I'm looking for a book I read in the 3rd grade, back in 2004. I'm 20 now so this was about 12 years ago and my memory of the book is a little hazy.

I recall the main plot of the story concerned a human boy abandoned by his parents and raised on another planet by an alien species. These aliens resembled something along the lines of a monkey/bear hybrid. They were very hairy and walked upright. One of these aliens acted as a mother to the boy.

These aliens had a mythology in which there existed a creature somewhat like Satan from Christian theology. This creature tempted people based on their deepest desires, but eventually "took their souls". If I remember correctly, the aliens never spoke the name of this creature. There was a forest that these aliens were wary of and it was warned that this evil creature lived in the forest.

Eventually, the human boy sets outs on a journey, either one of self discovery or to find his lost father, though I cannot remember which. Throughout his journey, he encounters some sort of large domed cities and a robotic waste disposal system that I believe almost kills him.

He encounters his father, who if I remember correctly is now some sort of mercenary or space pirate. One of his crew-members has a metal mechanical jaw. At some point towards the end of the story, the boy is becoming hopeless and actually encounters the evil creature and in his desperation almost succumbs to it.

The writing style is somewhat similar to Larklight by Philip Reeve. That's all I can remember. Any help is greatly appreciated.


1 Answer 1


This is Beyond the Deepwoods

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This is the first book in the Twig trilogy of The Edge Chronicles, which is the first trilogy by publication order and the second chronologically. It was published in 1998, so you could easily have read it in 2004.

It matches all the points in your question, although some may have been misremembered.

  • Twig was abandoned by his father and raised by woodtrolls, who could be considered aliens (they certainly are non-human, although as a Fourthling, Twig's father may not be "human" as we see it).

    ‘Oh, Gloamglozer!’ Spelda cursed. ‘This isn't easy.’ She looked at the boy tearfully. ‘Although I have loved you as my own since the day you arrived, you are not my son, Twig. Nor is Tuntum your father.’

    Twig stared in silent disbelief. ‘Then, who am I?’ he said. Spelda shrugged.

    ‘We found you,’ she said. ‘A little bundle, all wrapped up in a shawl, at the foot of our tree.’

  • If a woodtroll left the path, they risked being preyed upon by the fearsome gloamglozer:

    Those who did stray from the path and lose their way were vulnerable to attacks from the gloamglozer – the wildest of all the wild creatures in the Deepwoods. Every woodtroll lived in constant terror of an encounter with the fearsome beast. Spelda herself had often frightened her older children with tales of the forest bogeyman: ‘If you don't stop being such a naughty woodtroll,’ she would say, ‘the gloamglozer will get you!’

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You can definitely see the Satanic influence: horns, staff, robe.

  • Twig's father was a sky pirate:

    Twig's head was whirling, buzzing; thought after thought collided with one another. The abandoned baby. The woodtrolls. The scarf – his comfort cloth, still tightly tied around his neck. My scarf, he thought. He stared at the majestic sky pirate captain. Could you really be my father? he wondered. Does your blood flow through my veins? Will I also command a sky ship one day?

  • The domed city that you remember is probably the termagent trog cavern:

    Two right turns and a left fork later, Twig found himself in a vast, cavernous chamber. It was round and high and domed, with glistening walls and thick pillars like dripping candles.

  • Near the end, Twig does indeed encounter the gloamglozer:

    ‘Can you really have forgotten, Master Twig,’ came the voice again, and the air hissed with a nasal snigger.

    Twig fell to his knees. The rock was cold and clammy to the touch; the mist grew thicker than ever. Twig could barely see his hand in front of his face. ‘What do you want of me?’ he whispered.

    ‘Want of you? Want of YOU?’ The voice broke into raucous laughter. ‘It's what you want of me, Master Twig. After all, you did summon me.’

    ‘I s … s … summoned you?’ said Twig, the faltering words weak and muffled in the dense fog. ‘But how? When?’

    ‘Come, come,’ the voice complained. ‘Don't act the innocent little woodtroll with me. “Oh, Gloamglozer!” it said in a desperate voice that Twig recognized as his own. “Please. Please. Please. Let me find the path again.” Do you deny you called me?’

  • The writing style most certainly is similar to Larklight. It has the same brand of whimsy, the sort that entirely and wonderfully lacks self-consciousness.

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