Our journey begins with Roger Mason, a man who has devoted almost thirty years of his life searching for the alleged "Big Foot". Roger was camping in the Muir Woods Park one day when he finds a group of apes. Then one ape lets out a mighty shriek and he flees in terror.
In San Francisco, a reporter named David Flynn and a primatologist named Clancy wake up together in David's apartment when Clancy discloses the fact that she has been hired to deal with the apes in the Muir Woods.
We then meet Talia Kosar, a trauma specialist working at an emergency room, who receives a rather odd patient. Her patient is a fair-haired woman thirty-two years old with an unknown virus that causes a fever and sneezing blood.
A helicopter lands near the Muir Woods carrying Malakai Youmans who exits the helicopter expecting a group of park rangers maybe the national guard but instead sees a encampment of men of Anvil, an organization led by Trumann Philips. After having all his communication confiscated he learns that his goal is to hunt down a group of ape escapees from the alleged "monkey-gate" scandal.
Meanwhile Caesar and Rocket, another chimpanzee, were alerted of the human's "flying machines", by the orangutans who usually see these things first. At this news Caesar goes to Cornelia, a female chimpanzee who has taken it upon herself to care for the wounded, and tells her to move all the apes in their troops while he, Rocket, Koba, and five other apes leave towards the helicopter. Then the helicopter began shooting so the apes descended down the trees only to find humans on the ground so all of the apes climbed onto the orangutan's backs and they escaped.
The next morning Talia's emergency room was packed. She yet again received some cases just like the one before and she believes she is witnessing an outbreak. After reporting this, the CDC and the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of an unknown viral infection.
Back in the Muir Woods, Caesar, Rocket and an orangutan, named Maurice decide that they need to make a plan.
After admiring the glory of the Muir Woods Malakai meets Clancy and they are taken to the spot in the woods where the apes escaped where Malakai is able to find ape tracks. They follow the tracks until they found a dead chimpanzee lying in fetal position. Since they have no trail to follow they must return to the base but Malakai decides to camp there for the night and to his surprise Clancy joins him.
Talia has a dreadful meal with her father that night where he offers her a chance to join his practice but she denies because the ER needs her.
Former Chief of Police, Dreyfus made a speech declaring his intent of running for mayor in San Francisco. He received questions about various things including the virus that was beginning to surface to which he told everyone to stay calm. After the speech he talks to Daniel Nygun who says he would run if he thought he could beat Dreyfus and shows his support for his campaign.
Koba remembers to when he was little and he lived with his mother and a woman named Mary and a man mamed Kuo, his caretakers. Mary teaches him to sign and to speak using buttons. Koba gets to play a lot there. One day people come to see Koba and his mother speak with Mary. One day, Kuo is gone and instead Roger is there and he gets mad very easily. One night, Roger has a lot to drink and attacks Koba and his mother, inadvertently killing her. Afterwards, the funding is cut to their program and Koba is placed in a truck to be sent to their new home. Then Koba stops thinking about his past and Caesar tells all of the apes to find food.
The CDC is preparing the public to fight the virus and Talia's ER was packed. One man, Max, even threatened them with a knife before he was sedated.
Malakai wakes up in Muir Woods which remind him of his visits to the Viruga Mountains as a child. He then set off to look for the apes.
Caesar misses Will, his former owner, but he knows that this was where he belongs. They have plenty of meat to eat but he realized that orangutans eat fruit.
Malakai becomes suspicious of what Anvil is doing out here. They then realize that the apes need fruit and they can't find it there.
Dreyfus watches the television as they show the hysteria going on in San Franscisco, which has become the "ground zero" for the virus. Dreyfus decides that he should go to a local hospital where he is caught in the middle of a riot and is able to suppress it peacefully.
Malakai then struggles to use the internet to find local grocery stores that have had fruit burglaries. They find one case at the Hong Tan Market. Then the made a plan. They were going to plant some food in one spot and track the apes as they take it. Later that night Clancy snuck into their computers and found an encrypted document that was very suspicious. She sent it to David Flynn who could investigate it.
Caesar and some of the other apes found some fruit in a nearby food store, then they found another food store, but when they went to a third food store there were humans in there fighting.
Koba remembers a man named Tommy. Tommy becomes Koba's new owner after Mary. Tommy also owns another ape named Milo, who knows Sign Language like Koba. The next, day Tommy shows Koba a strange-looking stick and tells him that it is called a prod and when Koba doesn't do what Tommy says right then he will hurt Koba with it and he shows Koba by shocking him with it. Tommy trains Koba to do many tricks (smiling, clapping, dancing e.g.) by hurting him. After a while, Koba is taken to star in a show. One day, a boy comes to watch Milo and Koba do tricks. He walks toward Milo and begins poking him wondering why he won't do something and this makes Milo mad so he lunges towards the boy and he bites him on the nose. Tommy takes Koba and Milo back to his house, where he wires Milo's mouth shut as punishment for biting the boy, much to Koba's shock and confusion. As the memories push through Koba, he looks towards Caesar and they then converse.
That morning David wakes up at four, as usual, and found an email from Clancy. He read the contents and investigated.
In the midst of all this Talia was super busy at her ER.
Dreyfus returned to his house to find his family very worried for him. When he came into the office the next day his colleague, Patel, did some investigating on their opponent in the mayoral race, Mayor House.
Caesar and some of the other apes found a giant pile of fruit in the middle of the woods. He was very suspicious so he looked around and saw a camera which Koba smashed and some tracking devices on the fruit which they all gathered then they took the fruit.
David went to Gen Sys to investigate the documents looking for Will Rodman, who according to the documents was a lead scientist there working to find a cure for Alzheimers called ALZ112 until one of his chimpanzee test subjects went crazy. He was able to find his home address. He got to his house and there was quarantine tape around it and he went in. The only thing he could find was a landline with one recent call that he could track. He left a message for that number asking for information. While he waited to hear back he looked over his nates and discovered that the medicine ALZ112 had been changed to RV112 and he assumed that meant retrovirus 112. He then received a call from the line. It was the woman's sister. She asked to meet him at Delores Park.
As Malakai, Clancy and their supervisor, Corbin find the missing fruit with a smashed camera they are shocked. They drive along a road on the edge of the forest where the tracking devices show and stop there.
Caesar hides behind a bush and throws the tracking devices in one of the trucks to trick the humans before they drive off.
Malakai and Clancy are told about the virus by some of their supervisors.
Caesar hears about them talking about their disease and thinks that might be why humans are fighting each other. He thinks it might be good because it might make the humans forget about them.
David Flynn shows up at Dolores Park and meets the woman. The woman gives him a satchel and believes that it is her duty to do so. She walked away but was immediately killed then suddenly someone pointed a gun at him.
Dreyfus watches as the tired Mayor House gave a half-hearted speech. Then he heard about firebombing in the hospital.
Maurice enjoys some fruit as he inspires Koba with "Apes together, strong".
Malakai, Clancy and Corbin found the tracking devices in one of the trucks and realize these apes are very smart and must be evolved.
Koba again remembers his time with Tommy. Tommy's show is cancelled and the cruel starts drinking and hurting Koba and Milo more heavily. One day, Tommy starts hitting Koba without stopping, so Koba attacks him and knocks him down. He feels in control and it feels good, but then Tommy pulls a knife out of his pocket and cuts Koba down the left side of his face, leaving a scar, and then Tommy shocks him into unconsciousness. When Koba regains consciousness, he's in so much pain he can't think, although his hurt eye can still see. Unfortunately, Tommy comes back and notices this, so he blinds Koba's hurt eye by burning it with a lit cigarette. A few days later, Tommy kills himself, but not before unlocking Koba's cage. Koba then frees Milo, but before they can escape Tommy's house, a group of men with guns captures and separates them.
David ran away but was shot. The 911 phone line was overloaded so he went to his friend, Talia's house. Talia fixed him up but had to go back to the ER. He called his publisher, Sage, and told her about the story he had garnered up.
One of the ape scouts found a group of humans heading towards them. He realized that the helicopters were flying towards the troops.
More to come...
- Caesar - Leader/King of the Apes, husband of Cornelia.
- Koba - Scarred bonobo, and one of Caesar's closest friends and soldier. Revealed to have been very close to his mother when he was a child.
- Rocket - Caesar's second Best friend.
- Maurice - Best friend of Caesar.
- Cornelia - Queen of the Apes, wife of Caesar. It is revealed in the novel that she was born in the wild.
- David Flynn - A reporter who seeks to break the "Monkeygate" story and the boyfriend of Clancy.
- Clancy Stoppard - A female ape specialist who is bought in to help capture Caesar and David's "friend with benefits".
- Malakai Youmans - A skilled hunter who is bought in to capture an ape to create an antidote for the Simian Flu.
- Trumann Phillips - A high ranking executive at Anvil.
- Natalie "Talia" Kosar - A Czech ER doctor, trauma specialist and David's ex-girlfriend.
- Dreyfus - The former SFPD Chief of police and mayoral candidate.
- Dallas - A young chimpanzee and a member of Caesar's diversionary troop.
- Sam - A chimpanzee and a member of Caesar's diversionary troop.
- Keling - An orangutan who was a member of Caesar's diversionary troop.
- Furaha - A wild born chimpanzee and a member of Caesar's hunting party.
- Rafael - A wild born chimpanzee and a member of Caesar's hunting party.
- JoJo - A chimpanzee scout in Caesar's Army.
- Roy - A chimpanzee in Caesar's Army assigned to Koba.
- Herman - A gorilla in Caesar's Army.
- Percy, Eastwood, and Kumang - Although not directly mentioned, it is revealed in Caesar’s Story these three orangutans either heard the helicopter coming or helped Caesar distract it.
- Roger Mason - A Bigfoot enthusiast who comes into contact with Caesar's Ape Army and is scared away by Koba.
David's Reporter Storyline
- Linda Andersen's sister - A woman who give David insight into the cause of the Simian Flu.
- Jean Vogel - a religious politician.
- Brett - a talk show host.
- Sage - David's editor
- Piers Roberts - A primatologist at Berkley and Clancy's boss.
- Flores - A private contractor working for Anvil.
- Corbin - A private contractor working for Anvil.
- Sela - A private contractor working for Anvil.
- Kyung - A private contractor working for Anvil.
- Stillman - A private contractor working for Anvil.
- Ackers - A private contractor working for Anvil.
- Bryd - A private contractor working for Anvil.
- Malakai's uncle - a gorilla hunter who taught Malakai everything he knew.
- Patrick - A mercenary who hunts chimpanzees.
- Emery - A mercenary who hunts chimpanzees.
- Hans - A mercenary who hunts gorillas who killed his friend Jean-Francis.
- Solange - Malakai's wife.
Talia's Hospital Storyline
- Tran - An ER nurse.
- Selling - An ER doctor.
- Randal - A doctor at Acute Care.
- Celia - A thirty-two year old woman infected with the Simian Flu.
- Ravenna - An ER nurse.
- Herrin - The health coordinator at Talia's hospital.
- Biggs - A security guard at Talia's hospital.
- Max - A meth addict that attacks Natalia's hospital in search of a cure.
- Captain McWilliams - An Army surgeon.
- Cain - A National Guardsman.
- Rodrigues - A National Guardsman.
Dreyfus' Mayoral storyline
- House - The mayor of San Francisco who tries to cover-up "Monkeygate".
- Burston - The chief of police of San Francisco who tries to cover-up "Monkeygate".
- Daniel Nygun - The president of the Board of Supervisors.
- Rick - A reporter interviewing Dreyfus.
- Sonja - A reporter interviewing Dreyfus.
- Mr. Matthews - A reporter interviewing Dreyfus.
- Assam - A reporter interviewing Dreyfus.
- Adam Patel - Dreyfus' aide.
- Charlie Paterno - A captain in the SFPD.
- Frances Chang - A reporter for Channel Five News.
- Maddy - Dreyfus' wife.
- John - Dreyfus' eldest son.
- Edward - Dreyfus' youngest son.
- Tremont - A police officer who becomes Chief of Police.
- Pinheiro - A policeman.
- Mary - The original kind owner and caregiver of Koba and his mother.
- Kuo - Mary's original assistant and one of Koba's kind handlers.
- Roger - An alcoholic man, Koba's abusive handler, and Koba's mother's killer.
- Tommy - Koba and Milo's abusive caregiver who scars and blinds Koba's left eye.
- Alice - The host of a TV show called "Monkey of the House".
- Amol - a scientist and former employee of Gen-Sys Laboratories. Koba's friend.
- Steven Jacobs - The arrogant, cruel and greedy CEO of Gen-Sys Laboratories who verbally abuses Koba and has him subjected to various painful experiments.
- Will Rodman - Caesar's adoptive father who creates the virus by accident that becomes known later as the Simian Flu.
- Robert Franklin - A Gen-Sys chimpanzee handler who was Patient Zero of the Simian Flu.
Mentioned Only Characters
- Linda Andersen - Will Rodman's lab assistant. Mentioned to have died of the Simian Flu.
- Caroline Aranha - Caesar's adoptive mother. Mentioned once or twice.
- Charles Rodman - Caesar's adoptive grandfather who died from Alzheimer's. Mentioned a couple of times.
- John Hamil - Chief of San Bruno Police. Died during the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes
- This book only outlines the very early beginnings of Caesar's colony and not the full ten years. Ape characters from Rise appear and several are given back-stories, including Cornelia and, in particular, Koba, whose life before meeting Caesar is outlined in detailed flashback scenes.
- Along with Koba, the other major back-story given to a character from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is Dreyfus. We see his rise to political power as the "simian flu" pandemic spreads, along with his interactions with his wife and son.
- Koba recalls standing on the San Francisco trolley alongside Caesar, Buck, and Maurice, but it was Rocket who stood on the trolley with them in Rise. Though this is likely a mistake made by the author, one could suppose that Koba had gotten onto the trolley offscreen.
- The book outlines the destruction from the Simian Flu and the rise of Caesar's ape empire.
- Milo's name is a reference to Dr. Milo from Escape from the Planet of the Apes. Milo is also the name that is given to Caesar and Cornelia's second son off-screen in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
- The Alpha-Omega group is an homage to the Alpha-Omega Bomb in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
- The book only shows Koba being in two different labs before being sent to Gen-Sys, which somewhat contradicts Franklin's statement in Rise that Koba has been in a large number of labs.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm on Goodreads
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm on Amazon.com