Anabelle Crisp is fourteen when the Silence arrives, severing all communication between Earth and her new home on Mars. One evening, while she and her father are closing the diner they run in the colony of New Galveston, they are robbed at gunpoint.
Among the stolen items is a recording of her mother’s voice, taped on the eve of a trip back to Earth, just before the Silence descended. Driven by righteous fury and desperation to lift her father’s broken spirits, Anabelle sets out to confront the thieves and bring back the sole vestige of her mother. Accompanied by her loyal robotic companion, Watson; an outcast spaceship pilot named Joe Reilly; and the hardened outlaw Sally Milkwood, Anabelle must first pass through Dig Town, a derelict mining community where a mineral called the Strange has warped the residents in frightening ways, and then brave the Martian desert.
As she nears the shadowy Peabody Crater––the epicenter of bizarre goings-on in the colonies––Mars is revealed as a vast haunted house, infested with ghosts, alive with malignant intent—and New Galveston, once a safe haven, nothing more than a guttering candle in a dark world.