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Zan-Gah: Review

Title: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
Author: Allen Richard Shickman 
Release Date: July 15th, 2007
Published By: Earthshaker Books
Goodreads Rating: 3.49 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.24 stars

Synopsis: Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.

Review: I've read historical fiction before, but I can only remember reading just one prehistoric book before, all the way back in elementary school. I remember it as this gigantic, thick book, but looking it up now, it had about 300 pages, haha. In any case, it was a book I greatly enjoyed, so I was looking forward to this one. 

One of the first things that jumped out at me is that there is a lot of action and violence in this book. I don't think that it's in any way inappropriate for children, because it never got overly bloody or gruesome. I think the author dealt with the inevitable violence of those times in an excellent way. The action scenes were written well and could be quite suspenseful at times.

I thought Zan-Gah was a strong and brave character, but I never really got to know him. I realize this is an adventure story and so it's plot-focused, but I still would like it if he had a more developed personality. This would have made his character growth more interesting because we would have gotten to know more about his flaws and who he is.

Other than that, the only problem I had with this book was the pacing. I feel like it glossed over many parts, thereby cramming a lot of time and events into one quick read. It felt strange as I read this for an entire year to pass in twenty pages and then have one day last thirty. I've read the other reviews and no one has mentioned this, so perhaps it's just me who felt this way.

This is an exciting book that both girls and boys can enjoy - I feel like boys could relate well to Zan-Gah, and girls to Lissa-Na (who is an intelligent and strong character). It's packed with suspenseful action scenes and even has some character growth, although I do wish the characters, particularly Zan-Gah, were more developed and the pacing better.

Grade: C

Note: I received this book from the publisher. This is no way affected my review.


earthshakerbooks said...

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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