In Esh, truth is determined by a public opinion network. Social rating is the currency. Fitting in . . . essential. Yet adopted sixteen-year-old Rena Waite can’t help challenging the flawed mindset of her family and friends. She sees things differently. Sometimes literally; the only part of her early childhood she remembers are visions of mountains and a forest—things that don’t exist in her urban environment of concentrically divided economic classes, surrounded by an endless wasteland of fog and freezing rain.
When Rena saves her friends’ lives during a mugging, a report of the incident ruins the ratings of everyone associated with her. The only solution is to perform her civic duties. Go to school. Vote on issues. Contribute her opinions to society. And above all, meet regularly with her counselor to understand the source of her nonconformist behavior and violent instincts. Little does she know that her simple act of self-defense has attracted the suspicion of a covert policing agency as well as the interest of a subversive faction.
And those visions? She’ll soon learn they’re intimately linked to Esh’s forgotten history and the secret war raging beneath the surface of her polite community.