A normally sleepy American town is suddenly awoken in the middle of the night by horrifying noises. The next day, terror-stricken citizens claim to have heard unexplained rumblings and see bright lights emanating from a nearby mountain.These reports of strange occurrences soon filter back to Washington DC. As the head inspector in the capital, John Strock is assigned to investigate the mysterious happenings. He sets out on the case, having no idea what shocking secrets will be discovered. During his investigation, reports of other inexplicable events around the country start to come to light. Unusual boats, fast cars and flying machines all play a part in the mystery as it unfolds. Strock starts to suspect that all these incidents are connected in some way, and strives to get to the bottom of it. Will he succeed in his quest? Or will the Master of the World live up to his name? Jules Verne's penultimate novel is a prophetic science fiction classic, which foretells of vehicles previously unheard of at the time the book was written.