Sixteen-year-old James Fisher lives on the distant planet of Castor where he toils for the ruling classes as an indentured servant. He’s a “Half-Adapt”—one of thousands like him who were shipped to Castor from Earth and biologically altered so they could breathe the planet’s atmosphere unaided. As Earth fades in his memory, James resigns himself to life under Castor’s strict social hierarchy. But then he meets his master’s nephew, Vidal Centa, and their strong attraction for each other begins to transcend Castor’s rigid class stratums.
Encouraged by his friend, Femi, to join the defiant Independence Society, which seeks to overthrow Castro’s punishing oligarchy, James faces a difficult choice. As his feelings for Vidal intensify each day, he must wrestle with loving the young man who represents everything the Society hates and fighting for justice. As the civil war threatens to erupt, James fears if he continues to fight he’ll destroy his relationship with Vidal, and perhaps the entire planet.