Review of The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury, The Next Chapter in The Governor’s Story

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The zombie plague unleashes its horrors on the suburbs of Atlanta without warning, pitting the living against the dead. Caught in the mass exodus, Lilly Caul struggles to survive in a series of ragtag encampments and improvised shelters. But the Walkers are multiplying. Dogged by their feral hunger for flesh and crippled by fear, Lilly relies on the protection of good Samaritans by seeking refuge in a walled-in town once known as Woodbury, Georgia.

 At first, Woodbury seems like a perfect sanctuary. Squatters barter services for food, people have roofs over their heads, and the barricade expands, growing stronger every day. Best of all, a mysterious self-proclaimed leader named Philip Blake keeps the citizens in line. But Lilly begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. . . . Blake, who has recently begun to call himself The Governor, has disturbing ideas about law and order.

Ultimately, Lilly and a band of rebels open up a Pandora’s box of mayhem and destruction when they challenge The Governor’s reign . . . and the road to Woodbury becomes the highway to hell in this riveting follow-up to Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga’s New York Times bestselling The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. (Overview from Barnes & Noble)

After finishing the first book in the tale of the Governor, I was dying to learn more about this twisted, evil figure who controls the town of Woodbury with an iron fist. Watching the show only fueled that desire. The gradual transformation from Brian Blake into Phillip Blake was amazing, but the story left a definite gap in the Governor’s power in Woodbury.

While not a direct continuation of The Rise of the Governor, this book does help to explain the situation in Woodbury and how it would appear to outsiders. Beginning after the collapse of society (specifically around Atlanta, Georgia), survivors are on the road and are trying to find someplace to shelter and establish themselves. These survivors have not been exposed to the full gamut of walker behavior. They have missed out on dealing with herds; with the zombie gang rush. Since they aren’t prepared, they do a horrible job of setting up and leave themselves completely exposed. They are attacked, and in the process, children are killed. A rift forms in the community and five people (a gentle giant, an alcoholic medic, a fearful girl, and a stoner couple) go out on their own.

Once again, we are able to follow along with people who have not completely adapted to the new world that has surrounded them. They travel, they loot, and they kill the walking dead. Eventually, they meet up with another bunch of survivors, lead by a man named Martinez. Martinez invites them to a “safe” town, the town of Woodbury. This is where the story takes an even uglier turn. Murder, threat of sexual assault, theft, and torture all take their toll on the newcomers and the approximate 40 people who reside in the town, under the watchful eyes of the Governor and his men.

What makes this story stand apart and feel unique? It is an entirely believable tale that involves the fall of mankind. Humanity and civilization take a distant second to greed, power, and bloodthirst. I’m not going to spoil the entire story, but let’s just say that gladiator battles, zombie hordes 1000 strong, and insanity all take their place in the story.

I’m loving this series of books and how we are learning about the history of The Governor and of the town of Woodbury. His rise to power and the attempts to overthrow his rule all make the town a more insane place to live. I’m beyond excited to see if these books actually do play out with the television show. Lilly Caul’s final words in this book create an amazing potential for a bloody, violent coup. I can’t wait to read about it, and I hope I get to see it too.

I recommend this book to all fans of The Walking Dead. For those people who aren’t fans of the show, you might not find much to appeal to you in this book. It is zombie fiction all based around the graphic novel. I would recommend taking a peak at these books if you would like to learn the background to the man with severed, gasping zombie heads in fish tanks and who keeps his zombified daughter on a chain in his house.

 

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