FYI: Book Six picks up after the events of the Dext of the Dead series of novels. While Book Six can stand on its own, it is strongly recommended that you familiarize yourself with that series, its lore, and its characters to get the most out of this part of the story. For more info, clickity this here linkage!
It has been ten years since the outbreak and the journey of Dext Baxter. The search for a proper cure died with the remnants of the Old World and modern technology as it was once known is scarce. Every corner of the earth was affected in one way or another and society has reverted to a much more primitive way of life. There are no vehicles, no gasoline, no diesel. Electricity is a luxury afforded to a select few and harsh winters cause mass casualties due to cold temperatures and starvation.
The dead still walk, their numbers in the millions, with no explanation as to why they decay so slowly. While hundreds, possibly even thousands, of settlements have popped up and even more have fallen, what’s left of mankind still finds a way to survive. Some huddle together high above the ground finding shelter within sprawling cities among the canopy of the forests while others still cling to the urban styles in giant, walled off compounds. Competition for resources is fierce among them. Murder, rape, robbery, and revenge killings are commonplace, adding to the numbers of the walking plague.
Natural disasters have come and gone, but even more destructive to the landscape have been the untended technologies from before. Nuclear reactors have melted down and deemed many areas hot zones of uninhabitable, radiated territory spawning gross mutations and radiation sickness in the survivors that pushed too close to them. Broken dams have flooded once prosperous cities and have created treacherous stretches of water filled with voracious corpses and pollution while roadways and bridges have crumbled to rubble in the wake of the dead. The world itself continues to die.
It is in this landscape of feral children and cannibalistic corpses as well as humans that have sloughed off the moral codes against their own cannibalism in favor of a food source that we find Lilly. A once precocious and adorable little girl, she was thrust into a life of turmoil and trained to live in this unforgiving, new world. Having escaped the cruel hands of Colonel Lang and his regime, she returned to Las Vegas with Kylee, Seth, Nick, Murphy, and Alyse to attempt a new life.
Now, at the age of sixteen, she has seen the worst that mankind has to offer and she is cold, brutal. She has killed men, women, and children as well as countless numbers of the dead for her survival and the survival of her group. Vegas stands proud as one of the few bastions of civility left. What happens outside of the walls is left outside while the interior runs smoothly due to a strict social hierarchy, one in which Lilly ranks impressively. Built with the blood, sweat, and tears of The Originals, Vegas is a trade center where rare items such as batteries and books fetch a high price; a price paid in all manner of currency from booze, illicit substances, and often pleasures of the flesh. It is seedy and filthy, but it works. That is what makes it such a valuable property.
Unforeseen threats loom, though, for Lilly as the Vegas she’s called home for a decade has now drawn the attention of a perfect storm. An alliance of misfit tribes has set their sites on her homeland, led by a barbaric group of men and women hell-bent on taking it for themselves. An old enemy who has been plotting for years is also about to make a move unbeknownst to the Vegas inhabitants. Surrounded on all sides by hordes of the undead, a war is brewing.
The question is whether Lilly and The Originals will stand their ground for what they’ve built… Or will they run?