14-year old Lilly Douglas is a girl who has been sheltered from the world since the moment she was born. Gifted with avian like wings and strands of lilac hair, she never realizes how different she is. After a terrifying attack on her home, she is forced to run from everything she knew, and find shelter at a place called Charity Academy. Here students have little to worry about beyond homework and classes, and they spend most of their time learning to control their powers, embracing their identities as Strands': students with extraordinary abilities, united by the lilac hairs they have. But they are not alone in the world.

56 miles south-east, into the Bitterroot Wilderness, is a dark place known as Firestone Institution. Here a 16-year old boy named Cory Trask has made his home with a personality as icy as his powers. Survival driven, Cory works for a man named Dr. Kibbsty and is the leader in the pursuit of Lilly. He thinks of little beyond the orders he is given, and life is nothing more than a game: one where only the strongest survive. As their paths cross, they bring an uncertain future in their wake that will cause all these teens to question what it really means to be Strands.

"If normal were an ocean, we'd be an Archipelago."