Hubert, Angela, and Ralph Barney are riding horses in the grasslands when they discover an enormous egg. To the palms of their eager hands, the egg communicates a message of life, of a heart ticking. To their rapt ears, pressed against the shell, it speaks of something deep, something primeval. They do a reconnaissance, frightful thoughts chugging through their minds: What kind of monster laid it? What danger does this portend?
The Brit, Malcolm Moreland, totes a large-caliber rifle and all the ammo he can fit on his web belt. The Brit is full of cautionary tales for the Barneys as he and they take cover and wait for the egg to hatch. Before long, eggshell begins to chip away and something frightful pokes its head out. The Barneys leave their idyllic childhoods behind when they and the Brit follow the giant hatchling into another world.
Thirteen-year-old Chad Garrick lives in the shadows of the Barneys, and within his own special kind of darkness. Secretly, he follows the Barneys and the Brit into the land of giant birds, unaware of the peril that awaits them and all of humanity, for the giant birds are a former earth species driven to extinction at the hands of thoughtless humans, and want nothing more than to exterminate the human race.