In the future, the world has flipped. Ravaged by the Conflagration, this is a harsh world where the relentless sun beats down, people’s lives are run by a heartless elite and law is enforced by a brutal brigade. A mark at the base of the spine controls each person’s destiny. The Machine decides what work you will do and who your life partner will be. In this world, everyone must make their contribution. Some more than others. Juliet Seven – “Ettie” – will soon turn 15 and her life as a drudge will begin, her fate-mate mate will be chosen. Like everyone else, her future is marked by the numbers on her spine. But Ettie decides to challenge her destiny. And in so doing, she fulfils the prophecy that was spoken of before she even existed.