*** Spoilers for those who aren’t caught up with the series!! ***
Rick Grimes and his band of survivors are on the move again. In the last book, they encountered cannibals and horrible things had to be done to ensure their safety. Carl, Rick’s son, is dealing with the aftermath of killing Billy, another child who was a great danger to the whole group. The group encounters a lone man on the road named Aaron, who wants them to come with him and live in his safe haven. Rick is immediately suspicious. In the past, another group claimed something similar and it ended very badly. The rest of the group is more enthused to have a stable place to stay and find the newcomer to be trustworthy. They go to this safe haven and find a stable community, headed by an ex-Senator. Everything seems a little too perfect to Rick. Plus they seem to have no safeguards against other human attackers. Is Rick just being paranoid or there really something nefarious going on in this community? Can these survivors who have seen so many horrors integrate back into normal society?
The Walking Dead is an excellent series. This is one in the series that is more a precursor to and setting up of events to come. Action wise, not much happens in this one. However, many important issues are brought up and there is more character development than anything else. The relationship between Rick and his son Carl is especially interesting to me. Carl isn’t a hardened killer, even though he has killed countless zombies. He is still emotionally affected by his first human murder, but he holds it together because it’s needed for the survival of the group. Rick understands Carl’s decision, but wishes he didn’t have to do things like this. He, after all, is still a child.
The other big event of this narrative is the invitation to live in the safe haven. Rick is immediately on his guard and thinks it’s too good to be true. The others start out as accepting, but grow to be more and more suspicious. This situation is the most like life before the zombie apocalypse than anything they have experienced since. Will the survivors ever be able to integrate into a society such as this one? They have been fighting for survival for about two years. Many of their problems have come from humans, such as the cannibals from the last one and the sadistic governor. Events like these take a toll on them and make them into different people.
Although not the most action packed book in the series, I enjoyed the emotional and psychological implications presented. Something big is going to be happening in the next book and I can’t wait to read it!
My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins