In the backtimes, the Big Shake nearly destroyed everything. Now in this post-apocalyptic future, there is no color except grey and brown and normals live in the Urb, trapped amidst violence and despair. Against all odds, Spaz must navigate his way through the Urb’s latches, facing gangs and turf wars in order to reach his ill sister. On the way he meets Lanaya, a proov (or a genetically improved human) who lives in Eden, a paradise that lies off limits at the center of the Urb. With the help of others he meets on the way, Spaz manages to reach his sister safely, where he finds her near death. Together they work to sneak her into Eden so that she might be saved. But will a taste of paradise spoil Spaz’s fight for life in the Urb, or will it drive him to fight for something better?
Spaz exists in a world where normals are uneducated and ignorant of their past, and spend most of their time fighting to stay alive and probing their brains like dope addicts to escape the Urb and experience a taste of Eden. Because Spaz has epilepsy, he is unable to probe and thus has a unique clarity in his understanding of the world around him. It is this clarity that allows him to continue the work of his friend Ryter, to tell the story in the last book in the universe, so that others may know their past and work towards a better future. His ability to turn his disability into an advantage makes for a strong main character, and gives the reader hope when viewing such a desolate future existence.