When Milton and Marlo Fauster die in a marshmallow bear explosion, they get sent straight to Heck, an otherworldly reform school. Milton can understand why his kleptomaniac sister is here, but Milton is—or was—a model citizen. Has a mistake been made? Not according to Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness. She doesn’t make mistakes. She personally sees to it that Heck—whether it be home-ec class with Lizzie Borden, ethics with Richard Nixon, or gym with Blackbeard the Pirate—is especially, well, heckish for the Fausters. Will Milton and Marlo find a way to escape? Or are they stuck here for all eternity, or until they turn 18, whichever comes first?
Welcome to Rapacia, where the greedy kids go.
When Milton escapes from Heck in a soul balloon made of old clothes, Marlo is the only Fauster child left to take the blame. Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness, sends her straight to Rapacia, the circle where greedy kids are tormented by glimpses of a just-out-of-reach, glittering shopper’s paradise called Mallvana. Marlo soon falls under the sway of Rapacia’s assistant principal, a grinning metal rabbit known as the Grabbit that seems to have plans of its own.
Meanwhile, back on the Surface, Milton has his own problems. He is determined to get in touch with Marlo and help her find a way out of Heck. But it’s hard to concentrate when his body and soul don’t seem to hold together the way they used to. Will Milton ever reach Marlo? And if he does, will they both end up as pawns in the Grabbit’s mysterious game?