The Walking Dead, Volume 5: The Best Defense – Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

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This was a great carry – on to the plot as it wasn’t short on action however I found this volume was high on goriness and rough with some areas of the plot. It even made me feel a little uncomfortable in areas that I considered actually skipping them. I know this is probably a little silly to say as The Walking Dead is a series about zombies so gore is going to feature but this one may have been a little too graphic for me.

As The Walking Dead is illustrated in black and white I even find it hard to imagine what the graphics would look like in colour and just how shocking and stomach-churning they would be then. I wonder if I would be able to watch the TV adaptation at all as I’ve been told they don’t skip out on the detail!

The plot definitely thickens in this volume as Rick, Glen and Michonne reach Woodbury and this is a part in the plot that my friend had mentioned from watching the TV series. I’m expecting this to be a big part for the series and so far in one volume it has really packed a punch. I am intrigued to see where it goes now.

As for the characters they have definitely changed from the previous volume, in volume 4 the characters seemed to be losing touch with themselves and their personalities. Here, I can see them start to regain that individual strength and confidence, especially in Rick and Tyreese. There are some characters that by this stage I am really starting to find irritating, I don’t like to admit it but it’s true. I also don’t want to name any in particular as it could become a spoiler alert but some of the characters seem to spend a large part of their day complaining and making the whole zombie-apocalypse-trapped in an enclosure situation ten times worse. I know if it was me I couldn’t be locked in a small space with certain people for a long period of time.

The dialogue and plot of this volume runs smoothly and at a good speed, I was able to read it in one sitting and didn’t want to put it down until I had finished it. Although this is the case with many graphic novels I have read, this one was a little quicker to get through as it introduced new characters and new settings making it a little bit more intriguing, exciting and tense.

For anyone following the series, it is a worthwhile read however I only gave this volume a 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads mostly due to the violence. As realistic as it may be in a zombie concentrated world with little to no female attention I found some parts awkward and sickening to read and look at. This volume also seemed to introduce some new ways of dealing with the zombies, and a way of using them for personal entertainment which was an interesting scope on dealing with things. Either way there was lots of gory illustrations to match a slightly wilder aspect of the plot. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead or have already started the graphic novel series.

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