Friday, November 29, 2013

Review & Giveaway - Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard

Ghost Leopard - Blog Tour Button

Title: Ghost Leopard (Zoe and Zak Series, Book #1)
Authors: Lars Guignard
Publication Date: July 21, 2012
Publisher: Fantastic Press
Pages: 338
Recommended Age: 8+

Summary (Amazon):
Zoe and Zak are lost in exotic India, where gods and magic still exist. Before they can find their way home, they just have to do one little thing… …Save a mythical creature from an ancient evil that wants to rule the world. When Zoe Guire goes along on her mom’s business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. An elephant god speaks to her from the bottom of a swimming pool… She and her classmate Zak get locked in a trunk and shipped off to a strange city near the foothills of the Himalayas… and a crazy snake charmer tells them they’ve been chosen to protect a mythical creature called the Ghost Leopard from an ancient evil that wants to take over the world. As they travel deeper into the majestic mountains known as the Realm of the Gods, things get even weirder. If she and Zak want to make it back to their parents, they’re going to have to tap into powers they never knew existed. Because if they don’t, things will never be the same for any of us ever again.
My Take

Ghost Leopard was a fast-paced adventure story that is perfect for the 9-12 set!  It follows Zoe and Zak on a mystical adventure through India, where they find that they are expected to protect a mysterious creature called the Ghost Leopard.

The negatives:
  • The beginning.  I thought that the book started out just a little bit slowly with a little more detailed explanation than a 9-12 year-old might prefer at the beginning of a book.  While I loved that the book had lots of details about India's culture (see below), I thought that this level of detail worked a bit better once we were into the meat of the story and in the midst of the kids' adventures.  The very beginning felt just a little bit rambly to me.  I also thought that the way that Zoe and Zak ended up on their adventure in the first place was a little strange - I kept wondering why they wouldn't have tried a bit harder to get themselves out of their predicament (and the explanations given just weren't enough for me).  Still, once the adventure truly started, I was definitely on board!
What I loved:
  • India's culture.  I loved that this book contained lots of information about India and its culture. Zoe gives a lot of details about what she sees around her and about what she has learned about India (from her research before she made the trip).  I love the vivid descriptions of India and its people!  I also really enjoyed learning a bit about the culture and the gods.  Kids will be so wrapped up in the adventure story that they won't realize they're learning, though!
  • Zoe and Zak's friendship.  I loved how Zoe and Zak's friendship grew throughout the book.  It started out as more of an acquaintance.  Zoe knew Zak, but she didn't even particularly like him.  She thought that he was a bit too hyperactive and impetuous and didn't really appreciate his constant enthusiasm for life.  As the book went on, though, she really started to see that Zak's "flaws" could sometimes be benefits and she gradually came to see Zak as a true friend.  I loved seeing this friendship grow!
  • Nonstop action.  Once Zoe and Zak are off on their adventure, the pace never lets up.  There are constant dangers lurking all around them and they are pretty much constantly fighting for their lives.  Throw in some really interesting mystical creatures and you have a recipe for a great MG novel!!
I highly recommend Ghost Leopard to MG adventure fans.  They will not be disappointed! 4.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

Ghost Leopard - Zoe and Zak by Lars Guignard 


Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)


The Buzz

"Awesome! ~ I am 11 and I liked the book because I love adventures. It was a different kind of adventure from what I usually read and it was funny too. " ~ 5-Star Review from J. Olsen, Amazon
"This was a fun read. This book was like a kid's version of Indiana Jones. It's also very educational as Zoe tells you real facts about what she sees and the history. I enjoyed it immensely. If you have a 10-12 year old child that loves adventure books, this is definitely a must read. " ~ 5-Star review from Simone Lilly-Egerter, Amazon
"I'm sure this book was written for children who are around the age of the two children in the book, 11 or so. But, this 35 year old loved this book! It had action, adventure and imagination galore! It was exactly the kind of adventure that a lot of kids that age dream of." ~ 5-Star review from The Novice Christian, Amazon

About The Author: Lars Guignard

Lars GuignardPrior to writing novels, Lars Guignard wrote for film and television. As a teenager he attended boarding school in the Indian Himalayas and his experiences there provided the inspiration for the Zoe and Zak series which now include: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, and Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple. He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he dodges bears and cougars while hiking & skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range. For news about new releases, please join his email list here:  

Connect with the author:
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Ask Lars Guignard a Question on Goodreads

Goodreads Fantastic Press is pleased to announce that Lars Guignard will be answering questions about Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard throughout the day on Monday, December 16th, 2013 on Goodreads. If you have any questions for Lars or just want to introduce yourself, you can head on over to Goodreads and say hello now. Also, everyone who joins the Forum will earn an entry into the Ghost Leopard Blog Tour giveaway (see below for more details).

Click on the Goodreads Button to the right to go to the Mon, Dec 16 - "Ask Lars Guignard about Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard" event and leave a question for the author anytime from now until December 16th, 2013.


The Ghost Leopard Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

November 15
November 16
November 18
November 19
November 20
November 21
November 22
November 24
November 25
November 26
November 27
November 28
November 29
December 1
December 2
December 3
December 4
December 5
December 7
December 10
December 11
December 12
December 13
December 14

** Be sure to look for the upcoming Blog Tour for Book 2 in the Zoe and Zak Series, "Yogi's Curse" coming December 15, 2013. ** 

* Ghost Leopard Blog Tour Giveaway *

Ghost Leopard - Zoe and Zak by Lars Guignard Prize: Three winners will receive a print (U.S. & Canada) or electronic (international winners) copy of Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard. Contest runs: November 15 to December 17, 11:59 pm, 2013 Open: Worldwide How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winners will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winners will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Lars Guignard and Fantastic Press and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Thank you very much for the review! Cheers, Lars

  2. Thank you for your detailed review of Ghost Leopard. I think you raise a good point about the pace at the start of the book - that seems to be mentioned in a few reviews. I think that level of detail appeals to adult minds in establishing the setting. I think kids just like to get going in a story. I agree though, once the action starts, it keeps going!! Thanks for taking part in the Ghost Leopard Blog Tour!

  3. Hi Nicole, I’ve just awarded your blog a Liebester Award (see full details on my blog). I hope you have fun with it.Kokila

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