"Ashes, ashes, we're all gonna learn to fly..."
The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.
The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die - directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All thats keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.
Regan, stealth and reconnaissance expert with a lizard's scales and snake's eyes, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and hes finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isnt enough: he needs an escape, and hell do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.
But instead of ending a mans life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice - and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.
They join forces with Evelyns family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then theres Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Paroles few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.
Separately theyd never survive, much less uncover the secret of Paroles eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isnt above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating and holding Regans memories hostage until he gets his way.
Paroles a rough place to live. But theyre not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way
This book provides examples of:
- Amnesiacs are Innocent: Regan.
- Berserk Button: Danae. Do not. Hurt. Her family.
- The Cassandra: Evelyn's mother, Cassandra.
- Crapsack World: Parole is one.
- Fan Boy: Upon realizing who Evelyn is, Finn rips off his shirt so she can sign his chest.
- Fiery Redhead: Danae.
- And Finn, but literally.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Part of Evelyn's powers.
- Meaningful Name: It's easier to say who doesn't have one in this book.
- 'Evelyn' means 'life,' and 'Calliope' is the Greek muse of music and epic poetry. An epic life of divine music indeed.
- Rose has the power to control plants. However, she implies it might not be her actual name. Parole is full of heroes and aliases.
- Cassandra has horrific visions that no one believes.
- Jenny Strings has the ability to control her marionettes - with no strings at all. When she dances, she floats, and looks like she's the one suspended on invisible wires.
- Someone at Eye in the Sky had a mean sense of zombie-movie-loving humor when they gave Zilch their original designation, 'Operative Zero.' As in 'Patient. They prefer "Zilch."
- A 'Chimera' is a three-headed Greek dragon, an artificially created creature made of disparate and radically different pieces, woven together to form something far greater and more powerful than the sum of its parts. call him Regan. He'd like to 'regain' several things. Like his memory, his loved ones, his life, and himself.
- Mix-and-Match Man: Zilch.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Hans and his astral projection.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Zilch. Not technically dead, but they can't die either. It's implied that they gained their immortal life from Chrysedrine after a suicide attempt.
- Shout-Out: Several to Freddie Mercury, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Disney's Gargoyles, and... Greek Mythology.
- Snake Talk: Subverted with Regan; his long lizard's tongue actually gives him a very pronounced lisp.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Lampshaded with Regan, whose abilities are not nearly as pretty or as powerful as the rest of the main cast's.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Finn, who causes explosions whenever he feels negative emotions - or, more accurately, suppresses them and works himself up into a panic trying to deny/bury them.
- They then proceed to Break the Cutie, when Finn is tortured until he can't feel anything at all. Even better, the original reason he took Chrysedrine in the first place? Acute depression.