In the small town of Sycamore Falls, strange things are happening. ATM cards, pens, and various other plastic items have begun to dissolve. Before long, the word is out that “the Change” is affecting plastics worldwide. Initially regarded as a curiosity that would sort itself out, alarm spreads as vital items—phones, computers, tires, engine parts, and even asphalt roads—becomes puddles of ooze. Technology has become useless, and crime is on the rise as unemployment soars. As people speculate on the cause of the Change and governments scramble to find ways to fix the problem, the threat of war is on the horizon.