You are Riek Bukenya. You are thirteen years old. You are sitting in your school in Uganda one day with other students. Then rebel forces murder your teacher, kidnap you along with the rest of the children in your class, and force you to take up weapons to fight for their cause. You have no choice but to do as they say, because you're powerless... right?
The story of teenager, Riek, who discovers he can slow the world, by willing his heart beat to slow. Riek lives in tumultuous Uganda, where kidnappings happen frequently and violence is unnervingly common. Unfortunately, Riek and his fellow students, along with some teachers are held captive. During this time, Riek must come to grips with his power, and choose whether to save the lives of his friends and fellow hostages and take the lives of their captors, or to refuse to do what he is good at, and what he hates: to kill.