Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Readers-The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor

Because I am not busy enough what with the PhD and all that I decided to join a book club. I say decided, when Elanor asked me to join hers I jumped at the chance. I was a late comer so the first book for me was The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. DISCLAIMER: I have never watched The Walking Dead…not even 1 minute of the show.

“In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain then The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury, he has his own sick sense of justice: whether it’s forcing prisoners to battle zombies in an arena for the townspeople’s amusement, or chopping off the appendages of those who cross him. Now, for the first time, fans of The Walking Dead will finally understand what drove Phillip Blake to become…The Governor.

Written by the comic book writer Robert Kirkman and the horror author Jay Bonansinga this book accounts the life of Phillip Blake as he makes his journey to Woodbury alongside his brother Brian, daughter Penny and two of his friends. As I have said I have never watched The Walking Dead nor do I particularly like zombies so it is safe to say if it hadn’t been for The Readers then I wouldn’t have picked this book up.

Thinking of the book as a single novel with no other attachments to a TV show or comic books I found it a bit lacking in storyline in parts but that could be down to my own prejudice against zombie novels. The book contains a lot of juxtaposition to highlight the chaotic journey the characters have to endure. There is one section where they find a grand house surrounded by fields which offers safety and a place to rest. They soon settle into normal mundane life as they try to understand the world they have now found themselves in. As a reader it got a bit slow and a chore to read but what happens soon after is enough to shock the characters and the reader into the harsh reality that a world full of zombies and renegades is not all comfortable living.

The pace of the book was in my opinion irritating as it constantly jumped from the point of view of one character to another without developing the plot. I likened this to scene changes and adverts that would occur in the TV show. This didn’t bother the other readers: Nikki, Elanor and Lesley, and Elanor noticed this was happening less and less as the book proceeded gearing the reader up for the surprising twist ending. I loved the ending of this book and I am not a fan of the franchise so it was absolutely mind blowing for the rest of the group.

The comparison of Phillip Blake to the zombies in this book was very interesting. The reader is lead to believe that Phillip is the monster from horror books and the undead are more human than he is. This was done by describing the zombies mostly by what clothes they wore and their possible life before they were turned. Both myself and Nikki liked this.

After the ending of the book Elanor pointed out that throughout the book there had been hints of who would survive and who would die which was ingenious writing. Even if some of the imagery was a bit lazy the religious connotations, theories and juxtaposition was pretty impressive.

Nikki and Lesley did think however the title of the book was misleading and they thought the book ended too quickly to actually explain ‘The Rise of the Governor’ so they were slightly disappointed. However, we all agreed that Phillip Blake is a despicable character and this is highlighted in the book very well from page one and the progression of the character The Governor from the beginning to the end is phenomenal. I would recommend this book to any and all Walking Dead fans.

You can read about the first Readers book Maestra here. Our next book is my choice, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North so stay tuned for that.

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  1. I really enjoyed the tv series so I should read the books too as I know the books are always that much better. You've convinced me to give them a go!

  2. I wasnt a fan of the TV series so am not sure these books would be for me x

  3. I love the TV series but of course, books are way better. :) I have to check this.

  4. I hate it when they jump too quickly between different POVs. It's really distracting and makes it hard to get into!

  5. I didn't know there were books of the walking dead, although I should've known! Not seen the tv series yet so may have to give these a go before I do!

  6. I've never seen the TV series but I'd be tempted to read the books, I much prefer reading to watching telly anyway! :)

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  7. I've only had time to read ONE book this year! I can't wait until my little one sleeps earlier and I have more time for myself!

  8. I didn't have any clue there were books!!! I am OBSESSED with the show, like fan-girl style! H x

  9. I've never seen The Walking Dead, I've heard really good things though! Maybe I should watch the show before reading the book, or do you think the other way round?

    1. i would say watch the show first to get a sense of who the governor is then read the book to understand why he is that way :)

  10. Not heard of this before - not sure where I have been!

  11. I have heard of the tv series but never watched it. The book sounds really intriguing though. Thank you for the recommendation.

  12. I really need to read more, I'd love to jin a book club as that would be the motivation I need! I did start watching The Walking Dead but just lost interest in it somewhere along the line, this book does seem like it tries to explain a character that I was quite interested in before I stopped watching though so it might be worth a go... x

  13. I have started to read a lot more ( I have bought 5 books already this month!

    I have heard of the tv series but not the book, I much prefer reading this book in the future though :)