by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Macon is “buried” in Gatlin cemetery before dawn. Many incubuses attend, but have to leave when the sun starts coming up. A caster boy who was with them stays long enough to give Lena a small silver sparrow. While sleeping at Ethan’s, she keeps hold of it.
Ethan goes to pick up Lena for her to return to school. He has been hearing the song “Seventeen Moons” for months, but Lena refuses to talk about it.
In the high school parking lot, the people who hated Lena give her looks of sympathy. She starts crying and boo gets into the car for the first time. They skip school and go to Greenbriar. Lena unintentionally burns the grass. They worry because fire is the trademark of a cataclyst.
Ethan has trouble getting Lean out of the house. She seemed to find two spots where she is comfortable: her bedroom ceiling and the top of the water tower. While they are on the water tower, Ethan gives her a sharpie that attaches to her necklace of memories. She starts counting down to her birthday again.
Ethan’s aunt brings his dad home from his time with some doctors. Lena leaves when he really needs her. His father apologizes for going crazy after the accident. Ethan drags Link out to look for Lucille Ball (his aunt’s cat). That night, Ethan opens up Macon’s journal that Lena refuses. He slips into a vision of Abraham Ravenwood helping Ivy hid the book from Genevieve. He is already drawn to its power and wants to use it to save Ravenwood from the fire that has consumed the rest of the city. Ethan wonders why he is having more visions. he believes that the book was burned on Lena’s birthday.
Ethan goes back to school while Lena drifts further away from him. One day he hears her reciting poetry in his head and he leaves in the middle of class to go to her. When he gets to her room in Ravenwood, it is a mess: books torn up, burned, and scattered everywhere. He finds her hiding in the closet because the books sounded like Macon. A few days later when Ethan is dropping off homework, the room is spotless and there are photographs on the wall. Ethan accidentally opens one of Lena’s notebooks that appears as an actual book. When he asks why it is empty, she explains that she hid the writing from mortal eyes. When she hands it back to Ethan, he is able to read a list Lena has made trying to remember the night Macon died. She takes the book away and says he can’t understand. he cries. Back at home, Lucille Ball comes up to him on the porch.
Lucile Ball returns to Ethan after he takes her back to his aunts, so he keeps her. He dreams about the night of Lena’s birthday and wakes up with a scar from where he was stabbed. Link picks him up for school. Afterwards, Ethan tries to find out what is going on (dreams that Lena is not dreaming as well as “Seventeen Moons”) and she tells them the casters are leaving Gatlin. Everyone at school except Lena had their tires slashed and a familiar motorcycle drives off (it was one of the photos on Lena’s wall).
Lena, Ethan, and Link go to the lake. Lena refuses to talk to Ethan about what happened the night of her birthday. While Link is swimming, she starts acting like her old self. They start kissing and her eyes seem to be more gold before she almost hurts him. She comes back to herself and runs off through the woods towards the highway. Ethan catches up in time to see her get on the back of a motorcycle (the same one that was in the picture and belongs to the tire-slasher).
Link convinces Ethan to stop at the Dairy King on their way to return Lena’s car. A guy walks in followed by Ridley, who introduces Ethan to the green-eyed (sign of a light caster) John Breed, who was at Macon’s funeral and owns the mysterious motorcycle. Ethan says he is Lena’s boyfriend and John points out that Lena didn’t mention him. Ethan and Link take the car to Ravenwood’s gate but can’t get in. Ethan goes through his box of memories of Lena. Amma makes him wear a red string around his wrist.
Ethan goes to work helping Marian at the library and meets the British research assistant, Olivia (Liv), who is just like Marian. Marian takes Ethan to the archive to start learning about the next story. He finds a book in his mom’s chair and it sends him into a vision. Abraham uses the Book of Moons to protect Ravenwood from the soldiers burning the town by casting the Demon’s Trade. His brother, Jonah is too late to stop him and accidentally droops his archlight (used for trapping incubuses). Ethan wakes up and tells Marian about his vision and that this time Abraham seemed to be able to see him. Marian tells him that Abraham is dead and not to pursue this storyline or tell anyone about it.
The Gatlin Library delivers most of its books because people don’t want other people to know what they are reading. Marian sends Liv with Ethan on the deliveries so he can show her around town. They get along easily while discussing their differences. Lena drives by as they are leaving the Dairy King. That night Ethan tries to sleep. Lucille Ball and Boo seem to have a conversation on the porch.
At the fair, Ethan helps Amma set up her pies to be judged then goes off to find Link. Liv meets up with them, but Ethan sends them ahead when he spots Lena. she says that her and John are just friend s and she is trying to help Ridley deal with being dark when she doesn’t want to be. Live comes back for Ethan and Lena gets jealous. Their makeup is short lived and Lena storms off.
Ethan, Link, and Liv go to watch Amma in the pie contest. The Sisters ask Ethan about Lena and he lies, saying they are fine. Amma looks at Lena and Ethan notices that she, Ridley, and John are positioned in a triangle around the tent. They make bugs come out of everyone’s pies except Amma’s. One of the Sisters faints and Ethan sends Liv out before he goes to make sure his aunt is alright. He finds the three supernaturals by the Tunnel of Love ride entrance. He yells at Lena, and he and Link end up fighting John until Ridley breaks it up. The three casters disappear and Ethan and Link go in and look for a secret door. Ethan decides that he is going to look for Lena in the tunnels. He hears her say goodbye to him.
Ethan and Link go the the DAR building and make their way down into the caster library. Marina isn’t there, but Ethan feels like he knows where he is going. He hears a girl laughing and follows the sound to find Liv in a study lying on a bed.
Marian is there in Macon’s study/bedroom with Liv and she explains that Liv is a keeper in training. They tell Ethan that he is a wayward (bound to one person to show them their path) but they are unsure who he is bound to. Ethan uses a book of Macon’s to have a vision and Liv piggybacks. They see Macon breaking up with his mortal girlfriend because he is transforming into an incubus. Ethan and Link set out to find Lena and Live decides to join them, against Marian’s better judgment.
Ethan leads the way through the tunnels until they arrive on a street. They go into a club and find Ridley. She tries to convince them to leave, but Ethan sees Lena dancing really close to John. He tries everything and says he won’t leave until she tells him she doesn’t want him there. She does and Ethan, Link, and Liv (who made Lena jealous again) leave. Outside the club, back in the tunnel that looks like an old time city street, they are confronted by a vex (called from the underground by dark caster to for the dirtiest work). Amma and the greats save them and she scolds them for being int he tunnels the whole time she leads them out.
The next morning, Ethan goes to Ravenwood before work. He and Lena argue about each other’s suspicious behavior. Lena reveals that she ins not leaving with her family. he puts a cast on Ethan so he can’t tell them her plan. They say goodbye. Ethan stops by Macon’s room on his way out of Ravenwood. He touches a box and has a vision of Macon giving Jane the archlight and making her promise to use it if he attacks her. Ethan wakes up in his own bed. He is confused as to why both Abraham and Macon have been able to talk to him in the visions.
Ethan goes to pick up his aunts for All Saint’s Day. They make him put red stickers on the things he wants when they die. In a box, he finds a picture of Ravenwood in 1865. The Sisters talk about Abraham. Mercy and Grace swear that they saw Abraham’s ghost behind the church a few weeks ago.
Ethan helps the Sisters to the graveyard and then they dismiss him. After hanging out with Link and moping over caster girls, Ethan goes to his mother’s grave. His dad gives him some time alone, but Marian shows up She gives him a box that contains the Archlight that Macon gave to Lila “Jane” Evers (his mom). Macon and Lila were in love.
Marian explains that Macon and Lila fell in love in college. When they had to split, she was heartbroken. He moved back to Gatlin. Macon’s mom requested a keeper in Gatlin, and Lila took the job, living in the tunnels. Ethan’s dad was the one that made her whole again. Lila continued searching for a way for casters and mortals to be together.
Ethan dreams of Lena and wakes up to have a vision of her running away with John and Ridley. They are looking for the Great Barrier (a place where light and dark doesn’t matter). He takes the archlight and leaves to go talk to Liv. When he arrives, Liv explains to him the difference between caster and mortal constellations. Ethan finds that the southern star (caster equivalent to the mortal north star) is missing. Ethan explains his vision and “Seventeen Moons.” Liv thinks that Sarafine is raising the claiming moon. They decide to find Lena together.
Liv and Ethan sneak Link out of school and tell him what is going on. The three of them go to the fair grounds to find the runnel entrance that Lena, Ridley, and John had used under the Tunnel of Love ride. Liv finds the door and Link is able to open it with garden sheers. The archlight leads Ethan where they need to go in the tunnels until they pop out in Savannah, Georgia, which is where his aunt lives.
After wandering around for a while, they find Aunt Caroline’s house because Aunt Del is standing on the step. She was hoping Lena would be with him. they go inside and Aunt Carolina says that someone broke in and rummaged through the attic. They go to investigate and Aunt Del takes them through time. They see Lena, Ridley, and John going through Ethan’s mom’s stuff, looking for the way to the Great Barrier without the star. Then they see Lila write a note and put it in a trunk. Back in their own time, they find the letter to Macon, warning that Abraham is alive and working with Sarafine, dated a month before she died. There is also a Ravenwood family tree with names crossed off in Lila’s journal. He tears out the last page with some writing in a foreign language and goes down to the guest room. He has another vision of Lena and John talking about how they are freaks, even amongst their own kind. When he returns, Liv comes into the room to comfort him. There is an attraction, but neither of them wants to get hurt.
Ethan wakes up from the glow of the archlight. He finds Liv on the porch and she points out a caster falling star. They get Link and Liv leads the way to a cemetery. They get over the wall and past the guards to find Amma, Arelia (Macon’s mom), and Twyla (Macon’s Aunt). Twyla is a necromancer and raises the sheer (ghost) of Lila. She warns Ethan about the seventeenth moon which will be the last if darkness prevails.
Amma tells Ethan what really happened on Lena’s birthday. He runs off to comprehend the situation and has another vision. Macon gets the archlight from his mom and she teaches him the words to trap and free an incubus. Amma, Arelia, and Twyla send them back off to find Lena to let her know that she still has a choice between light and dark.
Back in the tunnels, they are faced with the exact same fork they saw before. The archlight isn’t working, so Link decides to take the sunny path. Along the way, they run into Aunt Prue (one of the Sisters) and Thelma (her helper). Aunt Prue has been adding to the family map of the tunnels and gives it to Ethan to help him find Lena. They continue south.
Further down the path, they are confronted by Hunting (Macon’s brother) and his blood pack as well as Larkin. Ridley influences them to leave and starts leading the group to Lena. Ridley was unable to tell Lena that Sarafine and Abraham are waiting for her at the Great Barrier.
They continue through the woods, stoping for a moment so Link can urinate. Ethan notices that archlight flashing. He calls Liv by his nickname for Lena (“L”). Ridley uses her siren power to threaten him, a warning not to hurt her cousin. Liv comes to his defense, but all of a sudden, trees start coming down. Ethan tries kelting with Lena to see if it is her and she tells him to run. Sarafine’s apparition appears and is very pleased with herself. However she is very angry at Ridley and takes her powers away.
When they stop to rest, Ethan can’t seem to sleep, so he starts reading Lena’s journal that Ridley gave him. Lena wrote about letting Ethan go so he could be happy. When he falls asleep, he dreams of her, but the dream turns into flames. the others wake him up. Ridley tires to deal with loosing her powers.
Ethan sees John telling Lena how he also once loved a mortal when she wants to go back to help Ethan. After the vision, Ethan realizes that Lucille Ball is sending them to him. Ethan and Liv look at the map and realize that there is a caster “no fly zone” which is why the archlight stopped working at times. Ethan puts a piece of his mom’s paper over the map and an island appears (the Great Barrier).
The exit the tunnels and find a narrow bridge to cross to the island where the Great Barrier is. The archlight is affecting Ethan and he keeps slipping into visions. he sees his mother tell Macon that Abraham is alive. The incubus appears before them and gives the order for Lila’s death. Macon is able to save her temporarily. Liv tries to take the archlight after Ethan collapses, but he refuses to let go.
They come to an incredibly thing fog. Ethan follow’s Lucille through. He wants nothing more than to be at the Great Barrier and experience both worlds.
Ethan Finds Lena’s charm necklace on the shore. they come to a cave guarded by the blood incubuses and start thinking about going back for help. Ethan refuses, knowing there isn’t enough time. He puts the clues together and starts the cast to release Macon from the archlight. Liv has to finish it, ending her chances of becoming a keeper. Macon emerges with green eyes.
Macon shares the last piece of his story with the group. Lila gave up Macon and put him in the archlight to save Ethan. However, the incubus part of him is dead and his is in the process of transforming into something else, something with the green eyes of a light caster. Unfortunately, the transformation is making him weak.
Macon tries to piece together what he has missed since his “death.” Ridley got her orders from Sarafine rather than Abraham. She isn’t sure how John fits in, but he seems to be a true believer of the Great Barrier. Liv points out that there aren’t any records of him or any kind of incubus-caster hybrid. Macon plans to send the mortals into the cave alone because he is too weak. His sister, Leah, comes to help them even the odds. She has a large cat named Bade (and her mother gave Aunt Prue her cat, Lucille). Ethan trusts the succubus and they head into the cave to find Lena.
Leah kills the two incubuses guarding the cave entrance. Ethan offers his friends an out, but they all decline. Sarafine is in the dark fire, the dark casters around her calling the claiming moon. Ethan spots Lena passed out. The casters around her are hoping she has already chosen to go dark. John carries Lena to Sarafine. Abraham is there with all of the vexes he summoned. Amma, Twyla, and Arelia show up to help, as well as Grandma. They get rid of the vexes, but that draws the attention of the dark casters and incubuses.
The bad guys surround their group, but Macon has a sort of force field to protect them. Ethan gets down to Lena and tells her to claim herself. She argues that she isn’t ready. Ridley tells her to go light even though there is a possibility it could kill her. Lena claims herself and the moon takes Larkin and Twyla. Twyla’s sheer rises into the air and replaces the southern star.
Macon calls out to Abraham when his grandfather appears, the threats start. Macon explains that John, who is now missing, is an experiment; The son of an evo (can become human for a period of time) and an incubus. Abraham leaves, taking Sarafine, Hunting, and the Book of Moons with him. Lena has broken the order of things and there will be consequences for her being both light and dark. But right now, she is happy to have her uncle and cousin.
Ethan can’t sleep and Lena appears in his room. He gives her back her charm necklace with his mother’s ring on the chain. He gives Lena Lucille’s tag to see through the cat’s eyes. She knows her true name, but decides to stay Lena.
Link wakes up Ethan and Lena because he was bitten by John in the fight. He is transitioning into an incubus, but they aren’t sure what he will be like because John was different. Ridley joins their little party and is mad that John bit Link (and also that she has to go to school).
Ethan and Lena spend as much time together as they can. They enlist the help of Link and Ridley to bury the archlight in Macon’s empty grave. A man in a white suite and string tie watches them run off. He rips out just before the sun rises. Ethan misses his iPod playing “Eighteen Moons.”
Ridley took over Macon’s old room (he took a different one) and redecorated it. Link calls, but Ridley has another incubus on her mind. She takes out a glowing sphere and counts down from three - a decision made.