All contact with the two ships on the Icarus mission to Proxima Centauri has been lost.
Twenty year old Janine Lewis hates her brother Sean for the accident that left her beloved 'Uncle' David Stirling, commandant of the space academy, in a wheelchair. She also despises him as a coward. When Sean refuses to re-enlist as an astronaut to search for their missing father, Janine vows to Join the academy, against her mother, Cindy's, wishes.
418 days after the mission launch the Valiant returned to our solar system, badly damaged. The sole survivor died in the arms of the rescue crew before she could tell them what happened.
Janine's search for her father looks doomed before it has even started. She faces envy from other cadets, as well as hostility and jealousy from lecturers and officers envious of her father's reputation and fame.
A vicious fight with another cadet, and the continuing hostility between them threatens to have both women thrown out of the academy in disgrace.
Prospects for finding the missing ship deteriorate drastically after the search mission's lead ship explodes on reaching light speed.
With Janine facing setbacks and abuse from all sides, Cindy vows to keep a terrible secret from her daughter.