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The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga (Read by Fred Berman)
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Macmillan Audio Audio CD  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781427226006
Date: 16 October 2012 List Price $39.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Zombies and the people trying to survive. The Walking Dead, Road to Woodbury tells the story of a group of survivors trying to keep alive and keep sane in the midst of the zombie plague.

The Walking Dead, Road to Woodbury concerns the zombie plague that hit the US in the early 21st century. Zombies are dead humans that come back to life. The cause and cure are unknown. Zombies survive by eating live human flesh and once a human is bitten by a zombie, the human becomes a zombie. Killing a zombie is a little odd, because zombies are already dead, but there are only two ways to kill a zombie. The first is to inflict head injury and injure the brain, such as shooting a zombie or hitting it with an ax. The second is to burn the zombie in a fire. Both are a little grizzly, and if you like blood and guts, this book is for you.

The Walking Dead, Road to Woodbury surrounds the lives of five characters. They meet in a group of human survivors in one of many settlements where people band together to survive. They collect food together and help defend each other from the zombies. Although ferocious, zombies are slow. When a person fights against one zombie, it is easy for the human to win. When the zombies group in herds, defense is much harder. Of course, when groups of people get together, relationships get strained and in addition to basic human nature, everyone is under the stress of the plague which makes the relationships that much more difficult.

The group of five eventually leaves the camp and heads out on their own. The defacto leader of the group is Josh Hamilton. He is a great big southern boy, a former college football player, who is gentle and leads the group and keeps them safe. A second is Lilly, a young women with some self confidence issues, but overall a good person. Two others are young marijuana hounds. The last is my favorite character, Bob. Bob is a Iraq veteran with minor PTSD issues, but also was a medic and serves as the group doctor. He is also a terrible alcoholic but still manages to hold himself together and provide a lot of support for the group.

They travel together and try to keep save and eventually end up in the town of Woodbury. Woodbury is a settlement of people in a small town with a protective wall around it. That is where the safety net ends though. If I tell you too much, I will spoil the plot, but lots of things are odd in Woodbury. They have a barter system for food and services, but somehow the equity in barter is not very equitable. The governor of Woodbury is so odd that I find it difficult to explain. Think of all the infamous leaders in history, Nero of Rome, Idi Amin, etc and then you will get some idea.

In addition to The Walking Dead, Road to Woodbury, AMC has a hit TV show also called The Walking Dead. I admit, I am new to the zombie scene. At first I thought they were weird, but my son got me to watch the TV show and I was hooked. That said, I have only seen seasons one and two of the TV show. I hear through the grapevine that the plot of Walking Dead, Road to Woodbury and The Walking Dead intersect in season 3.

I already mentioned blood and guts and there is plenty of it. The details are graphic. It is funny because even though I saw both the humans killing zombies (there is the funny term again) and the zombies eating humans on TV, I felt a lot more when reading this book. I guess the mind sees what it wants to see, because my imagination never put together all the details that I heard in the descriptions in The Walking Dead, Road to Woodbury. SFRevu provided me this novel as a book on CD. As a performance the reader, Fred Berman, does an excellent job. I found a lot of suspense in his reading and I really enjoyed the performance.

I enjoyed the novel and I recommend it for zombie lovers. Even if you have only seen the TV version, you will still love it.

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