Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book 1)

The Capture (Guardians of Ga'hoole, Book 1)
Kathryn Lasky
Scholastic (2003), Paperback, 240 pages

‘Good light, Soren, Gylfie said
Good light, Soren and Gylfie, Twilight said
Good light, Twilight, Soren, and Gylfie both said together.’ (p. 183)

The first book of the series Guardian of Ga’Hoole, tells the adventures of Soren, a barn owl.

The Capture could be subdivided in three parts:
the first one tells about Soren and his family, living happily in a nest. The most important event is the birth of Eglantine, Soren’s sister.

The second part tells a dramatic event: Soren is pushed out of the nest by Kludd, his brother. Follows Soren’s capture by a patrol of the evil owls from the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls.
Living in St. Aggie’s is terrible: most of the time is spent forgetting the past life, and every owl has to learn his new name: a number. A mystery surrounds St. Aggie: owls have to pick up tiny particles (flecks) so the Academy gain power and control over all owls’ world.
At St. Aegolius Academy Soren meets enemies and friends: Gylfie, a female elf owl (one of the smallest owl) befriend Soren and together they learn to fly.
‘... this is not humble, this is where owls belong - high near the wind, near the sky, close to the heartbeat of the night.’ (p. 117)

The third part tells about Soren’s and Gylfie’s escape from St. Aggie: flying toward nowhere they meet Twilight, a great grey owl and they also meet Digger, a burrowing owl.

The first and third part are the best ones of The Capture: at the beginning we know about owls’ world, and it is not strange for the readers to learn that they read the psalms.
When Soren, and Gylfie, become free from St. Aggie they fly toward some sad news about their parents, but also no one stop them to seek the truth about the legend of Ga’Hoole so to protect the world from the evil.

The second part reminds about other brainwashing’s camps ...

‘- But where is it you’re going? he asked
- To the Great Ga’Hoole Tree.
- What? said Digger, but before Twilight could answer, Streak (an eagle) broke in,
- I’ve heard of that place, but isn’t it just a story, a legend?
- To some it might be, Twilight said, and blinked at the eagle.
- But not to owls, thought Soren. To owls, he thought, it is a real place.’ (p. 215-6)

‘And, indeed, Soren knew still another true:
Legends were not only for the desperate.
Legends were for the brave.’ (p. 218)

Soren: Barn Owls (Tyto Alba), (Barbagianni): it is widely distributed in the world; it measures 10–18 inch in overall length, with a wingspan of 30–43 inch.

Twilight: Great Gray Owls (Strix nebulosa), (Allocco di Lapponia): they belong to the Wood Owls group; are residents of Canada and Alaska; It is the largest owl species with a wingspan of 5-foot.

Gylfie: Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi), (Civetta?): is the smallest owl, only 5.5-inch.

Digger: Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia), (Civetta delle tane): they nest in burrows.

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