As the new school year begins at Spenser Academy, a New England boarding school for the region's reigning elite, students have gathered for a wild outdoor party to mark the end of the summer. Hundreds of feet above the gyrating bodies, Caleb Danvers and his three best friends walk to the edge of a dizzying precipice and drop unseen and unscathed before casually joining the fray. At the party, gorgeous newcomer Sarah Wenham is introduced to the boys by her equally stunning roommate Kate. The girls also meet an intriguing transfer student named Chase Collins, who quickly ingratiates himself into the group. When the police arrive to disperse the partiers, they discover the body of a student, dead of an apparent drug overdose. The school headmaster immediately suspects Caleb and his friends are somehow involved. Meanwhile, as Sarah, a former Boston public school student, tries to adjust to dorm life at the elite prep school, she can't shake the creepy feeling that someone--or something--is watching her every move. With tensions rising at school, Caleb and his friends close ranks. Although they appear to be normal teenagers, they share an unspoken bond: Not only are they descendants of the original families that settled Ipswich Colony around the time of the Salem witch trials, they also inherited their ancestors' supernatural powers. But their ability to shape-shift, defy gravity and perform superhuman feats of strength comes at a terrible cost: Every time one of the Sons of Ipswich uses his magical powers, he ages prematurely, and the temptation to abuse the power makes it more addictive than any drug. What's more, life is only going to get harder for the young friends: At the moment each boy turns 18, he will "ascend," gaining far more potent--and addictive--powers. With Caleb's birthday just a few days away, his mother Evelyn is terrified her son will find it impossible to resist the lure of the power like his father before him. Caleb assures her he'll be able to handle his new abilities. But will he really? And what if he needs his power to fight an evil force that threatens everything he loves?