Reds name isnt really Red - its Cordelia, but nobody calls her that anymore. At the age of eight she lost half her leg in a car accident but she doesnt want anybody feeling sorry for her - she can get along just fine, thanks very much. When a devastating disease destroys most of the U.S. population and Reds mother and father are killed by a group of wandering thugs Red and her brother Adam decide to try and reach their paternal grandmother, who lives over 200 miles away. Then Adam decides to join a homegrown militia, thinking its the only way to survive in this new world, but Red isnt joining any army. She strikes out on her own, crossing a large stretch of wilderness with only her wits and her backpack, intent on getting to her grandmas house come what may. But Red is about to find out that the woods are deep and dark, and there are far worse things than wolves out in the world.