The war with the Azael has left the people of Estes Valley weakened and isolated in their mountain retreat. Supplies of fuel and ammo are dangerously low and yet Neil bets most of what he has left on a gamble to find Jillybean, who was last seen in the forests of Missouri.
Neil is the only one who sees in the little girl a chance at a new beginning. He hopes to harness her genius for the benefit of the valley, but when the gamble fails he must send the only two people he can trust out into a dangerous world to gather more supplies.
Sadie and Captain Grey set off with a squad of soldiers...and are not heard from again.
For Jillybean, months alone without the endless danger, the mind-shaking explosions, and the screams that haunt her day and night have left the wounds on her psyche, tenuously scarred over. She can function and her mind is as razor sharp as it has ever been, but now she is cold and grim.
She's also as desperate for love as always, and on her own, she finds her way back to the valley, only to discover that the rumors of her murderous past have grown and the people of the valley have been turned against her.
With nothing to lose and her family in desperate trouble, some missing, some on the edge of banishment, she agrees to go on one more adventure. It's an all or nothing gamble with her life, and the lives of anyone foolish enough to get in her way, on the line.