Book Review – Rise of the Governor

I am addicted to all things The Walking Dead. I decided to read the Governor novels while waiting for the show to start up again in February. The first book in the trilogy is Rise of the Governor.

At the beginning of the novel you meet Philip Blake and his very small group of survivors. The group includes his daughter Penny and his brother Brian along with a couple of old school friends Nick and Bobby. Their small group is moving from place to place and you see that Philip is a natural leader. He has become accustomed to killing the biters unlike his brother who is the older of the two but definitely the weaker. Brian becomes Penny's babysitter watching her while the other three men clear areas of threats. Right at the beginning we begin to see Philip unravel when they lose one of the group.

They encounter other survivors along the way, some friendly, others quite the opposite. We see disturbing behaviors develop in Philip when he is confronted with evil men. Holding onto safe havens becomes quite difficult and this is what ultimately leads them to Woodbury.

Woodbury is not the town we see on the TV show when Philip and his group arrive. It is not cohesive, there are various groups of survivors, keeping mostly to themselves yet sharing space. They begin building walls around the town to keep the roaming biters out. When a few members of the town are believed to have been attacked by a group of walkers the town gathers to figure out how deal with it. A former military man, with no moral compass, begins to threaten people and give orders, killing one of their own who's only crime was wanting to leave.

What they don't know is that Philip knows what happened to those three townspeople and what happens there is the actual shocker of the book because it is there that we first come to know the real Governor. Events that I definitely would never have foreseen begins to change Philip into the evil man we love to hate.

I have already moved on to the next book, The Road to Woodbury, where the transformation of Philip into the Governor will really become complete. It will be interesting to see the depths to which he will sink as his madness progresses.

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