Written by: John Edward Betancourt
There's a certain air of melancholy over here at the Girls of Geek offices. The mood is sour, everyone is a little drained, and with good reason; The Walking Dead is off the air until February. But alas, rather than mope at the fact that our Mondays have returned to true Mondays, we found a way to keep the excitement that only zombies can bring going, and what better a way to do it than sit down with all of you and discuss the first novel set in Robert Kirkman's zombie infested universe; The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.
The world has been ravaged by an unexpected virus, one so grizzly that it has brought forth our worst nightmares; it resurrects the dead and they hunger for the living. Civilization collapses and outside of the city of Atlanta, two brothers; Philip and Brian Blake are doing their best to survive. Their only hope is to find somewhere away from all of the madness and live their lives free of terror. But they will quickly learn that their hopes and dreams are just that, for the world they live in now, is full of horrors that will change them from men, into monsters.
Let's get one thing straight about Rise of the Governor; this is no literary masterpiece. In fact I think the fiction world is still waiting for its own Dawn of the Dead when it comes to zombie novels. But if you are picking this book up, you're doing it for a few simple reasons. For one, you're a zombie fan, you love The Walking Dead and you love gore. Plus, you are damn curious to learn about what made Philip Blake, the Governor of Woodbury, one evil son of a bitch. But before we go any further let me give you a warning about this novel. Don't expect to see the same iconic villain you saw in the comic. This truly is an origin story, and you will spend a lot of time with the man, when he was just that, a regular guy.
In fact at times when you read this story, you may feel cheated. You may feel as though you aren't getting enough insight into Philip's twisted little mind, or that it feels rushed or that 308 pages is just too short of a story. If those thoughts come into your mind at any given time as you read the book, know that I agree. But I can tell you to stick with it. The ending of the book is the payoff to this unique story in The Walking Dead universe when you finally see, and no this isn't a spoiler, Blake become The Governor. If anything this book could be considered a philosophical exercise, because rather than hand us the answers it instead makes a greater point. That perhaps there is no process as to how someone "becomes" evil, it could have always been lurking within, just waiting for the right moment to escape.