The Walking Dead, Volume 4: The Heart’s Desire – Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

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So this volume was incredibly interesting, still in the same setting as before however this volume focused heavily on the mental state and relationships of the characters. As time starts to take its toll, not to mention the flesh eating zombies running around, the group starts to break down and a lack of sleep mixed with stress starts to stir some problems.

This graphic novel was a real insight into the heads of the characters and for some strange reason it felt longer than the rest of the volumes. This section of the plot seemed to pack so much action into its pages that I read it all in one sitting. I had mentioned in a previous review for volume 3 that there was a lot of jumping around from one section of the plot to another and from one characters story to another. Yet with this volume the plot seemed to return to the same style as Volume 1 and Volume 2 so I was happy to see the usual strength in writing and coherent flowing of the plot.

Volume 4 unleashes a mixture of feelings, emotions and turmoil amongst the group as new characters are introduced and relationships begin to shut down. As morbid as it sounds I really enjoyed this volume because I was able to get an insight into different aspects of the characters personalities. As with most of the volumes we lose characters to the zombie attacks; however the death in this volume seemed to be one of the saddest yet as I have grown a little bit more attached to the characters, the further I get into the series. Before it seemed like every character was going to get its chance experiencing death and that the writer had a disregard for its audience’s feelings but this time around it was emotional. I think the further I get into the plot the harder it will get to lose the characters.

One thing I did pick up on more in this volume than before is the way women are portrayed. Throughout the plot they are seen as moaning, sewing, breakfast providing, minimal contributing characters. Without spoiling the plot, turn away now if you need too; in this volume a committee is set up to help with the tasks and decision making process and no women are included in the committee because apparently they wanted it to be formed just with men. From the first few volumes I saw the women as stronger and confident in decision making, wanting to help and do the same as the men, for example Andrea seems to be a better shooter than all of them combined. Yet suddenly they seem to be playing a smaller role and in a ways, one of less importance.

I gave this novel a 5 out of 5 on goodreads because I enjoyed the look inside the characters heads and seeing how they react under the stress and aches of life in a zombie world. I also enjoyed the suspense and tension as a new character is brought in to their safe haven and watching how some of the characters not only fear the walking dead but even the people closest to them. This volume is overflowing with individual arguments and fights and is a few steps away from the entire group falling apart. Definitely worth picking up if you like a bit of tension mixed in with a sprinkle of suspense.

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