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on March 8, 2017
Rise Of The Governor is the first book in The Walking Dead : The Governor series! Brothers, Brian & Phillip, Phillip's young daughter Penny and two high school friends of Phillips, Bobby & Nick are left to fend for themselves during the start of the zombie apocalypse. As they find a house to hole up in, a series of unfortunate events happen that leaves Bobby dead and the other wanting to get to Atlanta to the supposed safe area. Once they get to Atlanta, nothing is what it seems there.

As they fight through the zombie herds and they realize that Atlanta is not safe, they happen to stumble upon another group of survivors. After Phillip makes a huge mistake, they are forced out once again to find yet another safe spot. It takes a raid by other survivors on the farmhouse they find for the events that lead up to Brian becoming the Governor!

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Granted, I totally love the Walking Dead world but this one was a fantastic start to how the Governor came to be in the show! You can see how a weak person like Brian was in the beginning that made him be the strong man by the end of this book for what happened to him and the group. If you are a total Walking Dead nerd like myself, you need to read this series that shows what happened long before Woodbury!

Thank You to Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga for starting this novel series that ties in to the greatest show on TV right now!!

This book came from my own personal Library!
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on August 15, 2015
If you are a fan of The Walking Dead TV show (or the comic, really), these books are a lot of fun. This one was quite interesting to me because I really wanted to know more about the Governor, and this books shows us just how he became who he is. It reads easily and has some nice twists. In my opinion Rober Kirkman is a genius. If his name is attached, I know I am in for a fun and yet simultaneously poignant ride. I've seen every episode of the show, read every comic book issue, and have a fair amount of the toys. The Rise of the Governor (and the books that follow) fit very nicely into the Walking Dead universe. If you are a fan, I'd certainly suggest at least giving it a shot. I personally had a great time reading it.
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on September 26, 2017
I may be in the minority by giving it a 5/5, but I did think it was amazing. It's a much-needed backstory to one of the most fearsome villains in the Walking Dead universe. I read this before seeing the comics, so I was at first surprised to see how different this Governor was from the show version, which I like better. That said, this book sucked me in from the first page. It's good, classic zombie fiction, with plenty of gore and mayhem. The characters are compelling and make me care about their arcs.
As for plot, it the usual Road plot, where the characters have to run in search of shelter. It moves them toward Woodbury in a logical way. There are graphic bits, of course, but I want that in this kind of book, especially since it's TWD.
The style of writing actually influenced how I write my novels. So yes, you can say I liked this book. The ending is the best part.
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on January 5, 2014
It took me nearly a year to sludge through the barren wasteland that is Bonansinga's first of Kirkman's novel "trilogy." I'd start and stop, restart and stop, and finally... after the release of the most recent novel (Fall of the Governor: Part One), I decided to finally put my mind to finishing these once and for all.

Part One, appropriately titled "The Hollow Men", is more telling than the novel is itself. The first section is full of every possible description of splattering a brain. It's hard to read. Not because it's all that graphic, but because it's written by someone who has no grasp of word flow or writing in general. It's a mouthful. If the book was edited and all of the useless, agonizing metaphors and similes were removed, the book would be a good 40 - 70 pages shorter. We have no reason to care for the Blakes (other than our previous knowledge through other media) and we definitely have no reason to care for the hollow, two dimensional cannon fodder that surround them.

Part Two is where things pick up. The metaphors almost vanish and fans of the show may feel a little more at home with the plot. Without spoiling too much, if you enjoyed the mini-arc displayed in the season 4 episode, "Live Bait", you'll have no problem understanding what the poor writing is trying to convey. The Chalmers family is a breath of fresh air in this wordy book. Arguably, the show did a much better job at consolidating and moving this arc along in a way that feels less contrived.

The conclusion isn't satisfying. Characters change motivations through unreal circumstances and become totally unrecognizable by the end. However, the final two parts of the novel are the most satisfying. As much as that contradicts itself, it's the only thing that truly makes sense here. The beginning doesn't hook you at all. The ending "plot twist" is ridiculous and it doesn't make sense. It's 300+ pages of misdirection. It's a slap in the face and not in the "oh, you're so clever" way. Brian is a weak, useless character. You see no growth in him at all. As a reader, you're focused on the evolution of Philip himself (and boy, he changes alright). By the time you reach the ending, (presumably contrived for the sole purpose of shock value) it all just falls flat.

Seeing familiar faces near the end from both the comic and show is a nice treat and a nice setup for things to come. However, with a beginning like this, it's hard to imagine that I'll enjoy the remaining novels in the series. The show does a far better job at conveying the same story arc (and in less time than it takes to navigate the murky prose of this novel).

The plot itself isn't a bad one. That probably came from Kirkman's outline. The superfluous descriptions and the try-hard metaphors lead me to believe that a thesaurus is Bonansinga's best friend. I found myself scanning pages towards the end to find significant plot details. We'll spend chapters talking about unnecessary information yet only allow two short, staccato sentences for a major character death.

Overall, this book is one of the hardest I've ever read. It doesn't flow as well as the gray matter does from a temporal lobe. If you're a fan of the TV series or comic, you'd be better off reading a summary of the major plot details on Wikipedia. It'll save you several splitting headaches.
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on August 28, 2013
I will start by saying that if you've read any of The Walking Dead series or are a fan of high-level zombie fiction, then you already know exactly what you are getting with this book. This isn't "World War Z" ground breaking or "28 Days Later" thinking outside the box here. It's exactly what you expect from a Robert Kirkman zombie tale.

But that's not a bad thing. The story is very tense, it carries Kirkman's signature dark "if something bad can happen, it will" tone, and it sucks you in with it's fast pace and visually evocative story telling. This may not be five star fine dining, but going to your favorite greasy cheeseburger joint and getting exactly what you hoped for is just as satisfying an experience.
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on July 11, 2016
Haven't completed, but so far I'm loving it. Gives an interesting back-story to The Governor. Anybody who is into the tv show (but hasn't absorbed themselves into all of the spoilers from the comics) should give this a read!
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on June 14, 2012
I really like the fact that this book series is starting on the opposite side of the fence. 'The Governor' obviously plays a major role in the graphic novels, but the graphic novels and the AMC TV program primarily revolve around the character Rick Grimes. I think writing a book series revolving around the same set characters would have been boring and redundant. The Rise of the Governor, does as it promises, and provides the back story that leads to the 'Rise of the Governor'. Brothers Phillip and Brian Blake are as opposite as they come and agree on virtually nothing. Their need to survive and desire to not become members of the dead communities that surround them is the only remaining henge keeping them together. The storyline follows the brothers and a few of their tag-along friends as they search for answers and other survivors. After discovering that Atlanta is impossible, they wonder from town to town in search of safe haven. After many struggles (the deaths of friends and family members traveling with them), set backs, and false starts, they find a small community of survivors in a town called Woodbury. At face value, it appears to be their lucky break after a series of heartbreaking blows, but the current below the surface turns out to be stronger than any of them could have ever imagined. All of the death and chaos has taken its toll on everyone. As it turns out, the world has far more to fear from the living than the dead. It is in this little community of Woodbury that they find their unimaginable fate and a Governor rises from the ashes.

I don't really have anything negative to say about this novel. The characters are really well developed and the writing is excellent. However, there is quite a bit of violence and language throughout the storyline, so I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is highly sensitive to those kinds of issues. It is, after all, a zombie book.
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on September 8, 2016
LOVE LOVE LOVE the WALKING DEAD. SO i decided to give the books a try. i have a very long commute so books on CD are my go-to. i enjoyed getting a different view of the story like- the books are WAY different that the show. kinda wish id found this book , and others in the series, before the show came out. but, prior to the Walking Dead tv series, i didnt know that i was obsessed with zombies...
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on October 6, 2016
this series is a great add on to the show or the comics! it gives some great backstory to the governor
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on March 6, 2013
Being a huge walking dead fan, I of course watch the show, I've read the graphic novels and I needed more! So I decided to read the rise of the governor which has great reviews so why not! I love reading on all the characters whether good or bad, it gives you an idea on how they become to be what they are. This book does just that. I thought it was just great, so well written, I would read it over and over! The ending also was very unexpected! I can keep going on about how great I liked it but I don't want to give any of the story away! If you're a wd fan it's a must read!
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