On his eleventh birthday, young Alden Waverly hears strange noises outside his play cave on Cappa Terse. He and his parents live intriguing, fulfilling lives as pioneers there among the trees and rocky terrain of their plateau, part of a small contingent of humans evaluating the planet for colonization.
Since his wife’s death, novelist David Carvier can’t put two words together. Desperate to break the stranglehold of writer’s block, he retreats to his secluded cabin to wrestle with his frustrations, but there David tips on the edge of madness as he endures strange, terrifying episodes. When his new girlfriend arrives, the mysterious pieces…
After the strange noises comes a cataclysmic explosion. Alden races from his cave to find devastation. His house and the bridge from their plateau to the rest of the planet lay in obliterated ruin. Tragically, Alden learns that his parents are within the destruction. Instantly isolated and the only human on Cappa Terse, Alden faces seemingly insurmountable challenges, both emotionally and in his physical struggle to survive. Motivation wanes as Alden realizes there is literally no one in the universe who even knows he is alive.
Before long, though, he encounters a unique circumstance on his plateau: a burlon. A large, tough, immensely strong animal he’s never seen before, one that lives across the ruined bridge, in the grassland. At first, Alden tries merely to make curious contact, but it becomes quickly evident these unlikely allies need each other, if either are to survive. Their only hope lies across the ravine, and resources are slim. Just the trees and a few simple tools. Alden forms a plan, but it could take years, and with food scarce, frightful predators in the air, and unpredictable earthquakes underfoot, time is their enemy.
Through this heartwarming, coming-of-age tale of survival and friendship, can Alden and his new companion, Burly, beat overwhelming odds and find their way to life over Alden Bridge?