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Descent by Jay Bonansinga
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1015182,799 (3.23)8
"Written by Jay Bonansinga, based on the series created by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead: Descent follows the events of The Fall of the Governor, and Lily Caul's struggles to rebuild Woodbury after the Governor's shocking demise. Out of the ashes of its dark past, Woodbury, Georgia, becomes an oasis of safety amidst the plague of the walking dead - a town reborn in the wake of its former tyrannical leader, Philip Blake, aka The Governor. Blake's legacy of madness haunts every nook and cranny of this little walled community, but Lilly Caul and a small ragtag band of survivors are determined to overcome their traumatic past... despite the fact that a super-herd is closing in on them. This vast stampede of walkers, driven by inexorable hunger and aimed directly at Woodbury, becomes their first true test. But Lilly and company refuse to succumb, and in a stunning counteroffensive, the beleaguered townspeople save themselves by joining forces with a mysterious religious sect fresh from the wilderness. Led by an enigmatic preacher named Jeremiah, this rogue church group seems tailor made for Woodbury and Lilly's dream of a democratic, family-friendly future. The two factions meld into one, the town prospers, and everything seems hopeful for the first time since the plague broke out. But things - especially in the world of the walking dead - are often not what they seem. Jeremiah and his followers harbor a dark secret, the evidence of which very gradually begins to unravel. In a stunning and horrifying finale, the world for Lilly and her close friends is turned upside down, and it is solely up to Lilly Caul to cleanse the town once and for all of its poisonous fate"--… (more)



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The fifth installment in The Walking Dead novels. Young Lilly Caul is now the leader of Woodbury and the townspeople look to her for decisions and plans, something that wears on her as she has no experience in survival or leadership. She makes the decision to let in a starving family, insisting that they stay even though the wife has serious mental issues that quickly leads to tragedy. But Lilly seems to have had her eye on the husband the second she sees him, so her decisions aren't that great. She also leads a group of her people into the tunnel system under the town to save a tent revival preacher and his disciples, which proves to be another mistake.
I think I'm done with this series. The first book, which had more of Kirkman's hand and concerned the Governor, was really good. This story about Lilly just doesn't have the same level of engagement. She's a pretty boring character and it doesn't make sense that in a town of people who have decades more experience, including military and survival training, that they'd have a twenty-one year old without any credentials calling the shots. She even starts hitting on the new guy the day after his wife is torn apart. ( )
  mstrust | Apr 6, 2019 |
I play the Walking Dead mobile app and knew about Rev. Jeremiah from that game. He was a tough son of a bitch to kill in the game and I dreaded coming up against him whenever I played! So when I saw him appear in this book, my spine turned cold! Dread!

I find the premise of how this "plague" effects Christians as an interesting one to examine so I enjoyed this book. It was decent. Lilly, is, unfortunately, a weak character. I haven't decided if she's well written or if the author is unable to create (envision) a strong female character. She gives over leadership to the good Reverend, which allows him to attempt a mass suicide of the town's people, because she wants to stay home and be a Betty Homemaker for a new guy in town. She is so blinded by this ideal (one she had when the Governor was doing all his craziness) that she refuses to see anything but the perfection of the town ... which the good Reverend is trying to murder. It certainly makes her weak and it's hard to say if the fact that she reacts the same to the good Reverend as she did the Governor means she's poorly written or just that desperate for normalcy.

Adrianne ( )
  Adrianne_p | Jan 14, 2019 |
I can't help it, I love zombie books. Of course I'm a fan of the Walking Dead TV show. And I've liked all of the novels I've read so far. ( )
  SoubhiKiewiet | Mar 20, 2018 |
Lilly is now the reluctant leader of the people who survived the Governor. Lilly feels the weight of responsibility heavily and is quick to act in dangerous situations. Unfortunately, even having survived The Governor, Lilly and many of the people of Woodbury have forgotten the one lesson he had to teach them - zombies may be scary and lethal in large numbers but the real predator is still humans.

Lilly is the first female leader of a group that we have been introduced to in the book series. Somehow she doesn't seem to have the same strength as Rick or even Phillip. Even Rick's most stupid decision and plans always seem to work out somehow and that is most certainly not the case for Lilly. With Woodbury absolutely decimated and struggling to keep going with its small population thanks to Phillip, the small town is desperate to take in stragglers and build a safe place to survive the walkers. Lilly doesn't even bother to ask the three questions that in the television series Rick asks each new person who wants to join his group. Nope, Lilly welcomes everyone with open arms even though she knows absolutely nothing about them. After surviving Phillip I have to wonder why Lilly isn't more cautious and a hell of a lot more jaded.

Meredith, Cal and their children are the first people to show up in Woodbury hiding a secret. It seems that Meredith has a mental illness and because of this, the Dupree family have already been rejected from several groups. It seems that Meredith has repeatedly been deemed a danger because her actions are unpredictable and far from sane.

She shoots him a hard look. "C'mon, Cal ... you know very well what happens if they find out about my ... my condition. Remember the KOA camp?"

"Those people were paranoid and ignorant" He walks over to her, kneels by her chair, puts a tender hand on her knee. "God brought us here, Mer."

"Calvin -"

"Seriously. Listen. This place is a gift. God has brought us here and he wants us to stay. Maybe that older man - Bob, I think his name is - maybe he's got medication you can use. This is not the Middle Ages."

Meredith looks at him. "Yes, it is, Cal ... it is the Middle Ages."

"Honey, please"

"They drilled holes in the heads of the mentally ill back then - it's worse than that now."

"These people aren't gonna persecute you. They're just like us, they're just as scared. All they want is to protect what they got, make a safe place to live"

Meredith shivers. "Exactly, Cal ... and that's why they're gonna do exactly what I would do if I was them and I learned somebody in their midst was a mental defect." (pg 22)
Cal does ask for the group to keep a look out for medication on their searches for supplies but Lilly never gets into great detail about what the drugs are for or what happens when Meredith doesn't have them. Cal warns Lilly that "it's an invisible illness. Most of the time. But these days, it's very dangers - a very dangerous liability." Lilly doesn't ask exactly what danger Meredith poses even after learning that the Duprees have been kicked out of two different settlements. Cal tells Lilly that Meredith has bipolar disorder and clinical depress and has tried to take her life a couple of times since the turn. To me, that sounds like an opening to ask some questions but Lilly simply moves on.

After Meredith sacrifices herself to save Woodbury from an epic horde, it's not long before Cal and Lilly are sleeping together. Why does Lilly even need a love interest in this story? And what the hell kind of person is Cal? His wife's body isn't even cold before he has moved onto Lilly. If that were not enough, still knowing virtually nothing about him, Lilly invites Cal to sit on the ruling council for Woodbury. The insta trust routine is something that we haven't seen any male leader do to date.

The insta trust is bad enough once but then Lilly does it again with Reverend Jeremiah and his group of sycophants. Bob, the man that Lilly trusts the most is absolutely adamant that something is wrong with Jeremiah and states repeatedly that the man cannot be trusted. Does Lilly listen to Bob or even entertain the idea that maybe she should be more cautious? Why, of course not. Lilly assumes that Bob's reticence is about his distrust of religious people. It's not long before Jeremiah joins Cal on the ruling counsel and an even shorter step from there before Lilly promotes him to co-leader. Yes, you read that right. She doesn't promote Bob who has been by her side advising her from the beginning but Jeremiah, a man she hardly knows because he is quick to pitch in around Woodbury and she is tired of being the leader.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Aug 17, 2015 |
My family are huge fans of The Walking Dead TV show. Oddly I have never gotten around to reading the comic books on which the show is based but I intend to remedy that shortly. In the meantime I saw this book on the new arrivals table at my local library and was intrigued enough to grab it. I had no idea that this was part of a series and that this novel was number five. I feel like I would have been more invested in the characters fates if I started at book one but in any case I didn't have any trouble following the plot line.

This novel takes place after the Governor's death and features the survivors of Woodbury. A woman named Lilly Caul is now running things to the best of her ability. I thought her choice of name was interesting because a caul is a membrane that sometimes covers the fetus and if they are born with one it has been historically associated with good luck. Anyway Lilly isn't opposed to new people joining her ranks, she needs numbers to survive, however as is often the case the living are as often as dangerous as the dead. Fear the living, kill the dead is a popular Walking Dead slogan and in this case it couldn't be more true.

The main problem for me with the books, aside from jumping into an ongoing story line in the middle, is that descriptions of zombie attacks are just not as thrilling to read about as they are to watch on TV. There isn't the sense of urgency or horror when you are reading as opposed to watching. The story has to be really strong, more so in a book than on TV, to compensate for the lack of special effects. Good zombie attacks can carry a weak TV plot, which by the way, the TV show rarely has. For me the book started out a little slow, but picked up steam as it went along. I am interested enough to go back and pick up the first book and see if that improves my overall impression of this spin off. ( )
  arielfl | Dec 6, 2014 |
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The Walking Dead: Descent is a novelization, not a comic or graphic novel. Do not combine with any kind of illustrated work.
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