Eight hundred years after the third end of the world, civilized society has abandoned the ravaged countryside and fled to the havens of technologically advanced cities. All citizens have a plug in their neck that allows them to interface perfectly with technology under the government’s watchful eye.
Although life flourishes within the city walls, the people live in constant fear of the appearance of the Catalyst, the person who will be responsible for bringing about the next apocalypse.
Carson Black, a fairly normal teenager, has his life turned upside down when the annual Examination marks him as the one fated to destroy the world. In his effort to escape his destiny as the Catalyst, Carson uncovers a heated war that the government has kept hidden from the people.
The technologically advanced “Cyborg” citizens of the city have fierce enemies outside the walls, “Natural” people who blame the dependence on technology for ruining the world and wish to use the Catalyst’s power to restart society according to their own ideals.
Carson must find a way to bring his apocalyptic powers under control and avoid becoming a tool of destruction for either side in the war, without destroying himself in the process.