106 of 138 people found the following review helpful
Great concept, poor execution...,
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This review is from: The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Walking Dead Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoy the Walking Dead franchise and have enjoyed other zombie apocalypse novels so I thought this has to be no-brainer for me to read. Instead it turned out to be a no-brainer... period. Even being a fan of WD I found this book painful. I can generally overlook a few mistakes assuming I can get into and follow an interesting plot line. But the mistakes were so many that I just couldn't get past them.
Firstly, the writing was awkward. It used a third-person, present tense that was difficult to read. The kind of tense that a middle-school student might use in their first attempt at fiction. The author, presumably an established horror writer, seemed to get stuck using the same expressions over and over. "Thunderstruck" was something that every character seemed to be at some point. How many times did the characters feel "gravitational forces suck" them back or forward in the car. Really? It's called inertia, even if you are trying to be poetic how many times can you use the same expression? The over-use of metaphor and simile were more than a little annoying, again reminding me of a juvenile author's first attempts.
Secondly, the characters were two-dimensional. I couldn't empathize with a single one of them. The humanity of the characters (at least the human ones) in the WD series is what makes it so compelling and enjoyable. It's not just about monsters, it's how people interact and deal with the cards they have been dealt. This story missed the mark. I understand this was supposed about the characters losing their humanity but they should have first started with some.
Finally, the facts, or lack thereof, were impossible to overlook. I will not get into all the problems in the story, the "Ford S-10" has already been mentioned in other reviews. As has the "high powered rifle/20 gauge shotgun" and the .22 caliber pistol that blows heads clean off. And using a radiator hose to siphon gas? Has the author ever tried this? I am willing to guess the answer is no. And I have boxes of cereal that have been in my pantry for longer than 6 weeks and they aren't crawling with worms quite yet.
Overall, I have to say that I was "thunderstuck" by the poor job on this one. It seemed as if it might have been rushed to press to capitalize on the Walking Dead franchise as quickly as possible. With little attention given to quality. It's as if the publisher was saying.. "it won't matter, people will love it anyway, lets just churn something out and grab the cash". Sadly, perhaps they were correct given the number of 5 star reviews. One reviewer wrote "I haven't read it yet but I am giving it 5 stars!" ????
I give it one star out of respect to Bob Kirkman (and because that's the minimum)... but please don't don't make this kind of writing the new status-quo. And please hire a good editor for the next installment.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 29, 2012 9:25:40 PM PDT
A. Ojeda says:
Could not agree more with you if I had written this review myself. I can't decide what is more depressing, that Bonansinga might be proud of this or that all those 5-star reviews come from people who actually enjoyed his writing. Kirkman deserves the respect given to him in the industry, but this piece of filth is beneath contempt and should be rewritten by him directly.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 10:45:10 AM PST
You're not reading War and Peace here guys. . .This was a novel about the origins of an infamous character in the Walking Dead series. I felt it answered many lingering questions and I enjoyed it for what it was. Now the 2nd installment of this novel series was far from great.
Posted on Jan 3, 2013 1:42:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 3, 2013 1:43:08 PM PST
Completely agree with you! I was only saying to a friend 'give it a go, but the tense and style of writing is horrible, and the use of simile is overbearing!'. It really does feel like a teenagers attempt at a novel and it does not feel edited in any way that must have been beneficial.
Posted on Feb 19, 2013 10:44:20 AM PST
Matt Benecke says:
I try not to be hyper-critical of novels at the risk of sounding like a literature snob...but the writing here is just awful. When it's simply a matter of creative choice, I keep my opinion to myself but this novel is rife with typographical errors and so many terrible writing conventions that it's affected my ability to enjoy it. I agree with the comment above that this isn't touted nor is it mean to be a pinnacle of literature...but it WAS, according to my paperback copy, a New York Times best seller. Seriously? With a half a page devoted to a list of things that rich people stereotypically keep in their kitchens or a never ending use of the word "and" to describe what was being made for breakfast? And that's saying nothing of the repetitive use of either the same character descriptors (fat, chubby, and sausage fingers for Bobby, and ropy for Philip for example) or the same hackneyed expressions like the aforementioned "gravitational forces."
To put it simply, I had low expectations for this going in and, so far, it hasn't even been able to meet THOSE.
Posted on Mar 16, 2013 2:09:50 PM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
Absolutely dreadful! And Preston, if you think the 2nd installment is worst than the first than I am really frightened. This is just crap!
Posted on Apr 12, 2013 7:12:26 PM PDT
Don't forget the Delta Force Marines when it come to errors. The writing in present tense was definitely awkward as well. It was enjoyable for a quick-read action book and had a few plot twists, but it certainly was not up to the quality of the writing that goes into the show.
Posted on Nov 1, 2013 1:26:16 PM PDT
Ela M. Morelock says:
Really? I don't read Kirkman for serious literary analysis!!!! I read him as I watch him, for entertainment. If I wanted to read something very elaborated, sophisticated or difficult to understand, I would never chose Kirkman. When I want literary challenges I can chose between many different writers. If I would really wanted to analyze something really complicated, I then would have to read Luis de Gongora y Argote, or Jorge Luis Borges, or Carlos Fuentes, or Diamela Eltit, or Milan Kundera, or............ so many other writers!!!! But, please don't take away the pleasure of reading just for pleasure. Let's enjoy light entertainment, we don't need to complicate everything.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2013 9:52:06 PM PST
I think that's what he's saying. He didn't enjoy it. Just because it's about zombies doesn't mean the writing doesn't matter. If the writing is poor, then it detracts from the enjoyment value, no matter the target audience, at least for some of us.
Posted on Mar 7, 2014 6:46:51 PM PST
Dana Conrad says:
You also forgot about the piss poor foreshadowing. He STATES the plot for the next chapter. Not "BlahBlah had no idea what was in store for him/her." It's "BlahBlah has no idea what's in store for him/her. Because behind that door was a gaggle of zombies waiting to rip his/her best friend from limb to limb, leaving him/her lonely and off kilter for months to come. She/he will barely make it out alive, and without any of his/her supplies." Why do I want to read the next chapter? You just wrote it out! It feels redundant now!
If no talent is required to write in this genre, I'm going to start right now.
Posted on Oct 3, 2014 5:52:33 PM PDT
Cap'n Crusty says:
I once made the observation that comic book writers write books with pictures because they're not very good at writing straight descriptive prose. I got soundly dissed (and sternly lectured on how comic books/graphic novels are "serious literature"...which of course was not the point I was making), but apparently, in this case at least, I was correct.
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