Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: Zan-Gah, by Allan Richard Shickman


Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Novel
Allan Richard Shickman
Paperback, 148 pages
Earthshaker Books
July 15, 2007
My Rating: (Avg: 3.5)
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.
While Zan-Gah is most definitely a different type of read for me, considering it's aimed more toward the younger audience, I can say that I definitely enjoyed it thoroughly. So thoroughly, in fact, that I actually surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the read. The story was full of adventures and moments that might take your breath away. Shickman's storytelling is wonderful. The writing was a little basic, but considering the age group and story, it did it's job to get the story across and still manage to evoke emotion.

Our main character is very courageous and I think one of the things that I find most interesting about this book is the character growth that you can actually see from the main character as the story unfolds. He literally grows before your eyes, doing what he has to in order to survive and find his twin. The other characters were just as fascinating, especially when you started to learn about the different clans.

The setting to this story is set in prehistoric times, which added a bit of uniqueness to this story compared to other books in its genre. The environment described were both beautiful yet scary at the same time, practically a force of its own to be reckoned with. The story moved fluidly, with no snags that made the story pause in any way. The ending felt not only believable, but very natural. It ends well, all things wrapped up nicely, but still leaves you with a feeling of wanting a little more... which is always a good thing.

I enjoyed Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure thoroughly. It's both realistic and enjoyable, full of action and personal growth. I'd recommend this for both middle grade and young adults, as well as some adults that may just want a quick, fun read.

Source: Publisher


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