“The Walking Dead Rise of the Governor” by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011)

Rise of the Governor
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The Walking Dead comic book series has gone on to do what few other zombie-related stories have: it just keeps on going, gaining more fans and readers, with no end in sight.  As the comic continues to come out with new and captivating issues, the TV series is working through its second season, and a videogame is in the works.  Writer of Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, somehow found the time to write a book this year too – in between working on the comic and working on the show – as he felt one chapter in Walking Dead’s past hadn’t been completely explored.

The Governor was a unique and terrifying character in the series, who seemed at first friendly and nice, and then turned into a monster.  While readers only got to see the man the Governor had become when Rick and the gang met up with him in the comic book, in Rise of the Governor Kirkman explores this enigmatic man’s past.  His real name is Philip Blake, and like Rick and many other people, he started out down-to-earth and normal when the first zombies arrived on his doorstep.

In the book, Kirkman explores the character’s back-story, molding him into the terrifying man he eventually became.  While his story at times seems like a slow and predictable one that readers have already learned about – especially if they’ve read the comic – there are details and characters traits that are learned and keep the story going.  Plus, if readers are already familiar with The Governor, then they’ll definitely want to read up to the very end of the book to see what exactly made him the despicable thing that he became.

Originally written on November 20, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

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