In the world of "Enclave," New York City has been destroyed by war and disease. Most of society now dwells in underground enclaves where individuals are not expected to live past their early 20s. No one is even named until they turn 15, at which point they have the choice of becoming a Builder, a Breeder, or a Hunter. When Deuce turns 15, she chooses to become a Huntress and is matched with Fade, another teenage hunter. While out hunting, they are alarmed to discover that a neighboring enclave has recently been destroyed by Freaks (dangerous non-humans) and are sure that it points toward their increasing power. However, no one takes heed of their messages, and they are banished. The two must fight to survive in an inhospitable and violent world amidst the ruined upper city.