Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones

 The Owl Keeper
Published: April 13th 2010 by Delacorte Press
320 pages
ISBN13: 9780385738149

Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.

According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better.

Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again.

The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.
Review:

With only memories of his Gran, small treasures that were sneaked past Mrs.Cumlin's inspections, Maxwell Unger lives through the night and dark of the High Echelon's world. Getting monthly injections of grotesque liquid was a result of Max's allergy to "sun particles." The stories of silver owls and Silver Prophecies are practically forbidden to speak. So is Max's Gran's death. With the slow deterioration of his memory, Max tries to visit his owl tree and his silver owl every night. One night he finds a girl under his tree. A peculiar one, at that; raggedy clothes, wild dirty hair, and as thin as a chopstick. Crowding an aggressive attitude, Artemis Rose Eccles is like no one Max had ever met before. Speaking almost a foreign language, Rose endears Max with her crazy antics of the liars in the High Echelon. When the slow realization of the truth of Rose's remarks grows to be too much for Max, a slew of adventures and a final journey to the Frozen Zone are the only solutions that sought to defeat the impending Darkness sweeping the land. Will the end result be what Max and Rose were hoping for all along, or will there be too many near-death experiences to get to their destination in time?

The Owl Keeper is the mesmerizing tale of a young, weak boy that blooms into a brave and powerful Night Seer, with the help of Rose--his best friend, his silver owl and some memories of Gran and a better time. Reading through the best friends' adventures in the gloominess of High Echelon territory was entertaining and kept you interested till that final journey to find the Owl Keeper. Reading about all of the crafted, ugly-looking creatures in The Owl Keeper was intricately satisfying because of its detail. Rose and Max learn to appreciate each other in more ways than one; and upon that a very unique friendship. With a poem of a prophecy hanging over there heads, the pair try to break down its meaning in order to end at their desired destination. Through their fantastic views of the forests and chilling woods, you will keep wondering in your mind what will happen next, and will they get through this.

The Owl Keeper was set in Max's point of view of the situations around him, but with one switch I believe that the author could have made this book great in any--and I do mean any, even little Miranda's point of view. However, since I don't ordinarily read MG books, it took me a while to really get into the story. With other readers or frequenters of MG novels, this most likely may not happen; if you don't frequent MG novels, you might experience a little difficulty in the beginning, all there is to do is wait for the good parts, because they are there! Brodien truly knows what she's doing with the her characters, the only mishap is that she needs to work a bit on the magic storytelling. From time to time, the pace and some details of the story made me question the authors choice for choosing such a young male lead. However, I do believe that may be a bit biased since I used to young adult novels. In the end, Max really showed the side of his childishness and bravery all in one. The Owl Keeper really is an enchanted, mystical read that you won't want to miss. I'd love to know what happens to Max after the last page.

Grade: B

Check out The Owl Keeper's trailer below. I loved everything about this trailer!



LiLi