Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: The Walking Dead, TP 11: Fear the Hunters

The Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear the Hunters by Robert Kirkman

ZPAA rating

Mid-teen and up.

Gore level

8 out of 10--Bloody wounds including a zombie bite; cannibalism with cooking (a leg in the fire); human on human violence (knife killing and one extended torture/killing); only a few zombies in this book who die in the usually unpleasant ways.

Other offensive content

Lots of bad language including f-bombs; bad attitudes from a lot of people (some with better excuses than others); poor defense of Christian faith; horrible background stories of what people did or let happen in order to survive; rude and evil children; a sex scene; psychological torment.

How much zombie mythology/content

There's some more investigation of zombies who are weak and more uncoordinated than usual. No explanation, but one character can't wait to get to Washington to discuss it with others.

How much fun

I don't think I laughed once. The story is very grim (as usual) and not as compelling. This volume seems more like stories on the road than actually moving to a destination.

Synopsis & Review

The group continues its trek towards Washington. The twin boys in the group die very early on, forcing them to stop for a day to reassess their situation. One boy kills the other; he's then put in a car while the adults discuss what to do about it. That night someone kills the other twin (which is what more than a few people wanted to do). This drives Dale over the edge. All of the sudden a black man in clerics walks out of the woods and claims he has a church nearby where they can stay, though he doesn't have any food there (that's why he left). Also, someone has been sneaking around at night watching the group. Is the preacher/priest in league with them? What does the mysterious group want with Dale when they kidnap him as he wanders off at night? (hint: check "gore content" above).

The tension is pretty high in this issue. The two groups spend a lot of time trying to outthink each other, hoping the other group will panic and fall into their clutches. The writing is still very intelligent, as are the characters. The new characters are well thought out with full back stories that explain their actions and motivations. I just wish their conflicts weren't so tense.

At one point, Abraham asks Father Gabriel (the black cleric) about the Christian faith, including how Aztecs and Sumerians had no chance to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. At first, Fr. Gabriel says that they worshiped false gods and deserved Hell. Abraham doesn't buy it (as no one should) and Fr. Gabriel says something about the inscrutability of God's plan, which is pretty unsatisfying to the reader or Abraham. Christian faith is generally disparaged in The Walking Dead (as it is in modern culture), which is something parents would want to talk about with their children who read it. Though, really, are you letting your children read this? A lot of Christian adults may not have worked out this issue either. The Catholic position, for those interested, is that Christ's grace is available to all people throughout all time. In the absence of Christian exposure, people can still achieve salvation by following the law written on their hearts (cf. Romans 2:15), i.e. the natural law that can be known through reason alone. Obeying that law is greatly helped by revelation and the true faith.

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