Like many, I tuned in for the premier of this season of The Walking Dead and as is very unlike me, I was physically in the room for the commercials. If you noticed in the title of this review, the trilogy has suddenly been transformed into NOT a trilogy. I noticed this in the commercial for the book and promptly lost my shit. Like many who pre-ordered this book (I had it on reserve since my last review) my first thought upon seeing "part one" was "Gee, thanks for the shameless money-grab." It's the most blatant act of bait and switch I've ever seen and as a fan, I am straight up insulted. This is precisely why I take full advantage of my dayjob as a librarian: I can screen a series to see if it's worth my money to own them. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not.
This is a case of not.
That being said, once I got over the "sticker shock" and got the book in my hot little hands; I remembered what a very wise teacher of mine said in high school about going into something with your mind made up beforehand. I opened to page one with an open mind.
No, seriously. I left my extreme anger and sarcasm for the first two books behind. And that was really hard, believe you me. This book comes in at a mere 245 pages; which leaves little room for a realistic transformation of Lilly Caul.
Fall of the Governor picks up not long after Road to Woodbury. Lilly still hates the Governor, he still doesn't trust her, and Woodbury is still lead by a creepy bastard who keeps zombie heads in fish tanks and a zombie girl on a leash in his house. Lilly goes on a couple raids and she seems to have he right attitude of it not being play time and you need to watch your ass. But her switch from "this guy is out of hand" to "gee, I think he has the right idea because the world is harsh and cruel" is so sudden, it is beyond belief. If the character straight out says "I think it's Stockholm Syndrome" (I'm paraphrasing here but Lilly used the term), the transition was too abrupt. It was forced to comply with the assault on the prison we all know is gonna happen.
Other than that, I have to admit, this book is MUCH improved over the previous installments. If you've read my reviews of those, that's not saying much but the fact remains. The writing in the beginning is "take this guy's thesaurus away" drab again but when the novel meets the comic, it picked up in quality. The cynic in me believes it's because the world was already built; you just hadda transcribe the events in the comic. But you can still screw up that part and Bonansinga didn't. Kudos to you, sir.
Even the new angle of the story coming from the other side of the coin, as it were, isn't enough to separate the novel from the comic. You've read the comic, you know what happens. The side story with Lilly and her new boyfriend(?) Austin is forgettable. Glen and Maggie are a better couple to watch, in my opinion. Besides, who wants to hear them muse about their relationship when you get to read the prose version of the Governor and Michonne meeting face to face. That was the best writing I have seen in this series so far. Keep it at that caliber, and I may not hate the next one from first glance.
As I finished the book, I did check out some other reviews and to sum up, I agree with them; it's a cheat. It's not fair to split up the conclusion this way and these books do NOT live up to the promise of the comic books or the show. They are forgettable at best and cringe-worthingly bad at worst. I am only looking forward to the last book to say I finished the series. Because, let's face it: We all read this story already. And it was better the first time they told it.
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