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The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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“Zombie-apocalypse stories are perfect for miserable winter weather regardless, but for those obsessed with The Walking Dead (such as yours truly), this is essential reading. This is the epitome of a page-turner, and makes subway rides just breeze by. And, that end –woof.” ―REFINERY29
“An excellent companion to the The Walking Dead comic books. The story is enriched by the novel format, and the characterization of the series' most hated villain is something no fan will want to miss.” ―Examiner.com
“This book stands alone and is a compelling read for fans of the series or just fans of zombies. Watch out though, because once you get a taste of the particular Kirkman brand of zombie mayhem, catching up on past issues is just around the corner.” ―The Ossuary
“The story makes a great novel. You'll get sucked in and can easily visualize everything that is happening. It's simply a great read.” ―Comicvine.com
“It takes great advantage of the literary medium in a way that most tie-in books would not.” ―TVOverMind.com
“Not for the faint of heart, this book runs on pressure-cooker suspense, graphically described bloodshed, and dark acts of brutality...This riveting character study adds a new dimension to the oeuvre by fleshing out established characters and plot lines.” ―School Library Journal
About the Author
Robert Kirkman is best known for his work on The Walking Dead and Invincible for Image Comics and SKYBOUND. He is one of the five partners of Image Comics and is an executive producer and writer on AMC's critically acclaimed television series The Walking Dead.
Jay Bonansinga is a critically acclaimed horror novelist whose works include Perfect Victim, Shattered, Twisted, and Frozen. His debut novel, The Black Mariah, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker Award.
Top customer reviews
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!
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
It delivered, though in the way it was supposed to, and not in...Read more