Jacob is a 14-year-old Ugandan who is sent away to a boys' school. Once there, he assures his friend Tony that they need not be afraid, they will be safe. But not long after, in the shadow of the night, the boys are abducted. Marched into the jungle, they are brought to an encampment of the feared rebel soldiers. Told that they must kill or be killed, the boys are thrust into a terrifying struggle to endure and survive. In time, the boys escape. Hunted by the rebels, stalked by a lion, and even pursued by river crocs, they miraculously succeed in reaching safety; however, it is no longer enough. Jacob's adventures force him to confront evil, victimization, and the dark side of human nature, but also teach him about loyalty, friendship, and the true meaning of family.