Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review: The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review posted at: The Owl Review, Amazon, & Goodreads.

I was looking forward to starting this book, since I've read all of the graphic novels/comics up until this point. I was eager to learn the backstory to the Governor; the horrible, twisted ruler of the dystopian establishment of Woodbury.

Getting started in reading this, the pace moved slowly. I was hoping it would pick up, but it's a very slow-reading book the entire way through. This is part of why it only gains 3 stars in my review. I just couldn't find myself being drawn into the story, except for a few instances where it started to get a lot of action going on and become interesting.

The build-up to the big end reveal is slow. You will find out how the Governor was born at the very end, and there really isn't much I can say at this point without giving away the entire point of the story. I will say that all of the way through the book I kept thinking to myself, "This isn't the kind of trauma that would give rise to creating such a monster like Philip Blake became." If you look at the people directly around him, you see they are going through all the same things and yet aren't driven to the same end. Is this difference of personality? Difference of ability to cope and adapt instead of harden and crack. It absolutely is, however, just not exactly in the way that you would initially think.

I don't like to recap the story and type out a synapsis for my reviews. That's what the back of the book, or the description on the online pages are for. I like to share with others how the book made me feel; what I liked about it, or what I didn't like. I don't think readers want to read 50 different recaps of the same story, since that doesn't give them insight into how it moves you, or how it read. I will say this, the story is good if you are invested in The Walking Dead story line already. As a standalone story, this would probably be pretty boring and not mean much to you if you aren't interested in learning what made the Governor become the person he is.

I'm not sure the author is skilled at writing novels. As a graphic novel, this would probably work fine, as most of the story is bogged down with unnecessary descriptions and information that doesn't push the plot forward, it just stalls. At times I wasn't sure if the author knew what he wanted the story to do or he was just writing as he tried to figure it out. It read a bit like trying to come up with a story when you didn't have the concept to begin with, you just knew maybe where you wanted it to end up, or the readers wanted to know the backstory and now you have to make one up. This would have worked excellent as a short story under 100 pages instead of 300 pages. I had to slog through it, and push myself forward.

I am a fan of the AMC show, The Walking Dead, as well as a reader of the graphic novels/comics. I am unsure at this point if I'd want to read the next book in this series, but for informational purposes I possibly will. We'll just have to see.

One final note: I know there's been much talk about how this should've been more aptly titled "The Birth of the Governor", but come on, it's a zombie book... even though "birth" would have been more fitting, "rise" is definitely more in tune with the zombie lingo.

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