A small bat's curiosity touches off a war of extermination against all his kind in this action-packed odyssey from the author of Dead Water Zone (1993). In satisfying his desire to catch just a glimpse of the sun, young Shade defies a punishment imposed millions of years before when bats refused to fight in the Great War Between the Birds and the Beasts. In swift retribution, owls burn the ancient nursery of the silverwing bats, forcing them to depart early for Hibernaculum, their winter roost. A sudden storm blows Shade away from the flock; in the chase to catch up, he meets Marina, a faithful companion of another bat species; acquires a nemesis in Goth, a huge, seemingly indestructible tropical bat with cannibalistic tendencies; escapes capture above ground and below; encounters a host of allies and enemies; and finds several mysteries to pursue--why other animals are so ready to wipe the bats out, what the silver bands humans give some bats portend, and especially what became of his banded father. Replete with appealing characters, scary adversaries, bat lore, natural history, unanswered questions, and conflicting theologies, the story takes on a promising epic sweep; readers will look forward to the sequels that Oppel's ending guarantees.