Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Review: Zan-Gah book 2

And The Beautiful Country

By:  Allan Richard Shickman

Publisher:  Earthshaker Books

Publish Date:  September 2009

Format:  Paperback 151pgs, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Genre:  Fiction

Series:  2nd book in Zan-Gah series; Book 1 ~ A Prehistoric Adventure

Recommendation:  Yes, for young readers (probably more boys but girls too) who enjoy the adventures of prehistoric man.

Book Synopsis:
Well, past the middle of the night Zan felt a shaking of his shoulder as he slept, and then an impatient foot kicking at him.  Instinctively grabbing for his spear, he looked up and saw the orange glow of a torch, and as his eyes adjusted to the invading light he recognized his brother's ghastly face.  Dael's dangerous brow was furrowed, and the vein of his forehead bulged under the old scar.  His teeth were clenched, and his eyes darted nervously back and forth.  His every motion expressed a profound agitation, and Zan knew that what he had been dreading had come.
"It is time, Zan.  Let us go!"
"Where? It's dark!"
"I want to find where the river comes from."

The volcanic turbulence that shakes Dael's mind carries him to vicious extremes.  It is Zan's task to calm his brother and lead him away from thoughts both destructive and self-destructive.  But even the paradise of the Beautiful Country will not erase them.

First Sentence:
When Lissa-Na died, Dael wept real tears.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Dael's life has fallen apart.  The calming that came to Dael over the few years home with his healer wife quickly shatters as his loving wife passed away during child birth with their child.  He now feels the need to make dangerous journey through the potentially deadly world again, to see where the local river starts.  Also in his mind, to find the Wasp people as they are still an unknown threat to his cave dwelling people.  Zan is convinced to go with his brother fore his worry for him in this state of mind.  But with learning the fate of the Wasp people brings another idea to the minds of the twins.  Zan once again uses his gift of speech to help convince his people to take advantage of the fruitful land left empty.

I think I enjoyed reading this book more than the first.  It could be read on it's own as Allan has done a great job of reflecting on the happenings in the first book to bring you up to par, but I think knowing what all happened to the characters in the first book helps make this book more enjoyable.  Many of the people Zan meet and touched on their lives in the first book return in this book, a few years later.  It is nice to see the connections revisited and see where the people are now and how that small touch Zan had affected their lives.

I really like the potential in the plot of this book in the beginning.  There are more pieces and possibilities to the out come of the story.  And the journey based on the decisions made is a good one.  The characters in this book were more connectible for me too.  Even though Zan is still the main character of the book we start to get a deeper look at Dael, his twin brother, and he kind of stole the spot light for me when he was mentioned.  The dramatic character growth of Dael was amazing and well done.  Dael is a character that catches your attention and is anything but dull.

I still think this series is a great series for young readers to pick up.

I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.

This book qualifies for the YA Reading Challenge at Jamie Loves YA.


  1. Sounds like a good series. I'll have to let my cousin know about this one. I think his oldest might like this one. Great review!

  2. Melissa (Books&Things) - I think this is a good solid young reader series. I really did enjoy this one more, but they are both very good. :) I hope you cousins child enjoys them, if they get them. :)

  3. Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for a favorable review. Some readers like the sequel better than the first book, and some just the reverse. The third novel of the Zan-Gah book series, Dael and the Painted People, is nearly finished. Watch for this book for young adults this summer at the new web address:

    Please pay us a visit.

    Allan R. Shickman

  4. Hi Allan, Thank you for letting me review the book. :) ANd I'll have to keep an eye out for the third one.


Sorry, got 106 spam comments in less than 24hrs. Had to turn on again.

I love comments! Please share your thoughts. I will respond here in the comments back to you.

I'll try again without word verification, but if Spammers get out of hand again I'll turn it back on.

Thank you for visiting!