At the age of 26 Steven Johnson has already achieved more than many people manage in a lifetime. He is handsome and intelligent, has a brilliant career, a beautiful home, a luxury car – to the people around him he seems to have everything. But there is one crucial element missing from his world and that is someone to share it all with. Without warning, and in the most unexpected of circumstances, that person appears in the shape of Samantha Hill, and in a single meeting the course of Johnson's life is altered forever.
It is October and the country is basking in the warmth of an unexpected, unseasonal and unprecidented heat-wave. Scientists quickly identify activity on the surface of the sun as the reason for the conditions and for frequent energy pulses – brilliant waves of heat and light which, for a few seconds, are enough to turn night into day. Every new morning brings an increase to the relentless temperature.
In the space of just a few days and weeks Johnson and Samantha become inseparable and for a while at least Johnson feels complete. But then the bitter truth is discovered – the powerful energy pulses are the death throes of the sun. The world is on the brink of destruction.
By the time the news is made public only days remain until the end. Desperate and afraid, Samantha's possessive parents force her to leave the city to travel with them to be with the rest of their family. With his own relatives having already left town and gone north, Johnson is faced with the prospect of spending his last few days and hours alone. His priorities confused by uncertainty and fear, he chases after Samantha.
The energy pulses continue to increase in strength and frequency and it is soon clear that very little time remains. Anarchy reigns supreme as millions of terrified people flee their homes in a hopeless search for safety. Johnson fights his way towards Samantha across a sun-scorched, alien landscape.
With his own family too far away to reach Johnson has no choice but to go on. Distance is no longer an issue. Time is all that matters...