Both Michael and Taylor receive scholarships from the prestigious Elgen Academy. When Michael tells his mother about the scholarship, she immediately makes him leave Pizza Max, the restaurant where they are eating. On their way to the car, a man attempts to rob them. When Michael shocks him, another man appears accompanied by two teenagers. The man reveals himself to be Dr. Hatch. Michael then passes out after being drained of his electricity by Nichelle, one of the teenagers. When Michael wakes up, he is in a hospital and Ostin's mother tells him that his mom has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Taylor has been taken captive from her cheerleading practice after a horrible headache to Elgen Academy, where she finds out that she has an identical (but evil, to be found out later in the story) twin, named Tara.
Taylor soon discovers the dark side of Dr. Hatch; he likes to use the teenagers' powers for his own benefit and pleasure in ways that have possible harmful consequences. When given an order by Dr. Hatch, Taylor disobeys him, is tortured by Nichelle, and gets put on Floor D with three other kids: Ian, McKenna, and Abigail who disobeyed Hatch's orders and suffered the same fate as Taylor. After getting a car ride to Pasadena with the guys who were bullying him, Michael unsuccessfully attempts to free Taylor. Dr. Hatch tells Michael after his capture that Michael killed his own father, and makes him choose between his own freedom and his friends. Taylor, Ostin, and the other rebels on Floor D escape their cell only to be caught again. Michael is told to kill Wade to prove his allegiance to Dr. Hatch. He refuses and so his mother is shocked instead. Michael is sent to Cell 25, the torture cell for those who are enemies of Dr. Hatch and his methods.
After 26 days, Michael is released from Cell 25 and is taken to the same room where he failed his first test by not shocking Wade. Hatch leaves Michael (who is weak from his treatment in Cell 25) alongside Ostin, and Taylor, who are restrained in chairs. Ostin and Taylor are supposed to be killed by Zeus, but after Michael tricks Zeus into shocking him, he grows more powerful from Zeus's lightning, and pulses, causing an electric wave, knocking both Zeus and Ostin unconscious. He checks on Taylor, who is okay, and then Ostin, but finds that Ostin's heart stopped. After applying two shocks in a fashion similar to a defibrillator Ostin's heart starts up again. Taylor then goes into the mind of Zeus and searches his memories, to find that Hatch tricked him into believing that he killed his family while swimming in a pool at the age of 7. He then sides with Michael and the rest of the Electroclan and helps them break Ian, McKenna, and Abigail out of their cell, and using his powers, disables all the cameras they come across. A lengthy battle between the Electroclan and Dr. Hatch's loyalists occurs. Michael's group takes control of the control room and releases the human captives (including Jack and Wade) who overpower the remaining guards. Meanwhile, Dr. Hatch escapes from Elgen Academy in a helicopter with most of the other electric children that are loyal to him.
After the battle, Taylor goes to call her parents, and after dialing three digits walks up to and kisses Michael. Then another electric child, Grace, who supposedly ran away from Hatch, arrives to join the "Electoclan". With the suspicion that she may be a plant, Taylor reads her mind and confirms that she is against Hatch. Grace also says that she downloaded all the Elgen's computer files onto herself before they were deleted: her power is being able to upload and download data from computers, like a human flash drive. Nichelle is sent to be a normal human where she can't hurt anyone after Michael finds out her weakness.The book ends with Ostin proclaiming that "This is the rise of the Electroclan!"