Claysoot is not a place anyone would stay- unless they had to. The Wall keeps them in, the women, the children… but not the men. Because there aren’t any.
On their eighteenth birthday the boys disappear in a flash of light. It comes with wind, and the shaking of the ground, and then they are gone. Any boys who try to escape this fate by climbing the Wall are tossed back within hours, curled into an eternal fetal position, burnt to death.
Gray Weathersby watches his older brother disappear, well aware that his time is coming soon. Even though Claysoot has little to offer beyond emotionless Pairings meant to boost birthrates, Gray isn’t eager to be taken by a Heist. No one knows what comes after the Heist for the boys that disappear, but he knows if he’s taken that he will never see Emma again, the only girl he’s ever hoped to be Paired with.
Climbing the wall could be suicide, but the discovery of a strange note from his dead mother leads Gray to believe that there’s more at work in Claysoot than he could have guessed. The Council leaders have their secrets, and now Gray has his. Armed with the letter and the breath of a chance of survival, Gray has to decide whether he’ll risk climbing the Wall into the unknown, or let the certainty of the Heist take him away from Emma.