After a winter of snowball fights and photo-taking, fifteen-year-old David Flint isn’t looking forward to the onslaught of exam season. Nervous and prone to panicking, it would be a miracle if he even makes it through the next week. The weather is getting oven-hot and the trees are looking unusually life-like. A school trip into the woods ends with the trees coming alive and attacking people. The creatures are repelled by David’s strange classmate, Alice Collins, who suddenly draws blue fire from her hands. Alice’s house, where she lives with her mother, Molly, may be the only safe place.
Molly Collins has a dark and mysterious attic and many strange bicycles fitted with electric-blue lights which, she tells David and his friends, will lead them away from danger and into a fantastical multiverse of literature.
Using Molly’s bicycles, David and his friends travel to worlds that resemble classic books. They visit an epic fantasy forest, a countryside murder mystery, a brooding gothic horror, and then even wilder, more experimental books including a surreal dangerous Dublin and a postmodern university’s ultra-violent tennis tournament. All the while they travel through the worlds of literature, they are pursued by monstrous trees. How can they run, when they are running from nature itself?