Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Review: The Walking Dead Vol. 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman et al.

The Walking Dead Volume 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman et al.

ZPAA rating

Teens and up

Gore level

7 out of 10--The usual zombie fights with decapitations, de-limbing, shooting, etc.; some talk about Carl's eye (or lack thereof) is not for the squeamish, but we don't really see the wound; some human-on-human violence including a bloody throat cut that soaks one character and makes a big puddle on the ground.

Other offensive content

Bad language, bad attitudes, kidnapping, take about sex (including an oblique reference to a three-way) though we don't see anything.

How much zombie mythology/content

No new info on the zombies.

How much fun

It's the Walking Dead, so the jokes are sparse but the drama is always interesting.

Synopsis & Review

Rick's new program of distributing the leadership in their community is running okay. Not everyone fully believes in it but they go along anyway. Scavenging is getting harder. Larger groups are going further out to collect supplies but it's been two years in the story since the zombie uprising. Canned goods are running short along with every other necessary thing, like medical supplies and such.

The group soon runs across another lone survivor who is called Jesus. He says he is from a group of two hundred who have set up a trading network among other communities in the DC area. He is their recruiter, bringing new communities into the network. Rick doesn't trust him at all and brings him in secretly (and tied up) to their community. He takes Michonne and some others to scour the area looking for Jesus's buddies, assuming the 200 are going to come and take Rick's people down. Of course, maybe Jesus is telling the truth. Only time and experience will tell.

The central issue here is trust. When should you trust a stranger, especially in the midst of a zombie apocalypse? Does Rick go too far or is he right in his treatment of this new opportunity/threat? At one point, Rick says that he was chosen to lead the group because of the way he sees things. He has an intuition on what's safe or not. It's an interesting speech because it flatly contradicts what he does earlier in the book--he doesn't know if Jesus is for real or not. It makes me wonder if we can trust Rick himself. I guess I'll have to read on to find out.

This book is not as compelling as previous work, but not as nasty either. And pretty low on action which is surprising for the series.

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