Peter Novilio was going to Hell.
Caught violating the Zero Tolerance for Violence laws, he was sentenced to a one-way trip to a prison planet in the Zeta Tucanae system. Hell was forever: Its ecosphere had been infected with microscopic nanomachines that destroyed electrical conductors, condemning its inmates to a neo-Victorian gaslight society without computers, spaceflight, or hope of escape.
But Hell was not what it seemed. Clues suggesting impossible technologies and imminent revolt forced Peter Novilio to become Earth's unwilling agent, descending to Hell's surface in pursuit of information that he could exchange for his freedom.
Peter had a secret as well: He was a member of the outlawed Sangruse Society, and in his blood flowed the Sangruse Device, Version 9, the most powerful nanocomputer ever created. Although Peter's protector and advisor, the Device had reasons of its own for visiting Hell. Peter soon discovered that he was little more than a disguise, caught in a covert war among Earth, Hell's ingenious inmates, and the deadly mechanism in his veins. For as fearsome as it was, the Device itself was afraid -- and the fates of whole worlds would depend on the threat that the Cunning Blood had discovered outside of space and time.