Paraffin, Vermont, is home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. There, seventeen-year-old Poppy finds something dark and unsettling: a room filled with dozens of startlingly lifelike wax sculptures. Later, she's shocked when one of the figures--a teenage boy who doesn't seem to know what he is--jumps naked and screaming out of the trunk of her car. Poppy wants to return him to the factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop.
With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy tries to find out who was behind the fire. Along the way, she discovers that some of the townspeople are starting to look a little . . . waxy. Can they extinguish the evil plot?