The Aberration of Eden Pruitt







Book 2 begins with Eden Pruitt returning to Dr. Norton’s cabin in Milwaukee with her parents and Jack Forrester. There, two unconscious teenagers are being kept—Subjects 003 and 004. One is a missing 18-year-old named Barrett Barr. The other is an unidentified female of the same age. Cassian Gray and Jack Forrester found them in Mordecai’s compound at the end of Book 1.

Cassian has been enlisting Cleo’s help to search for Mordecai. They discover his name on a guest list for the Prosperity Ball, an event hosted by self-made billionaire and beloved philanthropist, Oswin Brahm. The ball is held at The Sapphire, his ritzy hotel in downtown Chicago.

Cass returns to Dr. Norton’s cabin with Cleo just as Dr. Norton is bringing Barrett and the girl (they call her Jane) out of their unconscious states. Barrett Barr is a happy chatterbox. Jane doesn’t talk at all. It’s apparent she has suffered trauma and abuse.

They decide to go to the ball to hunt down Mordecai. Dr. Beverly Randall-Ransom gets tickets—one for her nephew Cassian Ransom (he isn’t really her nephew) and another for his plus one (Eden Pruitt). Eden’s parents and Jack Forrester set up base at a suite in the hotel. They will be with Eden and Cass via Bluetooth, helping them search for Mordecai.

During the ball, the Sapphire is bombed. As panic erupts, Eden is compelled to the roof, where Mordecai waits with a device that controls her. A gun fight ensues. Mordecai forces Eden to shoot at Cassian, then at her own mother. Cass tackles her mother to safety, then shoots Mordecai and the device in his hand. Mordecai dies before they can get answers, but not before uttering the same strange phrase his henchman uttered at the end of Book 1. “For the Monarch.” Mordecai wasn’t the Monarch. A bigger enemy is out there somewhere, but who?

They grab the device that was used to control Eden and return to Dr. Norton’s cabin. The news is abuzz. The old terrorist regime responsible for The Attack twenty-one years ago is claiming credit for The Sapphire bombing. Interitus is back. In response, America’s Board of Directors closes the country’s borders. Citizens abroad are ordered to return, which includes Jack Forrester’s wife, Annette, and their daughter, Ellery, who is Subject 005.

They find two maps on the device. One is a detailed layout of Eden’s network. The other contains a handful of mysterious blinking dots. Their theory? The blinking dots are them—Eden, Barrett, Jane, and Ellery. They have no idea who the Monarch might be, nor do they have any leads. Until Cleo remembers a girl with a glass eye. When Cleo asked this girl how she got the glass eye, the girl told her the Monarch gave it to her. The girl lived off the grid. For a time, she took shelter with Mona, a friend of Cleo’s mother. Mona also lives off the grid. She and her people reside in the Damen Silos, where Cassian once lived with his mother before she was brutally murdered by his father. 

Cass and Eden head to the Damen Silos to see what Mona remembers about the girl. Her name was Francesca. She ran away from an abusive foster home. Mona doesn’t know where Francesca is now, but she remembers the foster family’s surname—Bryson. While there, they also find a picture of Jane, reported as a missing person in America Underground, the largest illegal newspaper in circulation. Her real name is Violet Winter.

With Cleo’s help, Cass and Eden follow a trail of clues. They break into the Bryson’s home and find a safe in the basement with incriminating information, including several photographs and a pamphlet that reads like recruiting material. The back of the pamphlet includes a long list of names—all of them women—referred to as Magnes Matres, which is Latin for Great Mothers. While Eden and Cass are in the basement, the Bryson’s return home. They get away, but just barely.

Eden and Cass run a search on the names, only to discover each woman died in childbirth on the same day eighteen years earlier. One name is Lillian Kashif, Bella Bryson’s sister. She’s in a photograph with Prudence Dvorak, a wanted fugitive with ties to Interitus. Lillian was survived by a son. His name is Amir. He resides near Baltimore.

The next morning, the Brysons are found dead in their home. Their murder is pinned on Cass and Eden. So is the bombing of Oswin Brahm’s hotel during the Prosperity Ball. The media portray them as armed and highly dangerous members of Interitus.

With Mona’s help, they train hop their way east. Cleo joins them. They stay in a safe house in Bethesda, where they discover an unexpected guest—Dayne Johnson, Editor-in-Chief America Underground. Dayne has never heard of The Monarch.

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Jack discovers something different about Jane’s networks. Eden and Barrett’s have a master node they refer to as the Queen Bee. This node enables them to be controlled. Jane’s network doesn’t have one. Jack has questions. But Jane is mute, so his questions go unanswered.

In Bethesda, Eden, Cass, and Cleo take turns tailing Amir Kashif, who works for the NSA. Every day, his routine is the same. He drives to work. He drives home. On his way, he stops for dinner at a local diner, then retires for the evening. One day, however, Amir goes off script. He stops at what appears to be a speakeasy. The next day, while at the diner, he passes information along to a server, who passes it along to a man on a moped. Eden follows him to a wooded park on the outskirts of town, where he crawls beneath a deck and doesn’t come out.

The next morning, Eden returns with Cass and Cleo. They find a tunnel that leads to the DC metro, long abandoned after The Attack turned America’s bygone Capitol into a toxic disaster zone. They come upon a community of people living beneath the city. Could this be the terrorist regime known as Interitus, with a leader who calls him or herself the Monarch?

While they are spying, they are caught. Prudence Dvorak holds Cleo by knife point and demands to know who they are and why they are here. Did they come for the asset? Did Pater send them?

Eden has no idea what Dvorak is talking about. What is the asset and who is Pater? Dvorak is joined by Asher, the gentleman on the moped. The girl with the glass eye is there, too. Francesca. They take Eden, Cass, and Cleo to an interrogation room when an alarm blares. They are being raided by the government.

Back in Milwaukee, Ellery Forrester—who is still unaware of her true identity—follows her father to Dr. Norton’s cabin and demands answers. While there, the device lights up with a growing number of blinking dots.

In the raid, Eden and Cassian are separated. Eden follows Francesca to safety while carrying a badly injured Cleo. In the Whitehouse Bunker, they watch on surveillance as Cassian, Prudence Dvorak, and seven others are taken into custody. Eden is horrified. Francesca is furious. The group they came upon wasn’t Interitus. Interitus didn’t even exist. Karik Volkova—believed to be the most infamous terrorist of all time and Eden’s supposed creator—was nothing more than a puppet. The true mastermind behind The Attack was the Monarch. AKA, Oswin Brahm. America’s beloved billionaire philanthropist. A man who helped rebuild the country after The Attack twenty-one years ago. Apparently, he orchestrated that attack.

Prudence Dvorak had been leading a Resistance working to stop the Monarch from carrying out his plans. He wants to create a Utopian Society, which will require the extermination of everyone he deems unworthy. He created an army to help him carry out his plans. This army is called the Electus. It is comprised of superhuman soldiers, just like Eden, Barrett, Jane, and Ellery. Children of the dead women listed on the back of the pamphlet. The Resistance has one soldier in captivity. They call him the asset. To stop Oswin Brahm, they must kill his soldiers, who are coming online. Hence the blinking dots on the device. His army is ready for activation.

News of the raid in Washington, D.C. hits the airwaves and is portrayed as a monumental victory. The government has destroyed Interitus headquarters. They have Prudence Dvorak and Cassian Ransom in captivity. Eden Pruitt is believed to be dead.

In Milwaukee, Jane leaves the safety of Dr. Norton’s cabin to find the answers everyone is so desperate to find. Somehow, Jane’s abusive father eliminated her master node. While she is terrified of him, she wants to help Barrett and Ellery. Barrett asks if he can join her. She speaks for the first time and together, they leave on their quest.