Toby's dad and little sister have been kidnapped by pirates, and Toby is left alone in the aftermath of the terrible Red Fever epidemic, which has wiped out much of the world's population. Menacing tribes of super-intelligent dogs are gaining ever more ground in Scotland, moving northwards. A mysterious figure called The General is leading a group of villains who are kidnapping people and imprisoning them in a place he calls New Caledonia. But where is this New Caledonia and what does The General plan to do with his captives?
Toby sets out on a perilous mission to find New Caledonia and, he hopes, his family. He befriends a Russian girl whose family have also been taken. Together they sail to Inverness and down the Caledonian Canal, and trudge through the snowy Highlands, until they reach Stirling Castle for the dramatic final showdown. But in a freezing cold winter, with vicious dogs, wolves and pirates on the rampage, will they make it in time?