This is the story of Philip Blake, his daughter Penny, & his brother Brian. Set in the early days of the outbreak, the novel serves as a prequel to the comic; you'll find events that happen in the book have tie ins & inadvertent consequences for Rick Grimes & his band of survivors, though the 2 groups never meet in the story. Blake's group & friends find themselves struggling to survive in the emergence of the new world. Media outlets go off the air, law & order fails, and the dead overtake the Earth in merely a matter of weeks. Along the journey to reach/escape Atlanta and find a new home for themselves, you'll grow to care about the characters in this story just as you do about Rick's group.
But you will also see how both men differ. Where Rick tries to stay on the straight & narrow and ensures that some semblance of the life they knew is present in the new world, you will see just how exactly a man breaks in Philip's group. In a way, this novel humanizes the monster. It shows you a side of the Governor that you didn't know was there before. And after reading this book, the first in a trilogy of planned novels, it is entirely possible that you may look at one of the most notorious villains ever created in a new light. While the Governor is a reprehensible character, once you see the circumstances that led to creating him, you will understand how it is possible for someone to become that evil.
Written by Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga, this is an AWESOME read. If you've read the comic & watch the TV show, you can easily picture in your head what is transpiring. Even being a novel, it is incredibly descriptive and doesn't hold back on the gore, language, etc. If you're not familiar with "The Walking Dead" & are looking to get into it, this is the perfect place for you to start. I couldn't put the book down; it's just as much of a page turner as the comic & leaves you hungering for more. Definitely pick it up, you will not be disappointed!