Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book review: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

This is how the first adventure of Zan of the rock starts out:

From a long distance a traveler, or some wild thing, might see within the deep and absolute blackness of night an intense orange light which looked from afar like a glowing coal. If that observer were curious(or hungry, as often was the case), and had the courage to seek nearer a vantage point, he would see a youthful figure seated on a rock staring into a blazing bonfire.

So tell me what is Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure about?
This is a book about Zan-Gah, a young boy coming to age sometime during the prehistoric era. The story starts off with a quite dramatic event where Zan gets the opportunity to show himself as more than just a young boy.

Zan struggles with a guilty conscience and an emptiness inside. A year ago his twin disappeared after a quarrel they had. Zan's brother might be dead but in his heart Zan feels his brother is alive and he embarks on a dangerous quest to find his lost brother.

My thoughts:
I have never before read a book where the story was set in the prehistorical era so I was quite exited to find out what was in store for me. Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure was a fairly short and easy read book.

Author Allan Richard Shickman paints a believable portrait of how the humans might have lived back then. Surviving on your own out in the wilderness were hard, both humans and animals considered you as fair game. Children had to grow up fast, people died fairly young. The men were hunting and the women stayed close to home;cooking, taking care of the children and so on. Shickman describes the hardship of catching enough food to get through the year without starving, trying not to be killed or sold as a slave by a nearby clan.

Zan's brother, Dael, was a happy child but he has experienced so much pain in a short while so that he no longer is himself. Shickman in showing the reader how a personality can be altered by abuse and trauma. 

There is one violent scene in this book that I reacted to and parents might want to read the book to decide for themselves if their child is old enough to read it. I would say this story suits boys and girls age 13 and up.

Short said it is a big contrast to the life most of us are fortunate enough to live.

The cover:
The cover illustrates one of the dramatic events in the book and after having read the story I quite like it.

My rating of this book:
3 stars out 5 stars.

Want another opinion on this book? Check out the reviews written by some of my book blogging friends below:

Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell:"This is a book that I would recommend for young boys, yes sure girls could like it too but I do think boys would really fall for this one."

Giving...Reading A Chance!!!: "Definitely a book for your teen, teen friend or for you, if you interested in the genre! "

Literarily Speaking: "I thought Zan-Gah was a great role model of a character for kids."

This book can be purchased from Amazon(I'm not an affiliate).

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book.

Want to know more?
Visit Earthshaker Books
Download sample chapter  

Pages: 148
Publisher: Earthshaker Books
ISBN: 978-0-9790357-0-8
Source: Received from publisher for review.