Many of you have read The Walking Dead graphic novels and watched the AMC television series. Many know of The Governor. He is the man who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury. He has his own sick sense of justice, whether it’s forcing prisoners to battle zombie in an arena for the enjoyment of the town or chopping off the appendages of those who cross him. The Governor has even been voted “Villain of the Year” by Wizard magazine in the year that he debuted. Many consider his story arc to be the most controversial in the history of the Walking Dead comic Series.
The story of the Rise of The Governor takes us back to the beginning of the end of everything to share with us the story of Philip Blake, his daughter Penny, his brother Brian and two of Philip’s friends. We see their beginnings as they make their way through familiar locations such as the doomed Wilshire Estates to Atlanta in hopes of finding a safe zone or at least some semblance of one. We see a struggle to survive in Atlanta and places that follow as their journey takes them ultimately to Woodbury. All the while we are riveted to see the next turn that the story takes.
This is a story that succeeds in part due to the writing of Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. Their writing style is one of vivid imagery and gritty realism. Many times during the story you find yourself feeling for the characters and being able to visual the scenarios they are in as real life products and places such as Dora the Explorer or Walmart are thrown in. The connection that you are drawn into with the characters helps to truly pull on your fears and tensions. You feel like you are always traveling right along with the group. You want them to succeed and ultimately you want them to find safety.
I also had the pleasure of listening to the audio book version of the story from Thomas Dunne Books in conjunction with Macmillan. Fred Berman brings his talents to the audio book and truly helps pull out emotions form the characters. At times you forget you are listening to one man and get lost in the story and struggles for survival. The audio book is spread across 9 CD's that take up a total time of around 11 hours. This is a fun book to listen to on a drive to or from work (even if it got me a few looks from angry parents, when I saw their kids listening to some of the more gory scenes). The pacing keeps you interested in the story and begs you to listen to another track.
The gore abounds in the book and there is much blood spilled and many head splattered. Brains are eaten and limbs chewed. The whole time the gritty realism discussed earlier holds true allowing times where you are winching in anticipation of the gore that will occur. Characters are all very easy to get attached to as they are all human. In that sense they all have their inner strengths and are trying to deal with their inner demons, the pain of losing loved ones and the need to survive the apocalypse lying before them.
The book and audio book release today at all media outlets. Head on over to our other article found here to find out how you can enter to win your own copy of the book. This is a book not to be missed as it is an important piece of the back story behind The Walking Dead. This is the first of three books planned and I for one cannot wait to hear the other back stories. Shamble out and pick this up today.