Sunday, September 15, 2013

Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Zoe & Zak Adventures #1)

About the Book:
Zoe and Zak are lost in exotic India, where gods and magic still exist. Before they can find their way home, they just have to do one little thing...

..Save a mythical creature from an ancient evil that wants to rule the world.

When Zoe Guire goes along on her mom's business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. An elephant god speaks to her from the bottom of a swimming pool... She and her classmate Zak get locked in a trunk and shipped off to a strange city near the foothills of the Himalayas... and a crazy snake charmer tells them they've been chosen to protect a mythical creature called the Ghost Leopard from an ancient evil that wants to take over the world.

As they travel deeper into the majestic mountains known as the Realm of the Gods, things get even weirder. If she and Zak want to make it back to their parents, they're going to have to tap into powers they never knew existed.

Because if they don't, things will never be the same for any of us ever again.

Find on Goodreads

To celebrate the audio book release, the ebook version of Ghost Leopard will be available ON SALE for $0.99 (regular price $4.99) from September 9 to September 20. Please click here to order!

I received a free copy of the audio book in exchange for an honest review.

As an adult, I like to read (or listen to) kids books. After all, some authors write stories for children that many adults would like to read too, for instance the Harry Potter series. So when I come across an interesting fantasy or paranormal childrens story, I don't mind reading it. This is what drew me to Zoe & Zak.

The narrator of the series did a phenomenal job reading Lars Guingnard's story. She was very enthusiastic and expressive. She even adds dialect to some characters which is important since the story is set in India. Her narration enhances the story. I would definitely listen to another book that she narrates.

The book is told from Zoe's point of view. She is very good about explaining her feelings about people (ahem, Zak) and their situation. She even explains how she knows what certain things are (like a crossbow). For child readers this is perfect, but as an adult it seems a bit frivolous.

Zoe and Zak are perfect opposites of each other. Zoe is responsible and thinks about her actions before doing them. Zak is spontaneous and is always up for action. He'd rather go with the flow and see where it leads them, than stop and and think about what might happen. These characteristics create dynamic interactions between the duo. From awkwardness and uncertainty around each other to arguing and fighting each other, they slowly change and begin to trust the other. As a team, they do a good job of achieving their goals.

I loved how the different gods of India were incorporated in the story. I've read lots of stories with Greek, Roman, and Norse gods, but never one with gods from India.  It was enjoyably original.

Guingnard did a wonderful job setting the pace of the story. It is action packed with lots of adventure. The main characters aren't in one place for long periods of time. They are constantly on the move--either escaping danger or hunting to find the ghost leopard. It will definitely hold young readers' attentions.

Older kids and young teens will enjoy this adventurous tale. I also recommend getting the audio book version and listening to it the next time the entire family has to take a road trip. When your done reading this book, don't forget to read the sequel, The Yogi's Curse, that released this past summer.

About author Lars Guingnard:

Lars Guignard is a former film and television writer and a graduate of both McGill University and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His debut thriller novel, Lethal Circuit, has been an amazon top 100 Technothriller since its release.

Guignard has wanted to write Indian stories for kids ever since he attended a boarding school in the majestic Himalayas. The time he spent in the “school above the clouds” affected him profoundly, and once he returned home to North America he was struck by the lack of children’s stories from India available in our culture. Since India is such an incredible country, he decided to write a series of action adventure books for young adults about India to introduce young readers to this magical, mystical land. So if you’re looking for a great book adventure for kids, try Ghost Leopard today!

Find Lars Website   Facebook   Twitter

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Find he rest of the tour here!