Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard Tour Schedule
Title: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Zoe & Zak Adventures #1)
Author: Lars Guignard
Publisher: Fantastic Press
Acquired Via: CBB Book Promotions
Release Date: February 26, 2013
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.
Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard is a super fun audiobook that I listened to over the course of about two weeks. It is about two kids who go to school together who happen to run into each other in India while traveling with their parents. They weren't really friends at the start of the novel, but we see the progression of their relationship. (Not THAT kind of relationship - they're eleven.) It reminds me of The 39 Clues series mixed with magical realism.
Zoe is a very sweet character that I think a lot of girls will relate to. She's the kind of kid that doesn't get into trouble, has a great relationship with her mom, and tries to do the right thing. Zoe knows that she was adopted, but she's not quite ready to talk to her mom about that yet. Zak, on the other hand, is a little troublemaker who may or may not be acting out because of his parents' recent separation. He's not a bad kid, but he is most definitely the reason that the two of them end up in the situation that they find themselves in - at every point in the novel. Together they are like yin and yang and make a nice team. The baddie characters - namely Monkey Man and Rhino Butt (hilarious!) - are not terribly developed, but I don't think they're supposed to be too terrifying. Mukta and Amala were the other main side characters who led Zoe and Zak and gave them all of the background information they needed for their impromptu quest.
The world-building in Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard was a lot of fun to read. I've never been to India, but with the descriptions that were provided in the novel, I could almost see it in my mind, and it was done in a way that wouldn't be over the heads of Guignard's intended audience. In addition to the beautiful scenery of the book, the magic and mythology used in the novel was explained well. The integration of the Indian gods was interesting, and I think kids might be interested enough by them to go seek more information. I had no trouble understanding why certain events were happening or why characters were acting in a particular way. I didn't like that Zoe's background was never elaborated on, but I think that is because Guignard is trying to lure us into reading the next book in the series. (I will.)
Bailey Carlson's narration of Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard is easily one of the best parts of the novel. It was very easy to distinguish which characters were speaking, and the various accents that she used for different characters was very well done. I loved to hear her speak Amala's parts because her Indian accent was lovely.
Overall, I think Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard is a great addition to the world of middle grade novels that young readers and adults alike will love. It is neither a "girl book" or "boy book", so all kids will potentially enjoy reading it. I recommend this to lovers of adventure novels and readers of The 39 Clues.
Amazon | Audible | iTunes
About the Authors
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!
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Blog Tour Special
To celebrate the audiobook 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. To order a copy, click here.
Ends at 12:01 EST on September 26th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher or author through CBB Book Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.