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The Katurran Odyssey is a fantasy children's story book written by screenwriter David Michael Wieger, created and drawn by Star Wars creature designer Terryl Whitlatch, and digitally colored by Stephanie Lostimolo. It takes place in the fictional world of Katurrah, which is inhabited by sentient versions of Earth animals. The first book of the The Katurran Odyssey was published in 2004 by Simon & Schuster through the transmedia company Imaginosis.

Synopsis

The book opens with a prologue wherein a storyteller narrates the history of Katook, the book's hero, a small adolescent male Ring-Tailed Lemur. At the time of the storyteller's tale, Katook's home village of Kattakuk was suffering under an extremely severe and lengthy winter, wherein most lemurs are starving. The High Priest who rules them, an Aye-Aye named Gamic, holds a ceremony and collects offerings of figs to try and appease their god, the Fossah. Katook and his best friend later find the priests and their guards eating the offerings. They are discovered and are nearly caught, but Katook is saved by a mysterious appearance of the Fossah, which makes his eyes blue. Katook is caught, and his now-blue eyes are used as an excuse to exile him from his village to a beach on the edge of the island on which it is located.

On the beach, he defends hatching baby turtles from being eaten by birds. In return for this, he is taken by the baby turtles' mother on her back across the sea to the port city of Acco, intending to search for others of his own kind. After an altercation with thieves in the city, he meets up with Quigga, a vain and proud Quagga who has lost his herd.

Quigga joins Katook, with whom he meets the Kolloboo. Because Katook is homesick for his own kind, the Kolloboo tell Katook to search for the scientist Nadab, who is staying with the Golden Monkeys, and who may be able to find creatures similar to him. They give him a map, a compass, and a message to give to Nadab. Travelling to find the Golden Monkeys, Quigga and Katook become lost in a desert, where they hide in some ruins to escape Bone Crushers until the Patahsave them.

The Patah bring them to their tent guarded by Glyptodonts and present an elaborate demonstration. As Katook stays with the Patah, he learns of illusions and realizes that Gamic has been fooling the lemurs through trickery to give the appearance of miracles. The Chief's son wishes to have Katook's map and compass, but Katook refuses, saying that it his only way home. The Chief, annoyed, questions Katook's feeling of isolation and influences him to think that he is not wholly alone.

The protagonists continue with the Patah, but are separated from them when the party is attacked by Phorcus. Quigga and Katook escape into a river, where they are saved by river dolphins and healed by the Boskii, who shelter them and suggest that Katook's blue eyes may not be a curse, but may be a blessing. The Boskii then tell him to follow the Butterflies, which lead them to the city of the Golden Monkeys.

In the city of the Golden Monkeys, Katook finds Nadab. Instead of offering help, Nadab merely classifies them; later, Quigga is enslaved and Katook becomes the Golden Princess's pet. Katook explains his mission to the Princess, who helps him and Quigga escape. Their escape is narrow, but is implied to be facilitated by the Fossah and destroys many of the things whereof the Golden Monkeys are vain.

Afterwards, Quigga reveals to Katook that he does not have an instinctive sense of direction and asks Katook to show him celestial navigation, which Katook has learned from the Patah. The next morning, Quigga sees his own herd in the distance and leaves Katook to join them. Katook is sad until he sees a strange shifting shape in the distance. This becomes the Fossah, who reveals that it has been accompanying and protecting Katook throughout the story. The Fossah then offers Katook the chance to live in a world known as "True Home", a paradise containing the dead and the unborn generations of life; but Katook refuses, deciding to return to save his own family. The Fossah then gives him a seed which he must plant in the ground.

Katook is magically transported back to his own village, where he is brought to Gamic and his Indrii guards, but persuades the Indriis to let him go. When they do, Katook finds shelter among rocks, feeling that all hope is lost. As he sleeps, the seed which the Fossah gave him falls from his hands and into the soil. When he awakes, the sun is shining and the baobob trees are once more growing plentiful with figs. Gamic, humbled, joins him there, and the two reconcile, later to bring news of the bounty to the village. An epilogue then concludes the book.

Animals

The Katurran Odyssey's characters consist mostly of animals that can or could be found on Earth[1]. Many of the still living animals shown are endangered. Some of the more prominent animal species featured in the story are listed here; others include the Saber-tooth cat, dire wolf, basilosaurus, and other now extinct life-forms. Many Katurran species names in the story seem to be derived from the animal's English or scientific names.

  • The Fossah, the singular, all-powerful creator of Katurrah. Butterflies and swifts seem to serve as his messengers and attendants, much like angels. In personality and role, he is similar to Aslan.
  • The Bo-hibbans, assorted lemurs who live in baobab groves in hanging wicker nests, led by Fossah-worshipping Aye-Aye. Bo-hibba is a lone island located to the southwest of the main supercontinent of Katurrah, and seems to be similar to the real-life island of Madagascar.
  • The Quagga roam the grasslands and veldts of Katurrah in large herds, and strongly hold the belief that they are the most beautiful creatures in the world.
  • The Kolloboo are intellectuals, artists, and scientists who live in a feudal society east of Acco. They possess great academic knowledge, but have little compassion.
  • The Boskii are peaceful, wise mangrove jungle dwellers.
  • The Patah are a culture of desert nomads who live with herds of Glyptodonts which serve as transport, pack animals, and armored protection from desert predators such as Bone Crushers (Hyenas) and Phorcus.
  • The Dourahnah, or Golden Monkeys, are the most technologically advanced animals on Katurrah; but they are also warlike, power-hungry slave-keepers. They are said to have honored gods, including the Fossah, but at the time of the story worship their ancestors. Their architecture may be said to resemble Indian or Buddhist forms.

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