It’s the Seven-Year War, what no one dares call World War III, and Tara Fitzpatrick is a young immigrant lost in the child welfare system of New York City during a series of devastating attacks. It is there she meets Stephen Mitchell, a scrawny but brilliant orphan who attaches himself to her almost immediately, proving himself a good and loyal friend.
But Tara is simmering in grief and righteous anger, and it’s only growing worse. It is this anger that leads her to the decision to follow the example of the city’s war refugees to re-establish themselves in the growing shanty villages of Central Park. On the day of her and Stephen’s escape, more attacks curtail their plans, until a group of school misfits persuade her to let them come, too.
A trek across the city leads turns dangerous for them all as they are repeatedly attacked or ambushed on the way, and not always by things strictly human. And even Central Park isn’t as safe as she initially hoped. A would-be kingpin of the Park takes exception to Tara’s independent leadership of the Children’s Shanties, and he soon proves more dangerous than anything she encountered on the streets.
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