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.
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 have not. But this was very good.
I laughed but also wanted to shake the characters here and there for being too over the top in their personalities.
Zoe & 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.
Loved the voice transitions, very nice! She is a great reader for this series!
Zoe and Zak’s adventures are so entertaining I love listening to them. In this, the third book in the series, Zoe and Zak are back at Moonstock Academy and have been sent on the mission to find the 2nd lost noble truth- The Tiger Eye of Justice. This was a wonderful plot for the third book, it continues on the original series quite well and leaving the number of Noble Truths open ended allows for so many other books in the next books…I found that clever.A few things had me really hooked while listening to this installment; the first was that there was more urgency to their adventure. Not that someone was taken or anything like that, but Zak is sick and in order to make sure he gets well again they must complete the mission in a certain timeline. Another was that Zak has a lot more of a role in this book, since he is affected by the outcome he has a larger role in the overall adventure. And lastly, there is a parrot, he is hilarious – I think he was my favorite part of this book!Zoe is her normal self, considering herself the planner and one that knows best. Zak again is the more adventurous of the two but he is really smart and I love their dynamic when they work together. Other characters were just as interesting and fun to follow, we learn more about Tuk, Zak’s roommate and his businesses on the campus of the academy and a little about Jill – they are both super supportive and helpful. Also thrown in is a mysterious new kid who is causing trouble for everyone.Like his other books Guignard does a wonderful job of interspersing the adventure with a lot of interesting history and facts, and he does it in a way that does not seem like learning. I think this is a great series and continue to love that it is set in India, which allows for an explosion of cultural information and history to be provided to young readers.
Adventure, Cultural, Imaginative
Zoe, she is strong and brave, but can also be shy and timid. She is a wonderful narrator to this series.
The voices, she was able to change her voice even slightly to distinguish all the characters. It was a great performance.
Younger versions of Indian Jones for all ages
To get myself ready for book 2 in the Zoe & Zak series, I listened to the end of the first book again to refresh my memory of the awesome adventure that took place in book 1. Book 2 in the first half kind of let me down a little bit because of this though. What happened to the relationship Zoe and Zak had at the end of the last book?! They were so close and reading each other so well to help the Leopard and get back home in one piece. Now I know that time has passed, they went back to the US and packed up to essentially move to India for the next school year, and I know Zoe is homesick and misses her mother, but come on, they are so disconnected in the beginning of the story it made me sad and a little frustrated.
That being said, I still loved the adventure in this book, the setting of India and their school and new characters was awesome. The descriptions the author uses through Zoe's eyes were well formed and made me long for the first day of school again - the stress, the nervousness, the new school supplies, the people and teacher (yea I am a nerd). It was wonderful.
I loved the play on characters returning and new bad guys and the overall adventure and mysteries the kids solve while trying to figure out what is going one. LOVE IT.
I think this book could be for all readers and age groups, the reader was spectacular, a little different from the last one but just as fun and alternated between voices well. I think both kids and parents will love to listen to this book together. I really do love this series and the fact that it is set in India, which is not a common Middle Grade plot setting. I continue to learn a lot from the series and hope to learn and love more of it as it continues.