No one knows where the Colony came from. But we know that it’s hell behind these towering metal walls. It’s a race to survive in here, a fight to keep our spot. Those who work the hardest get to live in luxury in the Peaks while those who don’t – or can’t – end up in the Lows. Every month, the people caught at the bottom of the ranking are publicly executed in a Discard for everyone to watch. My adoptive brother is headed for a Discard – because of an injury I caused. I’ll do anything to save him, even join the secretive Breaching of the Walls Department and venture into the perilous, uncharted Outers surrounding the Colony. But can I stay alive out there long enough to save Jon and piece together the truth about the Department’s purpose, the Colony’s future, and my own past?
Nathan is alive. He doesn’t know how, and he doesn’t know why, but he needs answers. Answers are hard to come by in the ancient labyrinth of stone corridors beneath the mountain. All he can find are references to Trials and something called The Beast. But Nathan knows one thing for sure: he isn’t alone. The mysterious mountain is the least of Nathan’s concerns, however. The Northborns are back in the Colony, and each day brings them closer to an execution at the hands of the Council. But saving his family won’t be so simple this time. The Colony has taken a turn he never expected – a shift which will force him to decide between his family, his friends, and his ideals.
As the war marches closer to a bloody end, Nathan and Dakota venture into the depths of the Reaches to face the Trials. Everything rides on the Failsafe, on Nathan. In the sleepless nights, he can’t help but wonder if he has the strength to finish this journey. Maybe the price has already been too high. But something darker is hunting Nathan. He sees it every time he closes his eyes – a storm crawling over the horizon. With it comes a voice on the wind, a question. It’s one Nathan has been running from his entire life. If he wants to save the world, running isn’t something he can do anymore. If he wants to save the world, he'll need to find the answer: Is the world worth saving?