Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Volume 1) (Unabridged)
by Lars Guignard
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If you loved Harry Potter, if you couldn't get enough of Percy Jackson, if you're wondering what to listen to after The Kane Chronicles - from, Lars Guignard, the author of Lethal Circuit, comes the brand new, kids' magic fantasy adventure.... Ghost Leopard Zoe Guire just talked to an elephant. Well, technically speaking, the elephant spoke to her, but either way it was weird and, as a rule, Zoe doesn't do weird. Except the thing is, when Zoe goes along on her mom's business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. Soon after she arrives, Zoe finds herself tagging alongside a kid named Zak, lost in a crazy city, with no money and no way home. And those are the least of Zoe's troubles. Because if she's to believe the scary-looking snake charmer guy sitting in the corner, she and Zak have been chosen - chosen to protect some kind of mythical animal called the Ghost Leopard from who knows what. Now, the further they get into the mountains, the more crazily impossible things get. Carpets fly and statues talk and if either Zoe or Zak want to make it back to their parents, or the sixth grade, or anything even close to normal, they're going to have to make some new friends, learn some new tricks, and listen, really listen to that talking elephant. Because if they don't, nothing will ever be the same again.
Adventure, Magic & Fantasy!
This was a really fun audio book to listen to! The story was full of magic, fantasy and adventure. I think that the narrator did an excellent job with the voices, especially doing children’s voices. Lars has a gift for writing. It was neat because I was able to imagine my 11 year-old daughter Keira in the place of Zoe. Some of the things she said as well as some of her mannerisms were similar. Lars has written a special story here that can be enjoyed by children of all ages. I definitely recommend the audio book version, especially for listening together in the car with your kiddos.
A Wonderful Cultural Adventure
oe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard audiobook was an interesting listen. Zoe is telling a story much like a diary. She comes off as a mix of things: annoying, young, overprotective, overbearing, bossy, and often no fun.; whereas Zak is her opposite, he’s oblivious, troublesome, impulsive, imaginative, and outgoing. I think that this mix made for a good book. I have to admit that the reader did a very good job with her voicing of the characters including the Indian populations but sometimes I wanted to beat both the characters in the head. Zoe was too paranoid and Zak was way too impulsive to be healthy. I understand that the author wrote them as complements of one another and that made a good plot, Zoe is frustrated and wants to go back home and Zak wants to see what is around every corner.
Aside from the characters, I really enjoyed the plot as well, and think that Middle grade readers and listeners will too. It is a history lesson in the culture of India but also action packed and fun. The characters are going after the Ghost Leopard and you learn more and more about the leopard and the characters as the plot trickles forward. The audiobook narrator did a very good job of this, recounting different parts in the story as references and making those parts stand out to the reader. I found it easy to follow along with and wanted the recording to keep playing.
What I found most interesting is that it is a book about India and its culture and peoples. We get a lot of Egyptian, Roman and Greek themes for this grade range but this was a refreshing and new experience and I liked it very much.
I think this would be a great read for both boys and girls in the Middle Grade range and also for their parents to listen along too. It was a lot of fun.