Freyr Brand is haunted by his mother's death and his own survival.
Named after his mother, Freya, Freyr is nineteen-years-old, determined, talented, intelligent and son of two wealthy, successful people. His whole life has been striving for the next goal, the next achievement, the next milestone, but then that all changes when he follows after his mother's voice into a dark alley ...
In that alley, she dies, but he survives. The authorities claim that they were both struck down by the Ghost disease, a global epidemic triggered by the destruction of old Japan. Freyr does not believe his mother died that way. He has vague, hazy memories of another person being present. Those memories become far more certain when he finds in his mother's papers a picture of a man, Longwei Tang, and realizes that the figure he half-remembers seeing in the alleyway is real and is the head of the Heian Mofa ("Dark Magic") Triad, a criminal organization his mother was trying to stop.
His status as a Survivor of the Ghost disease means that he is at risk of being sent to a quarantine facility unless he flees to Neo-Tokyo, the home of new Japan, but Black Ocean, a powerful transnational company and the company his father works, offers another safe haven ... one in Hong Kong, where, luckily or unluckily, Longwei Tang is supposed to be.