Blog Tour and Giveaway: Ghost Leopard, by Lars Guignard
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.
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.
Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Press (July 21, 2012)
Talk about an adventure on the wild side! Ghost Leopard lived up to my every expectations when it came to action and imagination. Flying carpets, demonic monkeys, ancient curses, ghosts…you name it. For me, it was highly reminiscent of Indiana Jones.
At the very beginning of the book I had the dreaded “Oh no” feeling when several cliche’s happened in succession. It opens with a dream, and Zoe waking up. As a reader, I have been there and done that too many times to count. Then I got the whole “Hello, my name is Zoe, I am twelve years old, and I like this, that, and the other thing…” treatment. After that, I was given what I like to call an information dump. It was a bunch of info and back story that would have been better in bits and pieces throughout the book.
Zoe and Zack are with their parents in India on business. Their parents run into some sort of emergency with their jobs and have to leave for three or four days. I had a really tough time with this one. I am a parent, and there is absolutely no way on this green earth that I would ever leave my eleven year old child alone in a hotel with a rent-a-nanny for four days in a foreign country and no means of contact. Nope. Would not happen.
However, in spite of the rocky beginning, I would highly recommend reading past the 15% mark because that is when things get really good. The kids find themselves in a world that is magical, adventurous, and wildly crazy.
They meet Mukta, a Yogi master that begins to teach Zoe a little bit about herself and her own powers and abilities. Zack gets a REALLY cool snake/whip that I absolutely coveted throughout the entire book. I mean, who doesn’t want a whip that is also a snake and can shoot lightning?
I loved the way Zack and Zoe contrast each other so much. Zoe is careful and calculated. She thinks of real dangers and consequences. Zack is impulsive and carefree. In spite of their differences, they learn to work together to fulfill their mission. Once they put their own interests aside, they make a pretty good team.
I really enjoyed Zack’s ease with the whole situation. He goes along with everything, never questioning when things get weird. He takes it all in stride, calmly eating his sunflower seeds.
The ending was pretty violent, and I was a little surprised at how gruesome it was, considering the audience (ages 10 and up), but all in all, it was a really fun adventure and worth the read. I kind of hope someone makes a movie out of this.
The Cover: LOVE the cover. Dobromir Tomov did a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of the book. I love the way Zack’s whip is depicted, and the way Zoe is clutching her camera. I also enjoy how the kids are in their funny striped pajamas. He really did a fantastic job on the cover.
About the Author: