read.

I got this book as birthday present and got to page 88 - it is missing pages 89 - 120. It goes from page 121 -151 then back to 120 -277. There's no pages torn out, just seems to be missing all of those pages. Amazon has been very helpful and is sending me another one, but it's not just that.

They have gone out of their way to use a thesaurus on every word possible. I have an understanding of the words mean, of course there is context, but there's no need to use large words so often. I also hated how often they are using a character's full name. In 88 pages they have used 3 characters full names when referencing them. I already know who they are, once was enough!

I fully intend on finishing this book, but I hope it ends better than it began. I suggest reading the first one, but stay away from this book.
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on June 23, 2013
This book exemplifies The Walking Dead. It should have had a bullet put through its head and set afire. The writing is SO bad it hurts to read. What hurts even more is that I paid good money for it. Unless you're desperate for a Walker fix as I was - don't waste your money.
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on January 6, 2013
I'm a big fan of the television series. I haven't started reading the comics yet, but based on what I know about them, it seems to me that this book was written in haste to capitalize on the popularity of the francise. The character development was decrepit, and the story arc was slapdash. I would have expected a more layered narrative, and more involved internal dialogue illuminating the motivations of the characters. The governer was especially a disappointment. Having read The Rise of the Governor (It had its moments, but was also disappointing), I found his sudden shift from traumatized victim to over-bearing sociopath to be beyond ridiculous. Unless I'm missing another book that explores his transformation during his consolidation of Woodbury, I don't believe this series is a worthy addition to The Walking Dead mythology.
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on October 22, 2015
If you want to know the back story to the Governor, who is REALLY is and what he's all about (I was SHOCKED), this is awesome. It was a tad amusing that literally every single word that could be used for 'skull' was indeed used. Sometimes 2 to 3 a sentence or 5 sentences in a row, each one a different synonym. But hey, what are you to do, you can't keep saying "I punched his skull, then I stabbed his skull, his skull exploded". But I feel like every TWD fan needs to read this. It will make you feel differently about the Governor and it's cool to know who he really is!
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on June 10, 2013
First book was good this one not so. As much as first book captured the feeling of survival, desolate surroundings and horror of the zombies this one failed in each aspect. The story of the Governor continues with much slower pace and focus on Woodbury and its population but the accent is on the group of people that ended up in Woodbury after escape from Atlanta.
Throughout the book there were some interesting parts but that's about it. For the fan of the series, it should be good enough to go through it but for the others, not so sure.
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