May 20, 2010

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

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, by Allan Richard Shickman

Release Date: July 15th, 2007
Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Age Group: Young Adult*
Pages: 160
Overall: 3 Monkeys
Source: Publisher
Interest: Series, For Review
Other Titles in the Series: Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country

Summary from Goodreads:

The hero, Zan-Gah seeks his lost twin in a savage prehistoric world, encountering suffering, captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes: survival, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, nature's wonders and terrors.
My Opinion:

When I was first asked to review this, I visited its website to see if I'd be interested in reading it.
I'd never read a book about prehistory, so I said yes, and then I started reading it.

Although I thought the beginning was a bit slow, once you get to the middle it does get good!

I love everything that has to do with past and lost cultures, and the description that Shickman gave us of Zan's people's beliefs and customs was incredibly believable. I was thrown into this lost and supersticious world for a few hours.

When we meet Zan, he's a little boy trying to prove himself to the men in his village. But a life changing event turns him into a man, and throughout the book we read about him living up to that new status. He earns the name "Zan-Gah", Zan of the Rock, and people start respecting him. It was nice to read about him being put almost in the same category as the clan's leaders, but still being modest and prudent. It shows that people back then had a little more respect for others and every living thing. Which is more than we can say for ourselves.

He goes looking for his long lost twin, facing terrible circumstances. Those times when he would be alone, it did get slow, but then the pace found its way to pick itself up, whether it be by challenging someone or discovering a new weapon.

Once he finds his twin though, it gets really good. I found myself wanting to throw a rock at Dael, Zan's twin, for being like he was. And then we meet Lissa-Na. Oh love triangle, how I love to read thou!

The ending was a bit too fairy-tale-ending for me, so I wouldn't know what the sequel's about.

*I don't know if I would put it in the YA category. To me, it really should be a Middle Grade book. This is important, if you ever want to read this, or give to your kids.

Visit Zan's World.

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