How might our quarrelsome and wasteful ways be seen through the gaze of more distant, different and dispassionate eyes? And how might a promise once made by the leaders of the world be re-paid having been broken by their successors?
30 years later, on a night whose dark skies were filled with a magical light show the world over, countless towns and cities, entire transport networks as well as billions of people begin to vanish without a trace. But out in the remote rural areas of the world, life goes on unaffected by the invasion, or the enigmatic "lights" that continue to appear out of nowhere, surveying the mundane routines of the remaining survivors.
In the aftermath of this unstoppable invasion by an invincible alien force, one survivor wants more than mere survival, Leonora "Lenny" Dixon wants answers. Why are the invaders here, and what do they want of us?
In search of answers, Lenny and her boyfriend Jay leave the relative safety of Cumbria, a mountainous and rugged region of north-west England, and begin a journey south, through the ruined and abandoned urban sprawl of the great northern city of Manchester, on their way discovering the true and terrifying purpose of the invaders, finally revealing the horrifying truth behind the disappearing industry and civilization of man, and of mankind itself.