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The Walking Dead: Novels #2

The Road to Woodbury

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The first book explained how the Governor was created; this thrilling sequel to The New York Times bestseller further reveals his ruthless, inhuman conquest of Woodbury

The zombie plague unleashes its horrors on the suburbs of Atlanta without warning, pitting the living against the dead. Caught in the mass exodus, Lilly Caul struggles to survive in a series of ragtag encampments and improvised shelters. But the Walkers are multiplying. Dogged by their feral hunger for flesh and crippled by fear, Lilly relies on the protection of good Samaritans by seeking refuge in a walled-in town once known as Woodbury, Georgia.

At first, Woodbury seems like a perfect sanctuary. Squatters barter services for food, people have roofs over their heads, and the barricade expands, growing stronger every day. Best of all, a mysterious self-proclaimed leader named Philip Blake keeps the citizens in line. But Lilly begins to suspect that all is not as it seems… Blake, who has recently begun to call himself The Governor, has disturbing ideas about law and order.

Ultimately, Lilly and a band of rebels open up a Pandora's box of mayhem and destruction when they challenge The Governor's reign… and the road to Woodbury becomes the highway to hell in this riveting follow-up to Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga's New York Times bestselling The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.

277 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 2012

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About the author

Robert Kirkman

3,033 books6,332 followers
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 that publisher.

Robert Kirkman's first comic books were self-published under his own Funk-o-Tron label. Along with childhood friend Tony Moore, Kirkman created Battle Pope which was published in late 2001. Battle Pope ran for over 2 years along with other Funk-o-Tron published books such as InkPunks and Double Take.

In July of 2002, Robert's first work for another company began, with a 4-part SuperPatriot series for Image, along with Battle Pope backup story artist Cory Walker. Robert's creator-owned projects followed shortly thereafter, including Tech Jacket, Invincible and Walking Dead.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 880 reviews
Profile Image for Christa Maurice.
Author 48 books34 followers
May 18, 2013
While the action and the basic story were pretty good, the writing was awful. "Tight knots of spectators scattered across the stands"? And if the Josh (endlessly referred to as "the big man") had called his girlfriend 'babygirl' one more time I was going to scream. I wasn't impressed with the characters either for the most part. One of the main female characters regularly froze up when she was frightened. How is she supposed to survive a zombie attack? The deer in the headlights usually gets run over. And her friend who was sleeping with all the husbands in the original group? If I had survived a zombie attack with my husband and children and she started sniffing around I'd draw her away from the group and bash her head in with a rock. I need his attention focused on being a good caveman protector, not the convenient tail in the next tent.

Also, at the beginning of the book, a group of survivors is putting up a circus tent to use as a community center for their tent community. Really? There are zombies roving the land so of course the first thing you're going to do is put up a giant tent that will block your view while not offering any kind of serious protection. Later they find a Walmart and decide to NOT stay there because it's too dangerous. Hmm, we'll put up a tent for protection, but a big store with only a front entrance and a loading dock to fortify that's already loaded with supplies and probably surrounded by a large parking lot that would offer a long view to approaching trouble, we'll walk away from that because it's too dangerous. Doh. When does the next season start?
Profile Image for Samantha.
115 reviews1 follower
October 25, 2012
Meh. If you have read "The Rise of the Governor" or are current with "The Walking Dead" graphic novels then the ending of this book is in no way surprising. The whole book felt like Robert Kirkman rushed through it just to get another book out there to sell. The characters were kind of lame and there was some serious slut shaming going on that was off-putting. Perhaps Kirkman was trying to identify with the ladies, but his idea of lady seems to be scared, fragile angel or slutty, pothead-prostitute (ha! Seriously). Not that the men's characters were much more evolved in this book either. "The Rise of the Governor" was much, much better at fleshing out the characters (lame pun, not intended)and thus a much more engaging read.

What this book does right, on the other hand, is expertly describe a zombie battle scene. From black bile to dripping flesh I felt like I was witnessing each and every fight first hand! The word "greasy" may have been a bit overused however, but other than that the descriptions were awesome.

I'm giving it a 2 because it was just ok and not a greasy drop of zombie intestine more.

Profile Image for Jim.
189 reviews24 followers
April 2, 2013
This book is nominally a sequel to Rise of the Governor; I say nominally because we don't see an of the characters or plot threads from that book until this one is about half over. So in that regard, right off the bat this book disappoints. What about in other regards? To be honest, it isn't very well-written. The characters are deeply stupid and the writing is incredibly repetitive, and that is a bad, bad combination. I lost count of how many times the narration would point out that because of what they were doing, the characters didn't notice walkers around them and suddenly they were in danger. It just got boring and annoying after awhile, as did the poorly developed romances and sudden changes in a character's personality. Honestly, the only reason I could give anyone to read this book is that it provides a bit of back story about some of what goes on in Woodbury... but other than that, there's not much value here. And since even the back story really isn't necessary, you can skip this book entirely.
Profile Image for Kaitlyn.
411 reviews21 followers
October 16, 2012
This book was received for free as an advanced reading copy through GoodReads’ FirstReads giveaway.

The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury is a horror novel that follows a small band of survivors in Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse as they try to find a safe haven from zombies…and other survivors.

This is a prequel, parallel, or companion novel to the main comic series, depending how you approach it. The main characters have been introduced in the comics as Woodbury residents under The Governor, but have not been deeply explored.

The first thing you notice about the novel is the sheer number of adjectives and adverbs. It’s the hallmark of newer writers and feels clunky. In the first few chapters we are treated to run-on sentences that initially seek to physically describe the characters. Inevitably these end with descriptions of personality. Telling, not showing, is a real issue in this novel. There are some amazing descriptions in there though, like diamonds in the rough, such as zombies crawling out of cars ‘like a malformed fetus being born.' The narration is written in third person present tense, which is a bit awkward.

The characters were hit and miss. Lilly feels a bit like a blank slate with few strong characteristics. Josh feels like a walking stereotype. Scott wasn’t really present enough to matter. Megan I felt was the most flawed, interesting, and realistic character, but unfortunately she was only used as a whore for comparison, to show how virtuous our Lilly is. Bob was also flawed, and evoked some real sympathy from me. What screen time the Governor has was well-used, exploring his sick pathology a bit. (Please note that I have only read the comics, not The Rise of the Governor novel.) At under 300 pages, the novel could have been expanded a bit to flush out the characters more.

The plot was simple but worked well for the novel. The pacing was excellent and the action well-written. The inter-character conflicts were well-presented and realistic, including Lilly’s shame about running away rather than helping Josh during a zombie skirmish. The Governor’s ascension within Woodbury is brusk and effective and pretty much word-for-word from the comic source.

There was one issue that really stuck in my craw. Throughout the novel is this, perhaps inadvertent, theme on slut-shaming. Meagan’s promiscuity is discussed as a great evil time and again. Girls are captured by groups of men and pinned down regularly. Men coerce women into prostitution. There are vague threats of sexual assault. There is violent sex. And yet, and yet the author skirts around the word ‘rape’ very carefully and purposefully, especially considering the narrator is a woman. I felt like this in general was both unrealistic---and yes, even in a zombie apocalypse novel I expect some logical responses from characters---and damaging to women. Women are treated as sex objects, vilified for voluntary sex, and forcible sex is never addressed even when it is threatened at every turn. I found that a bit insulting. Comparing this to the treatment of Andrea or Michonne from the comics heightens the difference.

That all being said, it is still a solid zombie novel and miles beyond other popular works in the genre, such as those by Brian Keene.

Note: Do not read this if you only watch the TV show. There are some reveals in this that I feel are better revealed in the comics or in video.

TL;DR: A decent zombie apocalypse novel mired in flat characters and sexism still manages to edge out other zombie novels. Great read for fans of the series.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
May 21, 2018
The Road to Woodbury is the second installment in The Walking Dead series. I definitely thought it was a lot better than the first one. Especially since it had the same narrator as before and I feel like I was less annoyed with him this time around. Probably because I was prepared for it and how he spoke.. but I ended up liking and enjoying the book.

In this story, it's about a group of people travelling to Woodbury, which is a small town with actual humans living there. Along the way, they are constantly dealing with zombies and killing them. I almost wanted to gag at some parts but was intrigued to see how this one was going to end. When we get to Woodbury we see the Governor again.

Now I haven't seen every episode or season of the actual tv show The Walking Dead but I do remember when they actually got to Woodbury and how the people who lived there acted. Even the Governor was strange to me. Yes, I still thought that when I was listening to the audio book of the first book in this series.

Overall, it was a really interesting book. I haven't really been in to zombies books until this year and I find this series so fascinating. I can't decide who's more evil though: zombies or the humans? I mean the residents of this town were just something. I didn't like everyone there but then again I felt that exact way watching the show. Even though I don't like every character I'm meeting along this wonderful series journey, one can feel bad for them. For instance, what they are going through and how they are living can't be easy. Every day is filled with difficult decision making.

I can't wait to dive into the next book. I hope they keep getting better and better.
Profile Image for Danielle.
33 reviews3 followers
December 16, 2012
I'm torn on the book. I really love the Walking Dead, which is a surprise for me as I'm not usually one for the horror genre--- but something about zombie novels are just fun. I'll give the book a 3 out of 5 stars because I still like the storyline despite my problems with it. My friend has been a huge Walking Dead fan since the beginning. I've read all the graphic novels to date as well as the first novel. I know exactly how the team writes and something is off with this one.

I think this novel felt a bit rushed. Character development was few and far between and some of the characters just felt a little stereotypical. With that said I still liked the book. I'm slightly confused on what's so shocking in this novel though. Nothing happened that's shocking unless the reader is completely unaware of all other installments of the series. What I'm most concerned with are the plot holes, many things were said and left unaddressed. When things don't make sense I tend to not like the book as well.
Profile Image for Scott Danielson.
Author 1 book32 followers
November 1, 2012
"He seemed like a good man."

She looks up, focusing on the doctor. "Is that even possible any more?"

"Is what possible?"

"Being a good person?"

Fred Berman narrates this Walking Dead audiobook, written by Robert Kirkman (the creator) and Jay Bonansinga. I enjoy his narration very much. Even though there is a bunch of zombie fighting in this book, it's character driven, and Berman adds great touches to each character.

I watch the Walking Dead TV show, and The Governor was introduced just last week. I'm told he's a big part of the graphic novel story, and that this, the second book in a three book series, is a novelization of a storyline from those. My interest comes as a fan of the TV show - I have only limited knowledge of the graphic novels. This book does not follow the same characters that the TV show follows, but the stories take place in the same world.

My interest in the TV show and the audiobooks has not waned because it turns out that a zombie-ridden Earth is a fine place to tell a story that explores how average people cope when civilization disappears. History is riddled with terrible leaders, and this novel explores how a horrible man can end up leading people, and how those people can end up falling in line.

The novel follows several people as they travel and live and die, making their way across the post-apocalyptic landscape. Eventually, the group ends up at Woodbury, the walled community where The Governor rules. The characters are forced then to make a decision. They can follow this man that the alert ones quickly realize is mad, enjoy the safety from the zombies he provides, or they can take off again on their own, the mere thought of which would make anyone weary. The characters have many different answers. In a world where the characters are constantly threatened by the monstrous, some decide they need a monster of their own for protection, some will have no such thing, and some, despite what they've seen, are offended enough to try to change things.

Profile Image for Jamie.
1,447 reviews1,111 followers
June 1, 2018
Well we get a full view of the Governor as we know and despise him. He has truly and fully fallen (or risen per the first book). How he became so easily manipulative is a bit shocking though. I liked Lilly and Josh quite a bit. Bob was alright until he developed a new obsession. I couldn't care less about the others. This book really starts to show a breakdown of humanity and how on edge everyone is in this world. Good and twisted! Several graphic scenes although some were so over the top it was almost comical. But if you can't handled reading a gruesome scene in detail, stay away from this.
Profile Image for Morgan Shipman.
84 reviews45 followers
February 25, 2019
This was my first audiobook and it was definitely a huge transition from e-books and paperbacks. I've always been a huge fan of The Walking Dead and I don't think the book disappointed. However, for us die hard fans, the book is far different from the show. It was energizing and there was a lot of suspense and thrills throughout, though I wish it had been more similar to the show. The narrator did a great job switching between characters and making it seem incredibly realistic and suspenseful.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,127 reviews563 followers
August 25, 2016
Originally posted at The Book Nympho

Icon Read It Track It  icon AUDIOBOOK  icon HORRIFIC  Icon ZOMBIE  Icon TBR Jar
Read It, Track It is a way for me to track books for my reading challenges and they will be super short.

Fans of The Walking Dead TV show will enjoy these books. You get a closer look at the Governor that we all love to hate. Book 1, The Rise of the Governor is more focused on a small group of family and friends where one of them becomes the Governor at the end.

The Road to Woodbury is a little different. The first half focuses on another group and what they go through before they are welcomed into the small town of Woodbury. The second half is about the group living in Woodbury and the now infamous Governor.

The gritty writing and outstanding narration keeps me coming back for more. I can't wait to start the next audio book!
Profile Image for Jim C.
1,546 reviews25 followers
September 1, 2016
Actual rating is 2.5 stars.

This is the second book of a series that is set in The Walking Dead comics universe. If you are looking for more story about our group of survivors this is not the book for that. This deals with the Governor and Woodbury before our group runs into them. In this one, a small group of people are welcomed by the Governor to Woodbury. As they become familiar with Woodbury they realize that everything is not what it seems to be.

I like the first book better than this one. In the first book the author did a better job with the story and its atmosphere. I thought this one was a step down with his story telling as it was linear. There wasn't much build up of tension and which never led to suspense. Also, there was a lack of character development for the new characters. He gave us glimpses of their stories but not enough to provide the reader with a connection to them. On the positive side I do enjoy this universe and my time in it. I liked how we get to see the early developments of events like the fighting arena. This was a nice touch.

This book wasn't my favorite in this universe. I believe it was too short and because of this there wasn't enough detail and it lacked sustenance. I will continue with this series as I am curious to find out the fate of the new characters that were introduced in this novel.
Profile Image for Cujo.
182 reviews9 followers
May 20, 2019
Centers around a young college girl who is cast from her group following a horrific incident that wasn't her fault. Her and a handful of others wander around till they come to a gated community named Woodbury. Will they find sanctuary inside her walls? Or should they face outside challenges on their own. Answers a lot of pre tv show questions about Woodbury and some of it's residents
Profile Image for Audrey.
5 reviews
October 20, 2012
Not having read the first book, nor the comics I was not sure I was going to like this. I was wrong. This book stands on its own. The prose is witty and compelling. The story is facinating. AND it is really frightening at times. I admit to placing this book in the freezer because it creeped me out. If you are a zombie fan or you love the series, READ this book!
What I found most striking about the story is that the most dangerous, frightening monster in the story is not the ravenous hordes of the undead (don't get me wrong, they are scary and the imagery in the book is almost too vivid at times), but the surviving humans. For a long time I have thought that our culture's obsession with zombies reflects our true fear of each other. What we are most afraid of in this world is ourselves, we fear other humans. This book illustrates that point in a beautifully gory and heart-wrenching story.
Now I need to read the first book!
Profile Image for Emily.
166 reviews
November 17, 2012
It's only my love of the graphic novels and the tv show that keeps me coming back to these lesser cousins. The book goes for "literature" with unending sentences, instead of "good reading" with good sentences. I wanted to chuck it across the room the THIRD time the same characters were caught unawares by an oncoming clot of walkers. After the THIRD time you just deserve to die and give the page space to people smart enough to live! And when did "zombie" become part of the Walking Dead lexicon?! I thought the whole point of "walkers" and "biters" is that "zombie" does not exist in this world! LAZY!! Pick a school of thought and stick with it!! Another word that was overused, "mucousy." Laughing, dying, coughing. I'm surprised someone didn't manage to have "mucousy" sex too. These "novels" try too hard. I'll read the 3rd one, just because I don't know any better, but I'll hate that one through and through too. Stick with graphic novels and tv shows guys!!
Profile Image for Abby.
850 reviews142 followers
January 22, 2020
A new cast of characters joins our story in this book. We're introduced to Lilly, Josh, Bob and Megan as they travel through Georgia during the zombie apocalypse. Like others, they are looking for the refuge in Atlanta. But apparently all roads lead to Woodbury in the world of the Walking Dead. Phillip Blake as the Governor has a reign of terror over the town. What else is new? Basically, this book is just an episode of the TV show in written form. The new characters are pretty dull and the Governor is basically the same as he always is. This book just didn't add anything new to the universe.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,118 reviews44.8k followers
February 15, 2016
From the start of this book, it is abundantly clear that the author’s writing skills have improved since the first book was published. The descriptions are brutal and do wonders to capture the feel of the characters barbaric existence. The thing I enjoy most about the series is the unpredictability of it; the characters could die at the turn of a corner.
I find the character of Lilly slightly contradictory; one minute she is completely neurotic and scared beyond usefulness, next she is tackling a herd of twenty walkers. I understand that this is heat of the moment but it seems a transformation of such epic proportions should not be crammed into about ten pages. The author should have built upon this slowly, creating a framework as she built more confidence, say, after defeating one zombie then eventually a couple and so forth. Also the Governor showing Penny to Bob after just meeting him seems a bit forward to say the least; after all, most people would just shoot her dead on sight. It seems a bit risky considering how he feels about her.
Overall it’s a good read , though I would never revisit it.
Profile Image for Raquel.
1,282 reviews24 followers
August 25, 2017

Neste livro, vemos a parte da história que não tinha acontecido, ou que aconteceu na série, mas não tinha sido bem explicado. Fala sobre o Governador, e quem não se lembra do Governador do The Walking Dead, que mata o pai (Herschel) na prisão onde o grupo se encontra? Sobre o grupo que foi formado pelo Governador para a sobrevivência, conhecemos outras personagens que não tinham surgido na série em si. É verdade, gostei de ler o livro, embora ache que as letras seja um pouco diminutas para os meus olhinhos. Por isso, fica aqui o meu expresso pedido, para que tenham atenção ao tamanho das letras dos livros, porque por vezes a vontade que uma pessoa tem é de não terminar o livro, porque quanto mais letras diminutas forem mais depressa cansa a vista e mais custa a ler e terminar o livro.
Profile Image for Alondra Miller.
988 reviews55 followers
October 17, 2022
This book was won off of GoodReads Giveaways!!

uhm, can I say I am stoked at age 43, for having won this book!!?? Well, I am. I cannot wait to read it. I love this show and will give it 3 stars just for winning it! hehehehe....

Update: where are all the pictures? I was and still am glad to have won this; but I really thought this was the graphic novel. It is literally a book; and not too shabby either. I like learning a few tidbits that are not in the show; but they were not big enough to give this book more than 3.5 Stars.

I really want the graphic novels... what a dweeb. :/
Profile Image for Olivia.
2 reviews
October 26, 2014
The start of this story had a lot of potential, but as the plot progressed, I could only notice all the instances in which the author tended to just state facts and simply tell the story, instead of showing it. There are too many mysogynistic ideas, there is at least one homophobic slur, and when referring to a black character, the author felt the need to remind us of their akin color every time, as if he thought he deserved some sort of award for being diverse. I was excited to read this book, but it just wasn't worth it.
Profile Image for Eero Sipilä.
65 reviews2 followers
August 21, 2017
Jo sarjan ykkösosaa vaivasi paikoin todella heikko ja maneerinen kirjoitustyyli, mutta vetävä juoni ja hahmonkehittely piti kirjan käynnissä. "Tie Woodburyyn", sen sijaan on ammuttu täyteen karikatyyrimaisia ja epäuskottavia henkilöhahmoja, ja koko juoni taipuu post-apokalyptiseksi hömpäksi.

Myös Kirkmanin maneerit tuntuvat pahenneen entisestään: liki joka toinen luku päättyy siihen, kuinka joku kirjan hahmoista ei huomaa lähestyvää uhkaa (zombilauma) koska blaa, blaa ja blaa. Väliin vielä luokattoman itsetoisteista sanankäyttöä ja takkuileva käännös, ja siinä sitä ollaan. Ei vaan, ei.
Profile Image for Yodamom.
2,003 reviews195 followers
January 29, 2014
Quick and Dirty- Woodbury, it wacko capital of the new world. The new man in charge is beyond sanity, and has so many secrets, he doesn't even know who he is at times. We get to know several of the towns residents, and really learn to hate them, (Ahem Lilly), and feel for them. The stories here are so much more than the TV show and I think so much better. Just imagine, no bad actors.
I'm off to start book 3 , part 1- Fall of the Governor
Profile Image for James.
11 reviews10 followers
August 4, 2014
This book was received for free as an advanced reading copy through GoodReads’ FirstReads giveaway.

The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury is a sequel to the novel The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. For those not in the know, these books are spun off from the comics/graphic novels, and not the TV show. If you're solely a fan of the show, or have not read the prior novel, you will most likely want to pass on reading this until you've had the chance to discover them. Those who have the pleasure of going through the original source material will be the ones who will enjoy this book the most. I'll try to avoid any spoilers in my review below. This is also my first goodreads review, so please bear with me.

So, the reason I felt the need to clarify the specific audience this book is for, ties directly into my rating. If you are well acquainted with The Walking Dead comic universe, you know who several of the characters are in this book. The Road To Woodbury is a prequel to the comics, so it's pretty much a given who's going to make it through the events of the novel. It really eliminated any sense of tension or suspense when you know what happens to them. I felt it was pretty obvious what would happen to characters who were added for this book specifically. Knowing more about the previous characters is interesting, and I appreciated it, yet I already know what happened to many of them in the comics, so I ended up feeling somewhat bored. It is well written, and there is enough interesting material here to keep you reading until the end, but a fan of The Walking Dead will know who is going to make it through to the end of this volume. Furthermore, not to give anything away, but certain plot points from the last novel were not further explored here, or were just briefly touched upon, which bothered me. I believe there will be a third book in this series, so I hope they're addressed then. I wanted a true sequel from the last novel, and I didn't feel I got it. Sorry for being terribly vague, but I am trying to avoiding major Spoilers.

If you have not read the items I suggested earlier, you will be able to enjoy the book. However, not knowing how these characters are involved in The Walking Dead canon takes away from the purpose of this book, in my opinion. Many characters have not been on the TV show, or have been portrayed completely different from how they are in this The Walking Dead universe, which may be confusing. A fan of the comics knows enough about the source material where it may not hold their full interest, as it really just fleshes out the history for some characters. I would recommend it only to those who are well acquainted with The Walking Dead Graphic Novels, and have read the prior novel. They will receive the most enjoyment from this.
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews547 followers
December 1, 2012
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Road to Woodbury is told from the perspective of an outsider to the budding little town.

The Review:

Road to Woodbury is the second installment of the Governor Trilogy, following the events that shaped the Governor into the super villain he is today. While I am not really a fan of the show, I did enjoy the first book in this series. The second one….not so much. I had such a hard time listening to this audiobook, I was forced to quit before reaching the end.

This book appears to follow a new group of survivors on their personal journey leading them to the infamous Woodbury. While I may appreciate an outsider’s perspective on unfolding events, I find myself unable to properly describe in more detail of what went on. Let me explain.

The larger casts of characters, both male and female, were given terrible voices by the narrator. Fred Berman, the same actor that did the first audiobook in this trilogy, had a hard time making truly distinctive voices for everyone. I realize the challenge he faced was quite large, but the only way I could tell one person from the next was from the context. By forcing myself to concentrate harder on the language to keep up with the story, I found myself unable to appreciate the whole experience. Audiobooks are meant to make things easier for a reader to enjoy a story, not harder.

If the narration were the only issue, I would have been able to endure it for the sake of a good story. Unfortunately, the entire middle (4 disks to be more precise) seemed to drag on. There was the occasional zombie fight that would shake things up but other than that, I found it to be boring. Lilly and company turned out to not be very relatable for me. As an example, Lilly herself was, on occasion, as fierce as a lion while the next moment she’d be doing her best impression of a dear in headlights. Her unpredictability overshadowed any redeemable qualities she may have exhibited.

While the main issues I had were related directly to the audiobook format, I might find myself reading the book in the near future. There were moments of brilliant imagery with dark and descriptive wording that would have had a larger impact on me in the written word. I may not like zombie movies anymore, but I do occasionally enjoy a good story of the undead. The Walking Dead is a wonderful terror that should be savored. I recommend reading the book in order to get the most from this prequel.

FTC Advisory: Macmillan Audio graciously provided me with a copy of Road to Woodbury. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.
Profile Image for Hilary "Fox".
2,069 reviews60 followers
November 8, 2017
The Road to Woodbury is the second book in The Walking Dead novel series. While it doesn't cover the immediate period after The Rise of the Governor or overlap too much with Another Day in the Office the blanks are fairly easily filled, considering. I still would recommend most simply skip the 1.5 'short story' and jump immediately into this book, but to do so prepared.

The characters from the previous book don't really make an appearance until around the halfway mark of this book, and even then the book continues to follow the newly introduced characters (Josh, Lily, Megan, Bob, Scott, etc.) rather than those from Rise of the Governor in any but a peripheral way. While some of these characters are recognizable from the comics, the bulk of them are new and not nearly as well developed as those from the previous book. A lot of the book comes off as a bit rushed, a bit unfinished... which isn't terribly surprising given the deadline they were likely under. Still, it's an enjoyable, if quick, read.

The book isn't terribly well written, but it's still fun. The fight scenes in particular are good, which is about what I'd expect from a book like this. It doesn't hurt for action and quick pacing. Don't go in expecting a masterpiece, but rather a bit of a guilty pleasure read and I doubt you'll be missing all that much in the end. Also, don't look too closely at the bulk of the female characters or you'll be sorely disappointed. There isn't really much character development or... well... anything there.
Profile Image for Mike.
306 reviews14 followers
June 18, 2013
"The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury" by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga is the second book in the "Governor" trilogy.

As you may have read in my review of the first book in the trilogy about the rise of Philip Blake as the Governor, if you're only familiar with the AMC TV series "The Walking Dead" and not the comic book adventures, you won't find the world or the town of Woodbury or the Governor in this book that familiar.

The AMC Governor is a tall, imposing, charismatic figure ruling over an idyllic Mayberry-esque town in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. The comic book/novel Governor is an ugly little ferret of a man who rules by being the worst sociopath on the block. And the comic book/novel Woodbury is a town full of despair and addiction and hatred. No ice cream socials there.

The message about human nature is much darker (and significantly more depressing) in the comics and the novel than it is on the TV show. So know that going in if you choose to read these books.

That being said, I liked the second book of the "Governor" trilogy more than the first. Why? There were characters I was able to care for and about in it. The setting is still bleak and filled with monsters--both zombie and human--but the core of the novel is the relationship between the protagonists, anxiety-plagued Lilly Caul and the gentle giant Josh Lee Hamilton, which gives this novel an emotional core that was totally missing from the first novel.

Yes, Lilly and Josh...and slutty Megan and their alcoholic pal Bob...do make it to Woodbury and live under the rule of the Governor. Living in Woodbury under the Governor's thumb does change things for all of them. And if you know anything about the Governor, you'd be right in guessing that not all of them survive.

If you're a fan of The Walking Dead universe and enjoyed the first book in the "Governor" series, you'll likely enjoy this one. But if you're a zombie fan in general, you might find this book to be too much about the living and not enough about the dead.
Profile Image for Solitairerose.
128 reviews1 follower
July 29, 2015
I enjoyed the first of the Walking Dead novels, which gave us the backstory of the governor, who was one of the early antagonists in both the comic and the TV series, but the second novel is marred by poor plotting, bad writing and the feeling of a long slog through a paint by numbers plot.
The first third of the novel, which tells the story of a group of survivors that gets much smaller quickly, worked well despite the poor writing. The idea of people coming together and working out a new civilization while still not protected was interesting and well handled. As the plot pared it down to five people on the run, it became more engaging, even though all but two of the characters were one-note throwaways, but the evolving dynamic between Josh and Lilly(who are the focus of this section of the novel) was well done and captivating.
The writing in this section was headshakingly bad at times, which many sections ending with a “But they had no idea how bad things would get” which echoed the worst of a Republic Serial and attempted to inject suspense by telling rather than showing.
Once the five characters get to Woodbury, the book collapses into a mix of replaying what we already know from the TV show and comic, and poor plotting that doesn’t rise above the level of predictable clichés. The final two thirds of the novel builds to “revelations” that are known to anyone who knows the source material, doesn’t find a way to make things interesting and melodramatic scenes with pedestrian prose.
The novel attempt to show how circumstances change a good person into a monster, but instead refuses to rise from a poorly written cash grab. This novel is so poorly done I will not be moving on to the next two novels in the series.
37 reviews
July 1, 2016
Walking Dead -sarjakuvien ja tv-sarjan fanina kaappasin lähikirjastosta kerralla mukaan kaikki kolme Jay Bonansingan kirjoittamaa spinoff-kirjaa: Tie Woodburyyn, Kuvernöörin nousu ja Kuvernöörin tuho, osa 1.
Aloitin innokkaasti tästä kirjasta. Odotin tyylilajin edustavan dekkarin ja kauhun välimuotoa, mutta mieleeni palasivatkin elävästi nuoruuteni demonimetsästäjä John Sinclairin seikkailuista kertovat Yöjuttu-lehdet. Sekä kirjan tyyli että suomennos ovat kömpelyydessään lähinnä huvittavia ja esimerkkejä tekstistä voisi poimia lukuisia. Seuraavana kuvaus yhdestä kirjan keskeisestä protagonistista: "Näihin aikoihin Josh Lee Hamilton astui mukaan kuvaan. Eräänä iltana, kun aurinko oli juuri laskemassa ja karavaani oli joutunut kalmokomppanian piirittämäksi Kmartin pysäköintialueella, vaikuttavan kokoinen afroamerikkalaienen jättiläinen syöksyi heidän suojakseen lastauslaiturin varjoista. Hän saapui kuin maurilainen gladiaattori, joka pitelee kädessään kahta puutarhaletkua. Letkujen hintalaput väpättivät tuulessa, kun mies niittasi zombit helpon näköisesti ja vastaanotti sen jälkeen karavaanilaisten lämpimät kiitokset."
Samanlaista kerronnallista tasoa pyyhälletäänkin lähes 300 sivun verran. Huomasin toistuvasti lukevani kirjaa äidinkielen opettajan tavoin etsien vuorotellen pilkku- ja tyylivirheitä. Toisaalta jos osaa lukea rennosti odottamatta suuria draaman kaaria niin kyllä tämän kanssa saa kulumaan yhden kauniin kesäpäivän rannalla maaten. Vielä olisi kaksi Bonansingaa hyllyssä lukematta. Ajatuskin niistä kauhistuttaa :)
Profile Image for Dorianna.
51 reviews46 followers
November 21, 2012
-I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway-

Considering that Goodreads would not let me post a review four times now, I'm going to assume that it found this book about has riveting as I did.


I can honestly barely remember what happened in this book. Something about zombies, right? It was all I could do to keep on reading instead of just finding a point on the wall and staring into the distance.

The characters were poorly developed, and while I don't necessarily have to "like" the characters of the book, I have to at least give a shit about what happens to them.

The story itself read like a Zombie Apocalypse Grocery List.

1. Zombies
2. Scream
3. Flee
4. Find sheltar
5. Ammo
6. Booze
7. Food stuff
8. List the things discussed instead of actual discussion.
9. Any dialogue should be as boring as humanly possible.

This is not a good way to build up tension.


In fact it kind of puts me to sleep. Such a short book, and yet it felt like I was wasting several lifetimes reading it. I almost gave up on it after awhile.

For people who are new to Robert Kirkman might do well to stay away from this book. It doesn't show his talents at all. We all win some and lose some I suppose.
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