Plot Summary SPOILERS
After the Detonations, the world is in turmoil and people have become fused to objects. Our main character Pressia for example, has a doll head as a hand since she was holding a doll when the explosion hit. Certain people were allowed access to the Dome before the time of the Detonations and were therefore protected. Partridge is the son of Willux, the leader of the Dome forces, and one such protected person. He has grown up having never seen the outside of the Dome, but once he finds out his mother may be alive due to a slipup from his father's words, he escapes the Dome in search of her where he meets Pressia.
Bradwell is the leader of a small group of kids over the age of 16 who are in hiding from the OSR, an army who recruits (kidnaps) kids once they turn 16 to turn them into soldiers who will lead an uprising to bring down the Dome. We find out later that OSR is actually working hand in hand with people inside the Dome.
El Capitan is one such soldier, along with his brother Helmud, who is fused to his back. He is told by Ingership (the leader of the OSR) to find Pressia and train her as a soldier, when really all he wants is for Pressia to lead him to Partridge, and then in turn to lead him to Partridge's mother. We later find that Pressia is Partridge's sister, and therefore everything was a ploy by Willux: his son's escape, Pressia meeting Partridge, their search for their mother.
Lyda is a girl inside the Dome who loves Partridge and is blackmailed into going outside the dome to find him. She is escorted by Special Forces (see notes further down the line) who take her to find Partridge and Pressia, and joins them in the outlands once the enemies have been killed.
Willux needs Partridge and Pressia to lead him to his wife in the outlands so he can steal her formula which will cure the cell degeneration that he has caused by trying to create almost superhuman characteristics through a process called coding. Everyone in the Dome has been subjected to this coding in the hopes that an elite human race would one day restore the Earth and make all the "wretches" (those who survived outside the Dome) their slaves.
At the end of the novel, we find out that Partridge's brother Sledge, who he was told had commited suicide, is actually a member of a group gone through special coding to make them more animal than human and a type of supersoldier called Special Forces. Sledge kills the other special forces soldiers to protect his brother and mother and then Willux detonates a bomb that was implanted in his brain, killing Sledge and their mother.
Pressia, Partridge, and El Capitan join forces and go after Ingership, but his wife named Illia beats them to it and kills her husband. El Capitan takes over the OSR and becomes a fair leader. We end the book knowing that Willux is still after the cure his son and Pressia now have, and that there will be a sequel to describe these events.