Friday, April 16, 2010

Book review:Zan-Gah and the beautiful country by Allan Richard Shickman

This is the second novel in Allan Richard Shickman's series set in the pre-historic are. If you want to you can read my review of the first book, Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, here.

What's this book about?
While the first novel in this series was filled with hope Zan-Gah and the beautiful country is a much darker story. A large part of this story has main focus on Dael, Zan's twin, his mind has been irreparable damaged by his captors, who both physically and mentally abused him. Dael has become unstable and vengeful, and now his life evolves around the idea of getting back at the people who treated him so badly.

My thoughts:
In this novel we get thrown head first into the drama. Let me tell you, Mr. Shickman, that I did not see that one coming! I would have known if I'd read the Goodreads description of the book in advance but I'm glad I didn't because that would kind of have ruined the element of surprise for me.

Again Shickman does an excellent drawing a picture of what might happen to a person who has experienced a great deal of suffering. Dael is such a dark character, sometimes a tiny piece of his old self shines through but it disappears with the blink of an eye. It pains me to read how Dael behaves towards his twin brother, Zan. Zan loves Dael and he always defends him, while Dael on the other side only displays hatred. Through out the story we get to know several of the clan member's and their feelings about Dael(and his violent behavior), and their life in general, through alternating chapters. I think this worked out very well for this story.

There is also a good deal of focus on the womens life in this clan and their rights at this time. The main character Zan is a modern man in terms of respecting women. I almost forgot to mention an important part of the story! The clan heads out on a long and difficult journey to seek a country where there is more food and better living in general. Unfortunately for the clan Dael manages to arouse his supporters in to a war with their neighboring clan. 

All in all it was a pleasure to read this book and I enjoyed it even more than the first one. What does that say about me when I prefer the darkest one of the two?!

This book will perhaps especially appeal to young boys.

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

Want a second opinion? Check out the reviews written by some of my book blogging friends below:

Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell:"An interesting YA book about an era we do not get to read much about." Literarily Speaking: "I thought Zan-Gah was a great role model of a character for kids."

Wendy's Mind Spot: "The descriptions are magnificent and the action superb.  Young Adults and Adults alike will enjoy this series.  I certainly did!"

Want to know more?
Visit Earthshaker Books
Download sample chapter from the first book

Publisher: Earthshaker Books
ISBN 13: 978-097903571-5
Full disclosure: Book received from publisher for an honest review