When Dr. Kate Philo and her exploration team discover what appears to be a seal frozen in an Arctic iceberg, they believe they have made a momentous breakthrough in their research. Kate is part of the groundbreaking Lazarus Project, run by the egocentric and paranoid genius Erastus Carthage. To date, they have brought small creatures like plankton and shrimp back to life, but only for one tenth of their natural lifespan. As the underwater excavation begins, Kate and her team realize it is not a seal they have found, but a man.
Heedless of the potential consequences, Carthage orders that the frozen man be brought back to the lab in Boston and reanimated. They learn that he was - is - Jeremiah Rice, a man born in 1868, whose last memory is of falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. When the news breaks, the media pursue Jeremiah, religious conservatives accuse the Lazarus Project of blasphemy, and the world at large suspects the entire enterprise is a massive fraud.
Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and Jeremiah’s new life is slipping away. With Carthage planning to exploit Jeremiah while he can, Kate must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the man she has come to love.