In the first book, The Hunter, Jenny is a young woman, living in California, who feels she has always been watched - and protected - in much of what she does. Preparing for a birthday party, she goes to a rough part of town where she is followed by two thugs her age. There, she buys a board game, involving a paper house, simply called "The Game" from an enigmatic blue-eyed stranger. She and her friends (Dee, Audrey, Mike, Zach, Summer and Tom) put together the paper house, invoke a rune, and awake inside the game, where the stranger from the shop - blue eyed Julian - tells them they must travel through each room of the house, facing their worst nightmares. If they make it to the top of the house before dawn, they can go home; if not, they have to stay forever. All but Summer make it through their nightmares, and she is killed because she cannot face her worst fear and escape it. In the end Julian reveals the game they have been playing to actually be "Goats and Tigers." To rescue everyone else Jenny promises herself to Julian before locking him back into the closet. Everyone but Summer makes it out, but the ring Julian gave her is still there. It bears the words "All I refuse & Thee I choose." The group wants to burn the box which holds the game in it in the end but before they can come to a decision the two men who followed Jenny home break in and steal the box, which holds both the game and Jenny's ring, and quickly leave.
In the second book of the trilogy, The Chase, the group of friends has to explain about the disappearance of Summer, while trying to find the box that contains the game. Julian was still trapped in the closet, but there was a chance that the two boys that stole the game might let Julian out. All of the friends begin to have nightmares, and unnatural weird occurrences at school are happening in the daytime. Finally, when Jenny is at the senior prom, Julian appears. Julian gives Jenny a chance to break free, but the stakes were the same as the last game. This time the game is "Lambs and Monsters", where Julian is the monster, and the friends are the lambs trying to hide from him; for the lambs to win, they have to find the monster's base. One by one Jenny's friends start disappearing, and Jenny is the only one left. She manages to find the base by tricking Julian. She finds her friends, but to get out they have to pass through a wall of flames. Everyone makes it but Tom and Zach, and to get them back again, Mike, Dee, Audrey, and Jenny have to find a way into the Shadow World.
In the last of the three, The Kill, the remaining four run away to Monessen, the place where Jenny's grandfather had lived before being taken away by the Shadow Men. They believed that there was a portal to the Shadow World there, and there was. When the four enter the Shadow World, they find themselves in a closed amusement park. After looking and experiencing some of the attractions, which are made to be like nightmares, Julian appears, and he tells them that if they find three Spanish doubloons in the amusement park, everyone will get to go free. The four friends search through the amusement park and find Summer, who is still alive. They also find three other souls being kept by the Shadow Men, the two boys who stole the game, and Jenny's grandfather who had been taken when Jenny opened the closet door. They set the three free without knowing the consequences, and they find the three doubloon coins to save Zach and Tom. Right as they all are leaving, the Shadow Men appear and say that the group has taken the souls, which were theirs. The older Shadow Men want to take Jenny's soul, but Julian says that he will take her place. The seven leave with some despair on Jenny's part, and get back home.