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Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Descent (The Walking Dead Series) Hardcover – October 14, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“The Walking Dead series…has taken the zombie apocalypse story everyone has long since gotten over and done it transcendentally well for an unusually long time. Readers might suspect that in this fourth Walking Dead novel, Descent, the charm might be wearing off [but] Descent maintains the series' strength due to the author's truly powerful ability to describe the series' world and to establish tone, pacing, kinesthetics, and every other nut and bolt that holds a good novel together.” ―Booklist on Descent

“The books are a really fun read...It's an interesting look at the universe that you already know and you might learn some things about your favorite characters you never knew.” ―FANBOLT on The Fall of the Governor: Part One and Part Two

“An entertaining read.” ―ComicBookMovie.com on The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury

“The novel fleshes out . . . backstories and connects them, giving depth to people who remained largely mysteries in the comic books. For comic book readers, the novel is full of easter eggs and surprise connections, making it not only entertaining, but necessarily for filling in the gaps left by the comic books . . . ‘The Road to Woodbury' is an essential read for any fan of ‘The Walking Dead'.” ―Examiner.com

“Zombie-apocalypse stories are perfect for miserable winter weather regardless, but for those obsessed with The Walking Dead (such as yours truly), this is essential reading. This is the epitome of a page-turner, and makes subway rides just breeze by. And, that end -woof.” ―REFINERY29 on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“An excellent companion to the The Walking Dead comic books. The story is enriched by the novel format, and the characterization of the series' most hated villain is something no fan will want to miss.” ―Examiner.com on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“This book stands alone and is a compelling read for fans of the series or just fans of zombies. Watch out though, because once you get a taste of the particular Kirkman brand of zombie mayhem, catching up on past issues is just around the corner.” ―The Ossuary on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“The story makes a great novel. You'll get sucked in and can easily visualize everything that is happening. It's simply a great read.” ―Comicvine.com on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“It takes great advantage of the literary medium in a way that most tie-in books would not.” ―TVOverMind.com on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“Not for the faint of heart, this book runs on pressure-cooker suspense, graphically described bloodshed, and dark acts of brutality...This riveting character study adds a new dimension to the oeuvre by fleshing out established characters and plot lines.” ―School Library Journal on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

From the Back Cover

Lilly Caul struggles to rebuild Woodbury after the Governor's shocking demise in a stunning and horrifying last act in


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 still haunts this little walled community but Lilly Caul and a small ragtag band of survivors are determined to overcome their traumatic past...even as a vast stampede of zombies is closing in on them. Soon Lilly and the beleaguered townspeople must join 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. But Jeremiah and his followers harbor a dark secret, the evidence of which very gradually begins to unravel. Now Lilly is caught in the dark center of a growing conflict...and it will take all of her instincts and skills to survive both the living and the dead.
"An excellent companion to the Walking Dead comic books [that] no fan will want to miss."-Examiner.com

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Walking Dead Series (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (October 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250057175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250057174
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Now I do not think that it is a coincidence that this fifth book of the Walking Dead Novels came out within days of the new season of the TV show. I have been waiting a long time for both to come out and I really hope it has been worth the wait. As you and I both know hype and anticipation can sometimes kill something from being successful.

I for see this one to be more about, the Governor’s dead, now what? With Lilly taking the reins. Other than that I am not so sure where the story will go. Rebuilding Woodburry? Venturing out to create a new society? Pretty much wide open for Kirkman to create with a clean slate.

A zombie horde of hundreds, maybe thousands is what Lilly, Bob and the rest have to deal with. Woodburry is destroyed, the Governor’s dead. Now is the time for our ragtag group to create something new.

Without going into a summary of the story I will say there were low points and high points. This is definitely a transition book, you the sometimes painfully slow and confusing. Doing little more than to build story lines for future books.

Kirkman and Bonansinga have mastered the evolution of deep and expansive characters within these several books. Along with that they have been able to create a sense of urgency, despair and terror within my mind. Always thinking I know what is going to happen next and turning left when I thought it was going to go right. Keeping the listener on their toes or ears?

Decent was a subtly tense flight from the zombie horde. With exquisite action sequences, all the gore that one expects from the novels. Sure there were some sleep and WTF moments, however I will continue to be an fan of this franchise. Just keep them coming.

Oh Fred Berman how I have missed thee.
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Format: Paperback
I started out really liking the series, but as the books have gone on, they've started to become repetitive.

By now you know as soon as they describe an interaction between one of the main characters and member of the opposite sex, which men she'll want to hook up with next. 4 books and 3 romantic relationships. She doesn't even let the bodies cool before she's crawling on people.

This book goes off the main path a bit and has some interesting thoughts that haven't been addressed before. It's a major fiction story, so it's hard to say something isn't believable. However there are a few things here that when you consider all the rest of the WD universe, they seem far fetched, or they don't fit in? Does that make any sense? It's kind of like when cousin Oliver showed up on the Brady Bunch. It just leaves you thinking WTF is going on?!

You know how the main characters are, but when they walk into a scene, they're completely described again. Martinez is described as wearing a camo jacket and bandanda. So every time they have him enter a scene, instead of saying "Martinez walked up" they say, "a figure appears, it's a large male, wearing a salvation army jacket and bandana over his long black hair". The book would be half as long if they got rid of that.

Another annoyance that has really gotten to me as I am almost done with the last book in the series. I realize there are only a few ways to describe certain things, but the same words are used nearly every time something is mentioned.

Every gun fight smells like cordite.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave this novel one star because Amazon doesn't allow a score of zero stars.

Let me begin by stating that I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead and the universe in which the characters exist. I enjoy the comic books and love the television series. But, as a reader, I much prefer novels. Therefore, I was delighted when the first novel, Rise of the Governor, was released in October 2011. While nobody could claim the novel is great literature, it was entertaining and a solid parallel to the comic books. Novels 2 through 4 were equally enjoyable (even though I was a bit miffed about 3 and 4 being split).

However, novel 5 "Descent" is AWFUL! The new characters are weak, one-dimensional, and downright moronic. The recurrent characters, except Bob, behave as though they've learned nothing since the inception of the zombie apocalypse. Furthermore, even though the entire premise of The Walking Dead universe requires the reader to stretch his or her imagination to its limits, there is so much in this book that I just couldn't stretch my imagination to accept (such as Bob's ability to create the underground safe haven).

This installment is simply a money grab that takes advantage of a loyal fan base who, until now, would buy anything that includes "The Walking Dead" in its title. But, after this installment, stick a fork in me. I'm done.
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By Markus on January 31, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

In this fifth book in The Walking Dead series of novels, Philip Blake is now entirely out of the picture (zombie fodder, in fact) and Lilly Caul has been voted in as Woodbury's new leader, democracy and all that. Lilly has lost her true love (cough and a wink), Austin Ballard, who sacrificed his life to save Lilly and other folks of Woodbury. But don't cry for Lilly, because the third time is a charm as she now has the hots for another man in town, Calvin, a newcomer that loses his wife, also from a sacrificial act to save the town of Woodbury. I guess in an apocalyptic world you latch on to whomever you can. I was kind of on the fence as to whether or not I liked Lilly, but as soon as I got to the part where she and her new beau start pining for one another, I decided I didn't care what happens to her. There's a part of the book that reads "Was Austin Ballard the only man Lilly had ever truly loved?" Apparently not. New characters are introduced. One in particular, Reverend Jeremiah, is not so Godly as one might expect. Of course, this doesn't end well, so there has to be another book in the making...right?
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