At twenty, Kate Moore has had her share of death and lonliness. Orphaned at sixteen, Kate took an early acceptance at Stanford to make something of herself, and to leave that scared small-town girl far behind. Four years at Stanford merited her a degree, a best friend closer than blood and a mentor that makes her heart ache just to be close to him.
She helps plan a four-day excursion into one of the longest and deepest caves in North America with her mentor Percy as research for his thesis… and the chance to finally tell him how she feels. Knowing she may not be able to go through with it alone, her best friend Ano agrees to come along. But nothing is going to go as planned.
Unexpectedly, the size of their group doubles just before their descent and Kate, Percy and Ano find themselves saddled with three extra Stanford students.Once within the depths of the cave, what feels like an explosion destroys their chances of returning to the surface; knocking out the elevator that can take them home – trapping them hundreds of feet below the surface with no way out… except to navigate through the chasm of dark tunnels and crevasses together.
As they wind their way through the broken passages, each of them reveals the real reason they came into the Cave – as they bond and strain against new relationships and alliances. With little food and water left, the group must search for new sources within the Cave – hoping it will last until they can make their way to the southernmost exit.
Through a broken transmission, they learn that the United States has been brutally attacked, and they are trapped, powerless to help the millions that are dying on the surface, including their families. Desperation and fear divide the group; a serious injury to their leader diminishing their chances of returning to the surface alive.
With Percy badly injured and no one to navigate the remainder of the way, it will require the strength and skills of the remaining five to discover if they have what it really takes to survive. Because the real battle lies just beyond the exit… of the Cave.