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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky

Blurb: After Soren, a young owlet, is pushed from his family's nest by his older brother, he's plucked from the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school, the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. When Soren arrives at St. Aggie's, he suspects there is more to the school than meets the eye. He and his new friend, the clever and scrappy Gylfie, find out that St. Aggie's is actually a training camp where the school's leader can groom young owls to help achieve her goal--to rule the entire owl kingdom.

Review by Dale

Wow! I original discovered this book as a preview for the film on a DVD I was about to watch. I was amazed by the stunning looking cgi effects and a few months later when I saw it for sale in my suns scholastic catalogue I bought it. I was of course curious to see how other authors handle storyies where the main characters are animals. A sly bit of research you might say.

So how can a book about elusive and almost creepy looking Owls be exciting? The truth is you soon get lost in the magic of the story and kind of forget that Soren and Gylfie, the two main characters,  aren't just two rascalous children. Kind of the same way Disney makes you feel about Simba in the lion king.

This story has its dark elements. There is death and lots of sadness. I had the same feelings when I read George Orwell's Animal Farm many years ago. A sort of sinister under story, that permeates through and makes you worry for the characters. I liken it to the spy who goes back under cover for 'one last mission'.

But they do manage to escape their captives of course or there wouldn't be fourteen more books in the series.  Although a few Owls don't make it, and its very sad when the good guys die. But there are so many secrets still to discover. A hallmark of great serialists like Lasky and Rawlings is the long slow boiling story that creeps through a series and only comes together in the final chapters. Thats what keeps me reading these books.   

As an aside note you also learn quite a bit about Owls reading this book. How their wings work and what they eat. Quite fascinating if you are interested in nature. I can see that Lasky has a very good knowledge of these birds, no doubt from years spent watching them.

So the verdict? I am already thinking about book two. Especially after the way this ends. Check it out, or watch the movie?

Format: Paperback Book
Available from Amazon
Guardians of Ga'hoole Boxed Set, Books 1-4Children's Bird Books)
Price: $16.00c (at time of review) 4 Book Box set
Wordcount: 220 pages
Kathryn Lasky

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