Sixteen year old math prodigy Willoughby's life is forever altered by a trip to the barber. He joins a secret society of time travelers, Observations, Inc., made up of a team of hand picked savants, but soon realizes they aren't the only ones in the time travel business.
Slater juxtaposes the tragic with the darkly comic. He grabs our heartstrings even as he keeps us snorting with laughter at the probability that, yes, this is just what a group of random teens would do if suddenly thrust into this Apocalyptic world. He draws us into a familiar-yet-drastically-changed world and makes us care about his cranky, vulnerable, sometime-exasperating, always-engaging characters.
The story exemplifies the psychological power that ancient rites have held and do hold over us, and the effects of these rites as they ripple through our consciousness or, more dangerously, our collective subconsciousness as they cross the barriers of time.