Title: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard
* Series: Zoe & Zak Adventures #1
Author: Lars Guignard
Narrator: Bailey S. Carson
Publisher: Fantastic Press
Format: Digital MP3
Duration: 7 hours and 20 minutes
Source: CBB Book Promotions
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Young readers who love action and adventure!
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon
Introducing book 1 of the new kids’ adventure books from best-selling author Lars Guignard:
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.
Bailey Carlson proves to be a good narrator for this story. She has the ability to switch between young voices and older ones seamlessly. I also really liked her accents for the people of India. The absolute only thing I would change is the pacing at some points. There were times when her reading was either too slow or moved a bit too quickly. Overall, a good listen though!
Audio Book Rating - 4/5 Give it a listen!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The best part of Middle Grade fiction is all the adventure that's packed into it! Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard is not exception to this rule. Rich with Indian culture, vivid descriptions and exciting moments, this a book that will be sure to enchant readers of all ages. Whether you're 8 or 80, if you like action you'll love this book!
Zoe and Zak are like night and day. Zoe follows rules and questions everything. Even when magic is right in front of her, it still takes her some time to come to terms with it. Zak, on the other hand, is impulsive and takes everything in stride. Life is an adventure to him. It's probably obvious that these two don't stat out the best of friends. However as the story progresses, and their friendship grows, it's easy to see why they compliment one another. Add in some wonderful supporting characters who, in all honesty, are just as richly built and you have a book that is easy to fall into.
Still, in case you're not a character driven reader, I'll let you know that the setting and the plot are just as well done. India comes to life on the pages and it's easy to see that Lars Guignard has done his research. From bustling cities, to high, snowy mountains, Zoe and Zak visit some amazing places in their quest for the ghost leopard. The action moves along quickly and, before you know it, the final battle is on. I was pleasantly surprised with how Guignard didn't find the need to sugarcoat things for readers. It adds to the appeal for older readers.
I'll admit that it took me a while to fall in love with Zak. He's a bit overbearing for about the first 20% of the book. However once I fell in step with him and Zoe, I was lost in the story. If you have a reader at home who loves action and adventure, or if you're that reader yourself, give this one a try!
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.