Friday, 18 October 2013

Some quick thoughts on ‘The Fall of the Governor, Part One’ (Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, Tor UK)

Über-villain Phillip Blake has come a long way. He journeyed from humble beginnings into the dark heart of the zombie apocalypse. And here, he has manoeuvred to become a small town’s self-proclaimed leader. But Woodbury’s residents (those who survive) will live to regret the day Blake, aka the Governor, darkened their doors. For the Governor runs a twisted, violent dictatorship within Woodbury’s ever-tightening barricades. Those that manage to breach those barricades find only misery within, and the terror of the zombie menace without.

I’d normally be looking to write something a little more in-depth but the nature of this book is such that I already covered all the meaty stuff when I reviewed the ‘Walking Dead’ collections (on my old blog). This series has entered the phase where it dovetails with stuff that happened in the comics. I don’t have a big problem with that, it was always going to happen and I always wondered how they would deal with it. Where I have the problem is that Kirkman and Bonansinga dealt with it by basically going into a lot of detail that people who have already read the comics won’t need at all… The side plot with Lilly and Austin balances this out, a bit, and I’m interested to see how that ends. It’s a real spark of optimism albeit signposted a little too heavily in terms of the inevitable tragic ending.

If you are not one of those people who have read the comics then none of the above matters really. If that’s the case then what you’ve got is a story with all the brutality that you will have come to expect from the previous two books. I’d be a little wary though as the book covers Michonne’s rape (by the governor) in some detail. I don’t care if I’ve just given away a spoiler by the way; I think it’s something that you need to be aware of before picking this book up.

I had read the book though and as I finished reading I couldn’t help but think that I’d read all this before, because I had. It felt like a bit of a waste of time really.

If you’re a fan of the comic books and thinking of picking this series up, I’d say definitely read the first two books as they fill in a lot of background detail in some very clever ways. Don’t bother with this one though. I will probably skim the last book to see what happens to Lilly and Austin and to confirm my suspicions about who fires the fatal shots in the prison (I’ve got a pretty good idea). Other than that though, I’m done with this series.

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