Everyone knows that monsters are real.
Sixteen-year-old Ayanda Draculesti is one of them. She's an Unnatural, an alchemical experiment escaped from a laboratory, part of a community with strange abilities that only emerges at night. Ayanda is one of the lucky ones—she can pass as an ordinary human. An unlucky Unnatural is likely to die at the hands of a furious mob.
But even among Unnaturals, Ayanda is unusual. She was built to battle the Dead.
The world has grown complacent when it comes to the Dead. It's the middle of the nineteenth century, a modern era of automata and aetherships, five hundred years since blood-drinking corpses last ravaged the Continent. But the Dead haven't finished with the world. One of them has returned, a vicious killer that slithers through Venice by night, trapping its people in a state of terror. This creature isn't a savage beast like the others. It's calculating. Clever. It has a plan.
Ayanda knows she's the only one who can stop it, but she can't do it alone. There are more Unnaturals who want this vampire permanently dead: Yurei, a boy more phantom than human, Jette, an alchemist with a ferocious alternate personality, and Belle, a girl whose past terrifies even other Unnaturals. If they can overcome their own demons well enough to work together, they might have a chance.