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The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury

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Authors: Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga / Paperback: 288 pages / Publisher: Tor / Published: 25 Oct 2012

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    2 Reviews
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      22.11.2013 19:25
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      Would recommend to all zombie and the walking dead fans

      If you don't have satellite tv, you may not be aware of the phenomenon that is the Walking Dead. This increasingly popular tv series is based on a series of comics by a man called Robert Kirkman, and this book is set in the same world and co-written by Kirkman and a man called Jay Bonansinga. My wife and I are loving both the tv series and the books, but I haven't given the comics a look as I'm not really into that kind of thing.

      This book follows a character called Lilly who is led to Woodbury by a series of events whilst travelling round in the zombie ridden American South. The group she is travelling with faces a internal power struggle, and one of the men is asked to leave. Lilly joins him, along with three others and whilst in an abandoned supermarket they come across a group of scavengers from Woodbury. After a Mexican standoff, they accept an offer to go to Woodbury with them which is where they meet the Governor.

      The Governor is a ruthless despot, and Lilly and her group of new arrivals soon realise that perhaps they were safer outside the walls of Woodbury with the zombies than they are living under the Governor's rule. What does Lilly do about it, can she do anything about it, or does she suffer in silence? I couldn't possibly spoil the plot by saying!

      I enjoyed the Road to Woodbury, the second book related to the Walking Dead. I've also read the preceding book, the Rise of the Governor which describes how the Governor founded Woodbury. To be honest, I think that the Road to Woodbury isn't quite as gripping as the Rise of the Governor, mainly due to the fact there isn't the same quality of twist at the end of this book as the first one had.

      However, don't let that influence any pre-judgement you might make before reading this book, it's still a damn good read. Yes, it helps if you're into zombies (I know they're not everybody's' cup of brain matter flavoured tea) and it might help spark your interest in reading the book if you know and enjoy the Walking Dead TV series. That said though, I think it's good enough a read to be read in isolation and would be easy enough to follow if you have no prior knowledge of the Walking Dead.

      I was very quickly drawn towards the main characters - they are brought to life on the pages in a way which made me interested to see what would happen to them. I like it when an author holds my attention like this, it made the time I spent reading the book fly by and definitely a pleasure rather than a chore. Although Lilly is the main character, I found the parts where the Governor raises his not yet eye-patched head thoroughly enjoyable - he really is a dangerous individual with lots of presence. Rather cleverly, I think the author has got the balance just right, not too much Governor to overpower the story he's trying to tell of Lilly's dilemma within Woodbury but just enough of a presence to add the right amount of menace to give the book an edge.

      Hopefully without giving too much away, things deteriorate for Lilly within Woodbury until she is left in a position where she feels forced to take drastic action. This action forms the climax of the book, but as I hinted at before I didn't think that the way it concluded was as good as how the Rise of the Governor had ended. I enjoyed the transformation of Lilly from a shy, nervous wall flower into a decisive kick ass heroine, well done by the authors.

      I would recommend this to those who like zombie fiction or enjoy either the Walking Dead TV series or the comic books. Five stars, thanks for reading.

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        21.07.2013 21:48
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        Great second book in the Walking Dead novel series

        The Walking Dead is one of my favourite things, as I am obsessed with all areas of it whether it be the comic books, television show or the novels. After reading the first Walking Dead book, I knew I'd have to read this one as the sequel to The Rise Of The Govenor.

        I bought the Road to Woodbury from WH Smiths after receiving a gift voucher for my birthday for £8. However, it's also for sale in places like Waterstones and Amazon at various prices. I think this is a pretty decent price as I would read it again after I'd forgotten some of the plotpoints as so much goes on it's hard to remember all of them.

        I'd say this is definitely more of a teenage and up reading audience as most of the subject matter is gory and violent. It's a typical horror genre book, but much better than the crazy amounts of zombie books coming out now.

        Like most things revolving around The Walking Dead, the novel starts after the zombie apocalypse has happened. The main character is focused upon a woman called Lilly, who those who have read the comics will remember her from the comics based around the prison and Woodbury.

        The first half of the book is based around the settlement that Lilly has found herself to be a part of, the relationships she has with those within the group and a bit of her and the other character's backstory. I quite liked this part as there was always some drama going on between the group, whether it be zombies attacking or relationships themselves.

        The second part then focuses on their arrival into Woodbury and how they settle in and find out about the craziness that happens in it's walls. You can see Lilly's changes and thoughts about the area, and while it isn't as gory as the first half, it is as thrilling seeing what they're going to do and whether they will succeed or not within their plans.

        Once again, the novel has a focus on the Govenor. It is interesting seeing how he has developed from the person that we saw in the last novel and what he has made out of Woodbury. Also for those who have seen the show or read the comics, it is interesting seeing it as a slightly smaller town than it is within them.

        The plot of the story is very well done, as there is never a boring moment, as usual with the Walking Dead series. Something dramatic is always happening, and at times it can be very sad or very happy. It's an easy plot to read through and the perfect length so you don't feel as if they are just dragging it along for more pages to fill.

        The tension is great throughout the book as it is constantly being built up for the reader whether they just be walking along or road or if they are battling zombies. However, Kirkman does not do it to the extent that it is way over the top.

        The gore is obviously at it's best within the Walking Dead's franchise as they manage to make every zombie that you encounter disgusting and squeamish. My favourite part was the varieties of zombies that they threw into this novel (Circus zombies!). In my opinion, if you can read through Misery by Stephen King without feeling squeamish, then this will be a easy read for you.

        Similarly to the previous novel, there was a focus upon emotions and relationships however unlike a family way, this was between Lilly and Josh mainly. An incident happens involving them which leaves Lilly unsure of how to react and behave amongst the rest of the group. While most of the novel is tension between the various characters, it is nice to see occasional hints of romance between them.

        The characters within this are some of my favourite, and they are actually quite realistic in their relationships with each other and characteristics. Altogether the group of survivors are a good combination, and there is just enough to keep the plot going and not too many that you get confused with who is who.

        I would say that this book is definitely better than the previous for action, as much more seems to happen involving zombies and gore, while the other focused more on emotion and the descent into insanity for the Govenor. However, I don't think you need to read the previous to make sense of this one.

        In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book,I read it in about 2 days as soon as I got it whenever I had spare time. It is a great addition to The Walking Dead novel series, and I hope they write some more. It is everything either a horror fan, Walking Dead fan or zombie fan would like in a book.

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