A couple of weeks after the tornado passed through town, State Representative David Moore stood up on the floor of the legislature and said a very bad thing. His words were well-intentioned, but they were also caught on video and went viral, irrevocably ending his career in conservative politics. Following several months of half-assed self-examination and heavy drinking he comes partly back to his senses dressed as a fantasy elf, selling candy at the Tolkien-esque theme park that just opened up in the state capitol. The reader of Salvager follows David as he sobers up (somewhat), gets to know his fellow park employees, makes himself sick on the freefall ride, and watches the skies for the next big twister he knows will someday arrive. He also starts to fall cautiously in love with the author of the YA fantasy novels upon which the park is themed, a woman who will turn out to have a couple more big surprises to throw his way.