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Early Review: The Walking Dead - Rise of the Governor

A novel telling the story of the evil Walking Dead character is much much more than you would think it'd be.

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Robert Kirkman's 'The Walking Dead' is a hit. Millions of comics have been sold and the six-episode first season had viewers on the edge of their seats, especially as we all had to wait a year for the second season to begin. One of the deadliest threats Rick Grimes and the survivors had to face was the Governor.

From his first appearance in the comics (in issue #27), he showed that he was evil and had a town completely under his control. The big mystery surrounding the character was how did he come to that position? After the mysterious zombie outbreak, everything went to hell. We saw Rick and company band together in order to survive but had no idea what the Governor's story was...until now.

St. Martin's Press is releasing the novel by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga that tells his story. At first, I assumed it would be a little more of the same from what we'd seen before. The man that would become the Governor would overcome great odds in order to survive and run a town. From the cover and the comics we know he has a little girl. It's always interesting knowing how a story will end and finding out what happens in between.

Of course, being true to tradition, Kirkman will not be telling a simple tale. You might think you know how the story will play out but of course you will be surprised.

== TEASER ==

This is the hard part. Even though we know where the Governor ends up, I've been fighting back the urge to talk about any of it because I absolutely do not want to reveal any spoilers. I will say, it left me giddy. I've been devouring the comics and this little side-story is worth a read. After finishing the novel, I literally sat there and had to let everything sink in. Then I had the urge to re-read all the Governor's appearances.

Without having a firm timeline, you do get the sense that this story begins before the time Rick wakes up from his coma in the hospital. Even though we still have a group fighting zombies and trying to survive, it's a completely different feeling than Rick's journey in finding his wife and kid.

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While we still don't see the man that becomes the Governor before the outbreak, we do find out about his past. There is the evolution of the character, it just might not be what you expect.

The story works in this format. I do dig the comic but as a novel, we have the chance to find out more. We have the opportunity to get inside people's heads to see how they react to everything. There's even a couple little easter eggs that got me excited. The first minor one I thought was so cool, I had to explain it to my daughter (who knows nothing about 'The Walking Dead' except that it's full of zombies). The story makes a great novel. You'll get sucked in and can easily visualize everything that is happening. It's simply a great read and I can't wait for others to read it so I can finally talk to someone about what happens!

The book is on sale October 11. There's no question that if you've read the comics and know about the character, you have to read this. Rick and the Governor are completely different characters and it's great to be able to see these parallel stories that have such different endings.