The story is set in the fictional city of Europa, in Central Europe, the last city left after a nuclear war that made most of the Earth uninhabitable and woke up dragons - prehistorical creatures that caused an mass outbreak of a lethal disease that decimated the population and turned the survivors into scale-covered, violent mutants that rebel against the government.
Sophie, a young doctor working for her boss Amanda Solarin in a medical facility, accidentally meets an elderly woman, Emma, who miraculously recovered from the dragon plague, and whose blood could be the key to a vaccine. Saving Emma from government persecution, Sophie goes on the run with her.
Meanwhile, Erik Persson, a police officer, sets out to track Sophie and Emma, while suspecting that a mole might be hiding in the ranks of the police.
Sophie and Emma hide in the slums and after almost getting caught by the police several times they finally fall in the hands of the rebels; in her captivity, Sophie discovers that the plague survivors are not as irrational and violent as the press portrays them and agrees to work with them to develop a vaccine. She also discovers that some of the survivors have the ability to communicate telepathically with a dragon.
She meets the General, the leader of the rebels, whose name is Cain, and despite her fear for his terrifying looks and enigmatic personality, she is strangely attracted to him.
After failing to capture the fugitives, Erik is deployed to a hospital/prison where the arrested rebels are interned; there he meets Amanda Solarin, Sophie’s boss, that he had been sent to arrest because she allegedly carried the plague.
He discovers that not all the prisoners are actually infected and that the government might be using the plague threat to get rid of dissenting personalities; he decides to help Amanda and, against his boss’s directions, to collect evidence to have her case re-examined and give her a fair trial.
While doing so, he accidentally finds out that Amanda is being rescued by the rebels and that the police mole is someone very close to him. Having failed to stop Amanda’s jailbreak, he sets a trap for the mole and discovers that it’s his wife Thea, who gets killed by the police. Erik is devastated.
Meanwhile, Sophie becomes closer to Cain but she fears that he might be plotting to hurt her friend Emma; while attempting to rescue her, she finds out that Emma is actually dr. Kathleen Anderson, the one who developed the plague disease in the first place, twenty-five years before, in the attempt to become telepathically connected with a dragon, with whom she’s obsessed.
Cain, her stepson, was a failed experiment that ended up spreading the disease to the population.
She tricked Sophie and Amanda into believing that she could be the key to a vaccine to be led to the rebels and the dragon.
Emma/Kathleen cuts Cain’s throat and tosses him in the ocean, then escapes with the dragon; Sophie manages to rescue him, albeit in a coma, but is infected with the disease.
In the final chapter, she reflects on her life and her uncertain future.