It's been over one-hundred years since the Survivors of the Radiance -- a massive radioactive storm -- shut themselves away in underground cities. And it's been ten years since students were allowed to research material on the surface within the deemed 'clear zone'. When Hammon's class ventures outside for the first time, he gets a little more than he bargained for. Accidentally leading his friends outside the zone, finding a dead body with no radiation signal, and discovering an abandoned city only a few miles from the base were only the beginning of his troubles on the surface.
Nova is a Changed, one who's family couldn't pass the radiation tests to be allowed into the bases when the storms hit. Raised in Lynn City under the surface-wide rule of the mysterious Erebus - grandson of Vishnu - she works alongside her fellow gang members to secure enough food for the week and to defend their home on the outskirts of the city. But when Hammon stumbles into a trap of her's, and her gang is accused of not only kidnapping a Survivor but also being a band of resisters of Erebus, she must figure out what to do with this pampered subzero boy, and struggle to keep them both alive as Erebus sends more and more of his troops into the rioting city.