Aria awakes in a medical unit where she learns Paisley has died. Soon she is brought before Counsel Hess to testify about the fire. He thanks her for her testimony and is promised to be reunited with her mother in Bliss. She quickly boards a hover but soon finds that she is dumped in the outside world, known as The Death Shop. She is being punished for a crime she did not commit. Alone, Aria knows her death is imminent. She begins to walk across the desert.
Perry takes his nephew Talon hunting and to give him the apple. While out, two hovers approach. Perry easily takes out one but men from the second soon overpower him. They demand he give them the Smarteye. He resists but only until they threaten Talon. While attacking one man, another grabs Talon, takes him to the hover and leaves. Perry is devastated. After a confrontation with Vale and the tribe, Perry leaves. He is crossing the desert when he senses a Dweller in danger and realizes it is the same girl from the pod, Aria. Neither trusts the other but an unlikely alliance is waged when each realizes they need the other. Aria needs Percy’s help if she is going to survive and Percy needs Aria’s assistance if he hopes to rescue Talon.
Can Aria and Perry bridge their uneasy alliance in order to work together? What has really happened to Aria’s mother? Will Aria find her way back to reverie and regain acceptance? Can Perry rescue Talon from the Dwellers and why did they want him in the first place? And what happens when opposites attract?
Told in alteranting points of view between Aria and Perry, readers gain insight into each main character. The book does start off slow at first but the reader will be quickly sucked in.