Jonah Caine, a lone survivor in a zombie-infested world, struggles to understand the apocalypse in which he lives. Unable to find a moral or sane reason for the horror that surrounds him, he is overwhelmed by violence and insignificance.
After wandering for months, Jonah's lonely existence dramatically changes when he discovers a group of survivors. Living in a museum-turned-compound, they are led jointly by Jack, an ever-practical and efficient military man, and Milton, a mysterious, quizzical prophet who holds a strange power over the dead. Both leaders share Jonah's anguish over the brutality of their world, as well as his hope for its beauty. Together with others, they build a community that reestablishes an island of order and humanity surrounded by relentless ghouls.
But this newfound peace is short-lived, as Jonah and his band of refugees clash with another group of survivors who remind them that the undead are not the only—nor the most grotesque—horrors they must face.