Jesse, Eva, and Skandar have gone down to the Surface, which is illegal, to trade for a Pearl. Pearls come from outer space and have enough power for small cities. The mission is a success until Jesse is trapped on a roof by Cassius--a trainee in the Unified Party and enemy to the Skyships. Jesse falls but survives without a mark on him. Cassius still gets away with the Pearl, so Jesse, Eva, and Skandar return to base without the prize they went looking for.
Cassius, however, knows something happened while Jesse was hanging off that roof. He knows Jesse did something to him. Especially when he sets his entire room on fire. Madame, the real leader of the Unified Party, has a special mission. When she heads up to the Skyship, she wants Cassius to find and kidnap Jesse. She doesn't explain why, but Cassius feels honored he is chosen for such an important mission.
Until it goes badly. Jesse recognizes him and tries to escape. He's helped by his friend Avery as they jump into a ship and head for the surface. The two of them try to avoid Cassius, but at what cost?
At every turn, Jesse is learning who he can and cannot trust.
A solid beginning--it appears there may be more. There are some pacing issues, but mostly this is action-packed. Especially about halfway through the book to the end. Something is always happening and there are enough twists to keep anyone interested.