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All her life, Eveningstar of the Pure has honed her survival skills against the strand, a nanotech organism which infests most of the planet. And she has always shunned the Tainted, those who replace their body parts with tamed strand to enhance their bodies and minds. But then a gang of child soldiers kidnaps her brother, taking him to the distant Gridlands, past a gauntlet of shape-shifting monsters. In an eternal war between technology and nature-between those who oppose it and those who embrace it-Evie will need to break the law, put aside her distrust for the Tainted, and perhaps even take a few of their tricks for her own if she wants to save her brother.