Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor” as Want to Read:
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Governor Series #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,698 Ratings  ·  1,631 Reviews
Following in the footsteps of the New York Times best-selling graphic novels and the record-breaking new television show, this debut novel in a trilogy of original Walking Dead books chronicles the back story of the comic book series' greatest villain, The Governor.
In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-o
Published October 11th 2011 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Walking Dead, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

James Volland These books are solely based on the graphic novels (comics). However; the first 3 books in the series can add some substance to the governor character…moreThese books are solely based on the graphic novels (comics). However; the first 3 books in the series can add some substance to the governor character (and may influence your opinion of him) in the TV series; but remembering that they are not canons of each other and there may be some plot-holes.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 13, 2011 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this on Goodreads!

When I started this book I had no idea what the book was about. I watched The Walking Dead when it aired last year and I thought it was A-M-Azing. Before I read this book I had to do a little research on "The Governor" because I haven't read the comics and also the show hasn't introduced that character yet. Also keep in mind that I basically only read YA books with a female as the main p.o.v. So with that being said I started the book and all I can say is Wow! The ending
Anthony Chavez
Nov 06, 2011 Anthony Chavez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I have read the first compendium of 48 trade paperbacks that ended the original Governor story arc, I jumped at the chance to pick up this collaboration by series creator Robert Kirkman and horror writer Jay Bonansinga. "The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor" is an amazing idea for a novel or trilogy. I hear that the Governor is one of the series', and even comic books in general, most notorious and loathsome villains, and the notion of exploring his back story is definitely going to be appe ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Audiobook- Fabulous narrator*
Omg!!! Shocking twists and truths revealed. if you think you know The Governor you don't till you read this book. He is not who has portrayed himself to be. I think I might have sprained my jaw it dropped so far when I got the truth about who he is. Holy Crisps, I could barely catch my breath.
This first book stats with Phil, his brother Brian, his living daughter and two high school friends. The plague has just driven them from their hometown to search for the safe z
Patrick D'Orazio
The Walking Dead, Rise of the Governor, should be more aptly titled (as mentioned by several other reviewers): The Birth of the Governor. If this book has a sequel, it would tell of the actual rise of the Governor. In fact, I feel that given what this particular book is lacking, there would need to be a sequel to bridge the gap between what we have been introduced to with this story and what we see when Rick, Glenn, and Michonne stumble across Woodbury in the comic books.

While this story wasn't
Jan 05, 2012 Gabriel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Won in a Goodreads First Reads.


After greatly enjoying the first season of the AMC show and getting deep into the comics, I was looking forward to this. I mean, good zombie novels are far and very few between. They seem to work better as film horrors over novel horrors. Even so, The Walking Dead comics did a wonderful job of transforming the brutality of George Romero zombie flicks into a written media.

This book does NOT follow suit.

Maybe it's due to the fact that it's written in the present
Nov 08, 2011 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I am a HUGE zombie fan. I have also been collecting the Walking Dead comic book since issue #2 and when I first heard about this novel, I was excited. Kirkman explores the deeper thoughts/feelings/issues of a z-apocalyptic world via the comic (and now the TV show) and I thought a novel would allow him to really sink his teeth into the material. Also, he has never (not in comics or TV) dealt with the early days of the epidemic.

If you haven't ever read the comic, but are a fan of apocalyptic
Okay, so I liked the book. I liked it enough that I plan on reading the rest of the series. I did not however "really" like it or think it was amazing. Hence, the three star rating.

For one, and probably my biggest issue with this book, is how part two of this book played out almost exactly like parts of season four of the show played out. I kept thinking, "Wait, is this a novelization of season four, or is this really the story of way before we ever met the Governor in season three?" Also, it h
Nov 23, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Walking Dead fans
Well now. That was interesting.

I actually had a bit of a time getting into this one. It didn't have the pace of the comic series (that this is based on), and was written in the present tense. That's a bit jarring for me, though I did get used to it.

Note that this is the backstory of the Governor from the Walking Dead comic book/graphic novel series. It is NOT the backstory of the character by the same name/title in the AMC television series.

As far as a backstory goes, this one is pretty damn goo
☆~Stephanie ~☆
I really enjoyed this book a lot ! This book was so much better for me then World War Z ! I can't wait to start the next one will start it tonight .if you haven't read this you should give it a try it was really great book.
Kimberley doruyter
Sep 30, 2015 Kimberley doruyter rated it liked it
if you seen the show you know how this turns out.
it's good for extra info on the governor, but he is still evil.
his brother is a spineless sack and his friend is a bible crazed dumbo.
for those how have not yet seen the show, the ending is a surprise.

a re-read and i actually liked it a little better then the first time i read it.
Patricia Crowther
Jun 08, 2016 Patricia Crowther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating 4.5*

Wow I feel like such a fool. How did I fall for that one! This was really great. I really enjoyed the Governors back story. It was interesting to see his journey and especially some of the similarities/links to the show.
Oct 13, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The death of his beloved wife years earlier had already ruined Philip Blake’s life, leaving him with a single purpose: to care for and protect his daughter, Penny. This does not change when the zombie apocalypse hits, but his circle of protection expands to include his two best friends, and, unfortunately, his hapless, sickly brother Brian.

The Governor has been a frightening inclusion in The Walking Dead series, but as with all truly good antagonists, he is not simply mad and/or evil. This trilo
This was not what I was expecting. I read the comics long before the show came out, but have since become a fan of the show as well. I occasionally find it hard to remember what happened in which. That sounds a bit silly, but for those of you that read and watch, you know what I mean. Story lines from the comic are revisited in the show but with different characters or timing, names change, but personalities stay the same or even vice-verse. That being said, this was very, very obviously the sto ...more
Jun 04, 2014 Figgy rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Those 4 stars up there are misleading, let me try and explain...

3 stars for the story, which kept getting distracted by itself, and wandering off into the past or other times, or memories of the characters, leaving the reader (or listener), wondering where the heck this detour came from and where was the path so they could try and find their way back to the story.

A story which was, all things said and done, not particularly well put together or unique, but which did have one heck of an interes
Sue Moro
This book is the first in a trilogy focusing on one of the most controversial characters in The Walking Dead series so far, that of the Governor of Woodbury. He first makes his appearance half way through the graphic novel compendium one, and his story line is just beginning in season three of the television series.

As the story begins, the zombie outbreak has already occurred and people are struggling to survive. Brain Blake and his younger brother, Philip, are traveling with their high school b
Jun 23, 2012 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As far as prequels go, this rates up there with The Phantom Menace and Batman Begins Kindergarten.
It's slow and boring and adds very little to the Walking Dead narrative. I don't think Kirkman had very much hand in this at all. Another author (Jay Bonansinga) is listed and, unless Kirkman really can't switch mediums (like Orson Scott Card, for example, didn't write a very good Iron Man comic), the fault lies with Bonansinga.
The descriptions use far too many cliches, which detracts from otherwis
Nov 28, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up knowing almost nothing of the walking dead world, I've never read the graphic novels and had only seen a few episodes of the first season, but I was still intrigued by the story promised within the pages of this book. To find out how the dreaded governor came to be.

The book ultimately follows brothers Philip and Brian Blake, Philips young daughter Penny and their child hood friend Nick. Pretty much right from the beginning of the "turn over" you know that although Philip is
Andrew Dearborn
Mar 27, 2012 Andrew Dearborn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I just finished reading Rise of the Governor by Kirkman and Bonansinga. Honestly I was super excited for this book when I first heard about it, I mean it was a chance to explore the wider world of Walking Dead. Sadly it's a slow book that, while having a great ending, is paced like the comics. Don't get me wrong I love the Walking Dead comics, but a slow 30 page issue is different then 30 pages of slowness in a book. In the book it rises and falls like a comic book series, which works wonderf ...more
"The Walking Dead - A Ascensão do Governador" foi um livro que rapidamente me despertou a curiosidade, mais não fosse por ser eu uma fã da série "The Walking Dead".

Apesar de nunca ter sido uma fã do governador (na série de TV) assim que tive oportunidade inicie a leitura deste livro. É um livro repleto de acção onde acompanhamos a viagem de Philip, a sua filha Penny, o seu irmão mais velho Brian e dois amigos de Philip: Nick e Bobby.

Desde cedo Philip mostra que tem capacidades de liderança semp
T.C. Harrelson
Jan 19, 2013 T.C. Harrelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the world of Robert Kirkman. That is, the post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested free-for-all that is The Walking Dead. Naturally, I had to wade into the back story of one of Kirkman's iconic characters—the Governor—when he expanded his franchise into the world of novels. Jay Bonansinga was tapped to "put flesh on the Governor's bones" so to speak by providing the details of his transformation from mere survivor to leading the fortified town of Woodbury, Georgia.

Bonansinga is a gifted writer t
Matthew Blake
Feb 03, 2013 Matthew Blake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time getting into this book at first, but once I did it sucked me in. A fan of all things Walking Dead, this fan can say that fellow lovers of The Walking Dead will find this to be a great and interesting addition to the story.

I must note that this book was particularly emotional for me. I was crushed by a few of the scenes in it, which I didn't think would happen after being so desensitized by so many Walking Dead comics.

A great read, I highly recommend it. The only thing that kept
Kimberley doruyter
maybe the covernor wasn't always that big of an ass, but he always had a couple of screws lose.
Que grande desilusão! A premissa era excelente: contar a estória da ascensão do Governador – uma das personagens mais intrigantes em The Walking Dead. Sou grande fã da série de TV e não hesitei em comprar este livro.
O livro avança devagar e as cenas de acção – na série muito boas (para quem gosta do género zombie, claro)– são simplesmente maçadoras.
As personagens são pobres e entediantes e as suas acções – e reflexões – muito previsíveis.
Uma perda de tempo.
Nicky Dierx
I don't really know what to say about this book other than I expected more.

I adore the zombie genre, and have voraciously read and re-read all of the comics in the Walking Dead series.
I have watched the tv show, and although I'm not as enamoured with it as some, I enjoy the hell out of it for being a well made series.

This book hasn't had anything I look for in well written fiction. The characters come off as flat and dry. The zombies and any carnage they may be responsible for are not scary.
James Volland
Nov 03, 2013 James Volland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of the walking dead Graphic novels, which I read via the deluxe issues that come out every so often. I'm now waiting for the new deluxe issue, and to pass some time and gather up some back story on one of the main characters I picked up the Rise of the Governor.

I must admit that I wasn't expecting much. I didn't like to think so, but in the back of my mind I was under the opinion that they printed this book in a "lets milk this puppy for all it's got" attitude. However, even if thi
Tim Lewis
Read the review on my blog: Tim's Book Reviews

Premise: Based on Robert Kirkman's comic books of the same name, The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor is set in time before The Walking Dead series on AMC, focusing on how the character of The Governor from the comics comes to power.

The novel follows Philip and Brian Blake, two brothers trying to survive in the midst of a strange outbreak of flesh-hungry undead, along with Philip’s young daughter Penny, and two of Philip’s friends. They move from p
Raquel Leite
Dec 02, 2012 Raquel Leite rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus
Depois da Banda Desenhada e da série que recentemente estreou a sua terceira temporada, chega-nos o livro escrito pelo criados Robert Kirkman e o escritor de terror Jay Bonansinga. Com uma ideia incrivél que me deixou perdida na sua leitura.
Quem segue, a série ou a BD, sabe que o governador é um vilão repugnante e que dá vontade de o matar, e que há uma pergunta que ronda no ar. Como é que ele chegou a ser o governador?
Mas o chamado Governador, não é tão diferente dos restantes personagens como
Jul 08, 2013 Gwyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gwyn by: Benny Raskin
I've read the comics, seen most of the TV series, and thought The Governor would be a great character for bit of backstory development. Moreover, I'm not afraid to be seen in public reading zombie fiction, so I should be the ideal demographic for this here tome. Well, to cut a long story short, I liked it. Eventually. Just.

The first two thirds could have been better summed up in one comic volume. The prose is painful, the descriptive sections oddly banal considering the circumstances, the choice
Jan 08, 2012 AudioBookReviewer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I seem to be a sucker for a good zombie book, and I like to think that I know good ones from bad. The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor is a good one, I mean great one, possibly one of the best zombie stories I have ever listened to. Pure, unadulterated, original, breathtaking and enough surprises to keep you guessing. However I have never read any of the graphic novels, so if there was any tie in, I was clueless.

They story follows a ragtag bunch Nick, brothers Brain and Phillip and Phillip
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Walking Dead: * The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor 3 14 Nov 17, 2013 09:31PM  
Drinking Club Wit...: how about this for firat book? 3 11 Apr 07, 2013 03:06PM  
  • The Walking Dead: Descent
  • Fighting to Survive  (As The World Dies, #2)
  • Autumn: Aftermath (Autumn, #5)
  • Zombies: A Field Guide to the Walking Dead
  • Dead of Night (Dead of Night, #1)
  • Thunder and Ashes
  • After the End
  • Zombie, Ohio
  • Deadlocked 2 (Deadlocked, #2)
  • Flesh Eaters (Dead World, #3)
  • 28 Days Later, Vol. 4: Gangwar
  • Beyond Exile (Day by Day Armageddon,# 2)
  • The Gathering Dead (The Gathering Dead, #1)
  • Dying to Live: Life Sentence (Dying to Live, #2)
  • The Return Man
Robert Kirkman is an American comic book writer best known for his work on The Walking Dead, Invincible for Image Comics, as well as Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics. He has also collaborated with Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane on the series Haunt. He is one of the five partners of Image Comics, and the only one of the five who was not one of the original co-founders of ...more
More about Robert Kirkman...

Other Books in the Series

The Governor Series (6 books)
  • The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (The Governor Series, #2)
  • The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor - Part One (The Governor Series, #3)
  • The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor - Part Two (The Governor Series, #4)
  • The Walking Dead: Descent
  • Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Invasion (The Governor Series, #6)

Share This Book

“It ain’t the dead things you gotta be mindful of around here … it’s the living.” 5 likes
“Chaos theory is the impossibility of a closed system remaining stable. This town is doomed. There’s nobody at the controls …” 3 likes
More quotes…