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The Outcast by Kathryn Lasky
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Feb 20, 12

bookshelves: children, fantasy, action, dark-fantasy, epic-fantasy
Read from February 19 to 20, 2012

Not quite as brutal as the previous volume, but still startlingly violent, this volume of the "Ga'Hoole" novel builds on the foundation established in the first 7 books. Lasky does not pull punches in depicting animal predation and conflict, and one does wonder how it all makes it past the censors! Lasky's recovering from whatever authorial funk she was in when she wrote the previous volume; this entry's prose feels less clumsy and the characterization more even. What is more, she appears to have fully committed to this being a fantasy series! In the preceding six volumes there were elements of fantasy, most notably the "scrooms" (owl ghosts) and the visions which various characters had, but everything else could be written off as potentially natural phenomena which were simply seen as fantastic to the animals. I feel this commitment has actually improved the series and the setting, as it makes the whole less frustrating. Good stuff!
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02/18/2012 page 3
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