We probably didn't need the implication of the title of volume 7, "The Calm Before," to know that any tranquility will likely not be long-lasting. In this volume, the survivors in the prison have begun to settle into a kind of normalcy. Or, as much normalcy as possible with zombies massed outside the prison gates. Lori and Rick even decide that Carol's earlier offer to be a "sister wife" might not be so weird in this context. Days are spent gardening, playing basketball, and one couple even feels comfortable enough to contemplate bringing a baby into the world. Speaking of babies, Lori FINALLY has hers.
Of course, any sense of calm is all relative in the post-apocalyptic world. The story opens with the decision to locate and raid the National Guard station for weapons and ammo. The characters know a retaliatory visit from the Woodbury gang is likely to occur at any time, and hence, they recruit more survivors for shooting practice.
Life is not all roses, of course. There's a zombie attack on a main character, and another character debates whether a life in this world is worth living. And on the last page of the book, we see that "The Storm" has arrived in force.
While this volume didn't have the mayhem of some of the earlier books, the sense of approaching danger was palpable. It also gave us the clearest picture yet of how people learn to adapt to their environment, no matter how unpleasant it may be.