It's not scientists who find the first signs of life on Mars. It's wizards.
Young wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan manage to wangle their way onto an elite team sent to investigate the mysterious, long-sought "message in a bottle" that holds the first clues to the secrets of the ancient Martian race. But not even wizardry is enough to cope with the strange events that start to unfold when the "bottle" is uncorked and life emerges once more to shake the Red Planet with its own terrifying and magnificent brand of magic.
The good news is that the Martians seem friendly. The bad news is that now they're free to pick up where they left off on some old plans that could change the shape of more than one world... and they don't mind using their well-intentioned rescuers to achieve their goals. Kit's growing fascination with all things Martian unexpectedly enmeshes him in a terrible, age-old conflict – turning him into both a possible key to its solution, and a tool which in the wrong hands could threaten the whole human race.
Only Kit can stop the threat... and only Nita can tell for sure whose side he's on. But she's got her own problems. Nita finds herself facing a completely unexpected enemy that she can't conquer without giving up everything that matters to her. And if she does, she risks becoming far less than human. Or far more...