Born into Capernica’s lowest social tier and not permitted to leave Settlement 56, Jaclyn (Jack) Holloway refuses to pour out her years in the local fish cannery. She gambles on the one chance available to her to advance–the high school Exit Exam. In a country that still keenly remembers its own violent birth, the smartest and strongest are richly rewarded in exchange for military service. Jack is adamant that her best friend, Will Ransom, strives for induction with her, but Will is tied to the sea. Would he give it up for her? He’s never so much as kissed her.
Welcome to Echelon, a domed city that protects the survivors of a ravaged Earth. Here, the wealthy elite live in Sky, high above the poor dwellers of Dirt. And Dirt children known as Decimites are injected with nanobots, allowing them to survive in a world ravaged by toxins and violent mutants. Forced to gather resources from Outside, their enhancements grant them a chance for a better life.