Brutal, agonizing convulsions simultaneously strike a quarter of the Earth’s population. There is no warning and no discernible pattern regarding race, age, gender, or region. The afflicted die within moments of one another. Seven minutes later they rise again and attack the living. The speed at which the disaster happens is too great for any organized response. Towns are overrun. The government and military find themselves unable to react. Civilization crumbles in a matter of hours. By the end of the first day, the streets are filled with shambling corpses, mindless beings driven solely by the desire to feed. Jacob Thornton decides his only chance is to abandon his home. Fleeing the city, he travels north, encountering other survivors on the way. Together, they gather supplies, seek a place of safety, and discover through trial and error how to defend against the zombies. Yet, the creatures never stop moving, and they have begun to leave the population centers, spreading across the land.