In this first volume in The Serpent Trilogy, Penny Anderson, a high school junior, escapes an untenable home situation and flees across the country to join her Uncle and Aunt in Serpiente, New Mexico. The Navajo Hidalgo, a detective, tries to warn Penny of the dangers of Serpiente but she persists and in the end wins the confidence and hearts of a unique family. Together they uncover the mysterious creatures that have, throughout history, enjoyed vexing and manipulating humans to evolve into warring creatures for their own evil reasons. Using the tools of science and Indian folklore, the detectives discover the secret to making peace with the serpents. Unfortunately, antiquity thieves discover and attack the serpents, sparking a war. The family conducts historical research that reveals the ultimate goals and truth about the serpents. Includes Readers Guide.