On his twenty-second birthday, Jacob Kraiser sits on a bench waiting to enter the Coventry Penal Colony on Vulture Lake, north of Lake Superior. Bewildered by his rapid sentencing to a prison he didn't even know existed, he is joined by two other new inmates, Hanna Heidel and Zeke Rempel.
Coventry Penal Colony is a prison without guards, for the remote location makes escape impossible. The whole colony seemingly has one focus-to survive. Although they work to grow what food they can, they are wholly dependent on the good graces of the prison system to supply them with power, medicine, mining equipment, and food. Any failure to obey or make their delivery quota of rare earth metals leads them back to the times of hardship when so many inmates died quietly in obscurity.
It becomes clear that Coventry is harboring a great secret. As the future of Coventry becomes more uncertain, Jacob, Hanna, and Zeke begin to discover aspects of the prison's society that have been carefully concealed, discoveries which lead them on an adventure of a magnitude they could never have imagined on their first day. Soon they are headed to Venus, and even beyond the confines of our solar system. Yet peril pursues them and the survival of Coventry hangs in the balance. Can Jacob, Hanna, and Zeke save Coventry?