Seventeen-year-old Alex Cardin is falsely convicted of a felony. It is six years after President Gray's Prison Reform Act of 2026. Prisons have been shut down across the United States, and all felons must serve life sentences on isolated prison islands where escape is impossible, and rules of civility are obsolete. Alex is banished to Dregs Island and must rely on his sharp intuition, as nobody can be trusted. To survive, he must defeat the ruthless ruler of the island who was a legendary serial killer back on the mainland. Alex is forced to make decisions along the way that weigh survival against humankind and family against friendship.