Book Review: Guardians of Ga’Hoole (#1): The Capture, by Kathryn Lasky


a classic hero mythology about the fight between good and evil. This
series is filled with adventure, suspense, and heart.

In the
first book in the GUARDIANS… series, the reader is introduced to
Soren, a barn owl and the centerpiece of the series. When Soren is
pushed from his family’s nest by his older brother, he is rescued from
certain death on the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school for
orphaned owls, St. Aggie’s. 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–(cont)


I absolutely loved this book!  I have always enjoyed animal stories, and this was no exception.  It was such an interesting concept behind the story.  

The entire book is told mostly from Soren’s point of view.  Every now and then you get a small glimpse into the other owl’s thoughts, but you mostly stick with Soren.  As the reader, I got to follow his experience of being pushed from the nest, snatched from the ground, and imprisoned in a “school” for orphaned owls.  

Soren makes friends with the clever and diplomatic Gylphie.  She was a fantastic character as well. Together they discover more and more about the mystery surrounding the school and the snatching.  I really enjoyed their friendship.  They look out for each other and stick together like good friends should.  A couple of times, they find other owls that have been able to resist the moon-blinking that happens to all the owls at the school.  

The story reminded me a little bit of the book Holes, by Louis Sachar.  It was a bunch of innocents being forced into slave labor to look for an unknown something that a half-crazed tyrant is desperate to find.  It is a plot that invites the reader in and makes them want to stay until they figure the mystery out.

I have to admit that it was a little more violent than I had been expecting.  I was shocked when the first owl died (I loved her!), and very disturbed at each sequential death.  The characters were lovable (or frightening, depending on their role), and it was very sad to see them go.  

I had a lot of questions that didn’t really get answered, but I’m not too worried about that since this was the first book in a series of fifteen.  Mostly my questions had to do with the school, what they were looking for, and why Soren’s brother pushed him out of the nest in the first place.  He was a rotten brother, but leaving the nest meant certain death for an owl that couldn’t fly.  Why did he want his brother dead?  Hopefully the next books will reintroduce Soren’s brother so that we can get some answers.  I will definitely be reading more in this series.

The Cover:  I love the cover.  It portrays the story very well.  It is kind of haunting and mysterious.  Although I had always thought that the owl on the cover was the main character, but Soren is a snowy white barn owl.  

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