Monday, November 8, 2010

Review of Zan-Gah

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.

[from Goodreads]

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Spear-wielding adventurers
High point:  The subtlety
Low point:  The simplicity
Reader maturity:  10+

I don’t normally read novels with male narrators or prehistoric action adventures, but I’d read so many good things about Zan-Gah that, when offered a chance to review it, I had to say yes. Lucky for me, I wasn’t disappointed.  Zan-Gah pleasantly surprised me, and something about it makes it a compelling read appropriate for every age and gender.

Though the writing is somewhat stilted in past tense, it works well for this novel, which is heavy on this-is-how-it-is commentary vs. exploring the main character's emotional state. Zan-Gah is an honorable, if simplistic, warrior from a long ago race. The reader adventures along with him as he searches for his lost brother.

While the words are short and the sentences uncomplicated, Zan-Gah never dragged or lost my attention. Rather, I was trying to read faster in order to find out what happens. Readers of all ages can enjoy Zan-Gah, but it is especially appropriate for pre-teen and younger teen guys. I know I'm ready to find out what happens next!

Title:  Zan-Gah:  A Prehistoric Adventure
Author:  Allan Richard Shickman
Genre:   Fiction - Prehistoric
Year:   2007
Book Source:  Received for review from Earthshaker Books

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