On the one hand, it's a very good thing Rick and Co. have found a new seemingly safe place they can stay, possibly permanently. On the other, it feels like just another way that Kirkman will give us false sense of security, only then to pull it from under us with something that's somehow worse than anything that's come before. The characters also seem to feel the same way.
It's been a couple of weeks since the incident with the cannibals, and the survivors are out foraging for food when they are approached by a man claiming he lives in a community of 30 plus people, and they are invited to join them. They are understandably skeptical, even though he appears to be telling the truth. And even when they reach the community and see for their own eyes that it seems to be true, they still see danger and warning signs everywhere. Having lived out in the wilds for fourteen plus months, they can't seem to bring themselves to admit nothing untoward might be going on. To say they are paranoid might be an understatement. And for all I know, they may be right. The way Kirkman constructs the story, every word out of the new people's mouths seems suspect, or fake, as the survivors keep pointing out. As Andrea and Carl both point out, it feels like everyone in the community is just pretending, and the survivors are bothered by it, as they're still haunted by the recent memories of their trauma.
Honestly, this was a really well-constructed volume, and as discussed in my review for Vol. 11, if I hadn't read it at the time I did, I probably would have given it four stars. But I did read it now, and I guess I'm just not in the mood for relentlessly bleak right now. There's something to be said for not reading things just because you have them out from the library and they have to go back. Library guilt never made a book better. I was planning on finishing out the rest of the published volumes of this series this year, but I might have to think harder about that and wait for a time when I actually want to read them.