Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 13: Too Far Gone

The Walking Dead, Vol. 13: Too Far Gone by Robert Kirkman

ZPAA rating

Mid-teen and up.

Gore level

7 out of 10--Lots of zombie-caused deaths, including some humans torn to bits; drawn-out fist fight; bandaged up faces.

Other offensive content

Lots of bad language including f-bombs; traumatic back stories of characters; bad attitudes displayed throughout; abusive home life for a character; other family strife; a few discreet sex scenes with shadowy nudity; lots of gunplay; debate about whether funerals are appropriate or not; the value of the priest/pastor's input seems negligible except for feel good sentiments.

How much zombie mythology/content

Nothing new this issue.

How much fun

Some occasional jokes; mostly this is good drama that makes you keep guessing and keep reading.

Synopsis & Review

Rick's group has accepted residence in a little community just outside Washington, D.C. The community has electricity from solar power and lots of supplies. The area had been set up by the government in case of an ongoing emergency. Life is sort of normal (i.e. like the pre-outbreak society) but little things seem odd to Rick. What about the kid with a black eye? Why is everyone so nice and gets along seemingly so well? Rick was appointed "constable" for the community and has to protect and serve. At the end of the last issue, Rick stole some guns from the armory (not a hard task) saying he didn't want the locals, including their leader Douglas, messing up the good thing they have.

Things move along uneasily. Glenn is back on scavanging duty, which his wife Maggie is unhappy about. Michonne is Rick's deputy, though how loyal she'll be to him is anyone's guess since she doesn't want Rick to mess things up. Andrea struggles to get past Dale's death and start engaging with others. Are they all "too far gone" to come back to living in a community?

After some heavy issues, this book moves pretty quickly and not too darkly. Sure, people die but the deaths aren't as gruesome or morbidly dwelt upon as earlier. Treating people like people seems possible again in this new place as long as the delicate balance of harmony and justice can be maintained. This book asks how people can have that balance within themselves.

Gabriel, the priest/preacher, still is a big question mark for me. He never gives real substantive input into anything. He believes he has been led here by God's plan but his impact on the people there is touchy-feely. Rick is the one to bring a sense of righteousness to the story. He says a funeral is important so people can process what's happened. Tellingly, Gabriel's only role (that we see) at the funeral is to introduce Rick, who waxes eloquent about one of the dead men. I just don't think the author takes Gabriel seriously as a man of God.

Sample Text

Rick on why he's the man for the job: "I'm just doing what needs to be done. Don't you see that? Pete needs to be stopped. I'm the one who does what needs to be done--no matter what. You need me. I make the hard decisions, I do whatever it takes to keep the people around me alive. If you think you can survive without me, you're wrong."

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