Friday, July 23, 2010

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure - Allan Richard Shickman

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.
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)

Title: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
Genre: Young Adult, Prehistoric Fiction
Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Publication Date: July 15, 2007
My Rating: 3.5/5

Zan is in a highly exalted position after he has killed a man-eating lion. He earns the new name Zan-Gah; "Gah" being "of the rock". His tribe celebrates their victory over the demise of the lion. Zan-Gah, however, still feels responsible for his twin brother's disappearance well over a year prior, so he decides to embark on a journey to find Dael. Along the way he befriends several people, and makes enemies of others. Nevertheless, he will not give up until he has found Dael, and will do everything in his power to bring him home.
I found that this book was quite similar to Jean Auel's Earth Children series, in the sense that they are both set in prehistoric times. There is not a lot of literature set in this particular era, and I found the book quite captivating. The people, and dwellings, as well as the cultures of all of the different tribes proved fascinating. The imagery was painted vividly throughout the story, and it didn't detract from the storytelling. Zan-Gah is a unique individual himself, as he overcomes obstacles and he puts everything he has learned to good use. He is extremely bright, and manages to grow into a formidable young man.
One thing that younger teens, and tweens may not enjoy is Dael's emotional and emotionless killing. The scenes, though vivid, are written in such a way that the reader knows that they are set apart from the story. The storytelling itself was done remarkably well, and I found that the plot never really dragged. It meandered while Zan-Gah was searching for Dael, however several years would fly by before the end of the next sentence.
All in all, an insightful read set in prehistoric times. Some violence and graphic scenes, however they were few and far between. Captivating, interesting, and empowering. Many teens, and tweens will enjoy this book.

Many thanks goes to Bonnie from Earthshaker Books for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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