Following the second American civil war in the year 2100, a brutal empire arises from the ashes, spreading across North America and beyond. In this new world, those who rebel are punished severely—as are their family members. Children of criminals are placed in guarded, abandoned cities and towns called Squares, where they are permanently cast out from society.
Life is hard in the Square. Leo Hint ends up in one at seven years old, after his father rebels against the empire. Fortunately, he soon joins a gang that helps him stay alive and build a life over the next five years. Then one day, when he and his friend Mikak take things too far and get caught by a soldier, they find themselves facing the fight of their lives as they try to escape the Square. The boys discover something bigger than they ever expected, and now Leo, Mikak, the rest of their gang, and six new members must save each other.
In this first book of a planned series, a teen imprisoned in an abandoned town works with other young people to escape, doing their best to survive in a dangerous, hostile world.