Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead - Invasion" by: Jay Bonansinga

Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Invasion
Author: Jay Bonansinga
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars 

Book Summary: Out of the ashes of a devastated Woodbury, Georgia, two opposing camps of ragtag survivors develop - each one on a collision course with the other.

Underground, in the labyrinth of ancient tunnels and mine shafts, Lilly Caul and her motley crew of senior citizens, misfits, and children struggle to build a new life.  But a secret ambition still burns in Lilly's heart and soul.  She wants her beloved town of Woodbury back from the plague of walkers, and now the only thing that stands in her way currently roams the wasted backwaters of Georgia...

Way out in the hinterlands, amidst the rising tide of walkers that seem to be pushing in from all directions, the psychotic Reverend Jeremiah Garlitz rebuilds his army of followers with a diabolical secret weapon.  He has designs on the destruction of Lilly and her crew - the very people who vanquished his cultish church - and now, for the first time, he has the means to bring a special brand of hell down upon the tunnel dwellers.

The final confrontation between these two human factions unleashes an unthinkable weapon - forged from the monstrous hordes of undead, perfected by a madman, and soaked in the blood of innocents. 

Personal Review: It's another installment in the non-graphic novel version of The Walking Dead series, which let's face it...this is a show that everyone is into.  This series of novels began with a 3-part series that told the story of the Governor and Woodbury, and now it's on a new cycle with The Walking Dead: Descent and now the current title.

Although I'd like to say that I LOVED this book, I'm afraid that would be a lie.  I did enjoy the initial three books, but this second cycle is just continuing to drag just a tad bit for my liking, while going a little too over the top with its antagonist.  It's not enough to turn me away from reading the series altogether, but enough to make me scratch my head a little and wonder "what happened?"

In the aftermath of the previous novel, you have two factions that have split off, taking refuge in the network of tunnels underneath the city...fair enough.  With a lead female protagonist (Lilly) trying to protect a band of refugees from the destruction the Governor left behind, this installment just didn't have that "it" factor to keep me as interested as I would have liked.  Whereas the original three gave more insight into the major characters in the series, I just haven't been able to connect with Lilly...although I do find it admirable at trying to lead a group of survivors where the kids outnumber the adults.

There was still that feeling of survival, and not just trying to stay alive with little to no supplies underground, or even trying to avoid being discovered by the walkers.  It was all about the insane Rev. Jeremiah Garlitz and his band of loyal followers now on the hunt for Lilly and her group.

Upon making it to the end of the book, what leads me to calling it a "cycle" is that it gives me the feeling that it's just another trilogy spin-off of the first, with this second entry being more of a transitional filler between the next major development in the series, which would appear in book three.  What I do enjoy is that it sets itself apart from the TV show so that each are standing on their own without overlapping, and leaves you with more stories and experiences.

The development of the characters throughout the series has been good, and I love watching how characters evolve, deconstruct, or even self-destruct, when things keep going is a zombie apocalypse after all.  Although the pacing was slower than I would have liked, and I grew tired of the Rev. Jeremiah character (as he went completely nuts in this installment) as I said before, it wasn't enough to stop me from continuing on in the series.

If you're a fan of The Walking Dead, this will be a book to interest you.  You'll follow new characters, get new stories, and get to know more about what happened with Woodbury after the defeat of the Governor.  It may not move along as fast as you'd like, but when you're in-between seasons of the TV show, it certainly gives you something to enjoy.

Try looking out for it at your Abilene Public Library and see what you think of it.

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