Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Review: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

Review: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
Series: Zan-Gah – Book 1
Author: Allan Richard Shickman
No of Pages: 148
Release Date: 15 July 2007

Zan-Gah: A prehistoric adventures has only begun. Pressed by love for his brother and a bad experience, the hero undertakes a quest which leads to captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a role of leadership among his people. This dramatic and impassioned story will thrill and deeply move young adults and older readers. They will dream of Zan-Gah at night, and remember it all of their lives!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

Zan-Gah was interesting, but the use of too many exclamation marks made it hard for me to take it seriously.

Zan-Gah is set in prehistoric times following the story of a young boy living with his clan. After dealing the killing blow to a lion when he is a young boy, Zan-Gah is respected within his tribe as a trusted, reliable member.

As time passes he decides to go on a journey in remembrance of his lost twin brother Dael. Taking the route of a trip planned when they were younger. He has a small hope that he might find his twin after a dream he has, but he doesn’t put a lot of faith in the journey.

On his way Zan-Gah invents the sling, makes some new friends and allies and becomes respected by the leader of one of the most powerful tribes in the land.

He also comes across dangerous yet beautiful land, inhabited by the Wasp People. The Wasp People get their name from imitating the behaviour of wasps. Zan-Gah is captured by them and held until he finds a way to escape to continue on his journey.

Zan-Gah was an interesting read. The storyline was a good one and the imagery was absolutely fantastic. Shickman made me believe that what Zan went through is believable for his time, even though he is so young. We didn’t get too much insight into any of the other characters though, which is understandable because of his constant travelling, but it still.

The only thing that really detracts from this story is the writing style. The storyline, however good is all over the place, the time jumps are hard to follow as they go not only forward unexpectedly, but backward. I think that if I had been younger, this would not have affected me as much as it did, but the style made it extremely hard for me to get as immersed into Zan-Gah as what might have been possible.

Entire chapters were pure information dumps about people that didn’t really matter to the story, or about a time long passed in which it gave us a tiny insight into a lesser character that only gets a paragraph worth of notice in the main stream story.
What I did like about the writing though was the lack of dialogue, Shickman managed to make me feel fond of Zan-Gah without really hearing his voice. Only his feelings and actions were portrayed and it made it more believable, because being pre-historic, you can’t imagine them having an extensive vocabulary.

Zan-Gah is definitely a middle grade book, very suitable for young people looking for a quick read about an unexplored topic.

Others in this series:
Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country

1 comment:

earthshakerbooks said...

Hi Wings,
The third book of the Zan-Gah series, Dael and the Painted People, is nearly finished. Watch for it this summer at the new web address:

I hope you will pay us a visit.

Allan R. Shickman


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