The story begins with Rory being told that Juniper Landing is, as she suspected, not a normal town. She's been chosen to be a 'Lifer' and she won't be leaving the realm any time soon, if ever. She won't be joining her father and sister in their final journey, nor can she tell them that they've been killed, because revealing that fact prematurely to someone would guarantee they'd end up in the one place no one wishes to go--the Shadowlands.
As Rory starts to learn about what being a Lifer entails, she begins to notice all is not right with this seemingly 'new' world. Something strange is going on and things that shouldn't be happening are. She begins to question whether a soul could end up in the wrong place.
They say the coins of fate are never wrong, that they know who should be sent to the Light and who should be sent to the Shadowlands, but what if they're wrong? What if they're terribly wrong? They say no one ever comes back from the Shadowlands once they've been sent. With her father's and sister's fates still hanging in the balance, she hopes they're right.