I’m a huge Walking Dead fan—which is why I jumped at the chance to review The audiobook version of The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor from Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. I figured that it would help tide me over until the second season premiere.
The question is, does the The Walking Dead storyline work as novel?
From the official description:
In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than 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. The Governor was voted “Villain of the Year” by Wizard magazine the year he debuted, and his story arc was the most controversial in the history of the Walking Dead comic book series.
Now, for the first time, fans of The Walking Dead will discover how The Governor became the man he is, and what drove him to such extremes.
This is the story of Philip Blake, his daughter, Penny, and his brother Brian. Along with two of Philip’s friends, this ragtag group of survivors attempts to make it to Atlanta as the zombie apocalypse rages around them. But as their journey becomes more and more dangerous, Philip will realize that he must do whatever it takes to save his friends and family… and his own soul in the process.
At first you might think that the story is a simple tale of survival; of a man overcoming the odds to run a small town in the midst of a plague—kind of predictable. However, we wouldn’t expect Kirkman to take the easy path and, true to form, he did not disappoint. The truth behind Phillip Blake’s rise to power will come as a surprise to most fans—well, fans of the comic book anyway.
Indeed, the story will have the most impact on fans that are familiar with the Governor’s character in the comic books—but it can certainly stand on its own.
So, the answer to the question about The Walking Dead working as a novel is a resounding “yes”. I had the benefit of taking in the story in during a long road trip, and listening to the venerable Fred Berman act out the parts made the long hours on the road seem like mere minutes. Here’s a little taste of what you can expect:
The bottom line is that if you are a fan of the comics, Rise of The Governor is a must read (or listen). If you are a fan of the show, this is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the Governor’s backstory before he inevitably turns up in the television series. I know it definitely got me even more pumped for season 2.
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor is on sale in both print, digital and audiobook formats starting today.