Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana's parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family's she's got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP.
At the end of her freshman year, her class will be sent on a top secret weekend trial at sea. She only hopes she has what it'll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives...
But wait, there's more! The professor accompanying them informs Ana that they and their rival school, Land Institute, have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. But now the heat is on and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.