Books from My Childhood: Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 1

The Capture - Kathryn Lasky

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<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} <![endif]-->Guardians of Ga'Hoole . . . .


A book about owls that I thought was going to be pretty stupid but as soon as I began reading . . . man, was I blown away.


Not only did I find this book to be truly fun and investing but it's just so beautifully done. What do I mean by that? Well, let's take a look.




First, the characters.


I guess since it's a children's book, the characters are not really that complex and aren't the most interesting characters out there, I should point out that they are likable and have a bit of character to them.


Soren is a nice, calm, collected owl. There's not much depth to him accept the fact that he is surprisingly calm and doesn't flip out when he's in danger. He is scared but he doesn't cry or freak out until the end when he looks for his parents.


Gylfie is incredibly fun and really likable. She's small and smart, but she's also determined. She's polite and kind but can be bold at times. She too doesn't have a lot of depth but she's still interesting even though she doesn't have much of a backstory.


The other side characters are also a lot of fun.


You've got an owl who can't fly named Hortense who gives eggs to bald eagles in order to rescue them. There's also an adult owl who is a hostage to protect his family named Grimble. There are also two characters towards the end who become main characters, Twilight is a large owl that's tough and had to learn to live on his own, and Digger is a paranoid owl who lives in the ground.


The villains are not really given a lot of time in this book but they are memorable enough. Jatt and Jutt are twin owls who are despicable. Skench and Spoorn are also evil owls as well. They use this weird thing called "moon blinking" in order to brainwash the owlets they capture and take control of the kingdom.


Now that's really interesting for a kid's book. Instead of a traditional villain that just wants to take over the world, we have a couple of leaders who fear intelligence and those who have more intelligence than they do. In their 'orphanage' they cause the owls to lose their individuality and don't allow them to think for themselves like having no questions at all just to keep them from learning and discovering any knowledge that would give them power over the leaders of St. Aegolius Academy.


For a children's book, that's really clever. It also keeps the story interesting and very flowing.


And speaking of story, let's move on to the plot. It mostly focuses on Soren and Gylfie trying to escape this orphanage for owls that appears to be more than just an orphanage. It's actually a plot to control the minds of the owls in order to take over the kingdoms.


Not only is the story good but the way the chapters are set up is also really interesting and nicely done in a children's book. You see, each chapter is written in a way that it almost stands out on its own. What I mean by that is, each chapter focuses on one element in the story and can almost be a short story that gives information on the world of the owls and what's going on without having it to feel forced.


For example, one chapter near the end focuses on Gylfie and Soren trying to learn how to fly. This chapter puts its focus on the instinct of flying and that in order for an owl to fly they need to believe, given that they have the wings they need. Another chapter focuses on things in the camp and what their purpose is. Like the moon blinking, the pelletorium, the eggorium, and the hatchery.




If I had any complaints in the book, it would be the dialogue. Now, the dialogue isn't bad but it's very inconsistent. There's one scene where the Soren tells Gylfie about his family reading Psalms and owls can't read and then a couple of chapters later Gylfie mentions the world "pun". Uh . . . what?


That doesn't make any sense at all, if owls can't read or don't know what a library is then how do they know what puns are? It's like if someone didn't know what a poem was but they are able to do a sonnet. But this is just a nitpick for me and it only happens once in a while.


If that's the only complaint I have then I'm all set. I have no problems with this book at all. It's fun, it's clever, and it's really entertaining. I want to watch the movie and read the sequel.


No seriously, I'm actually looking forward to it.