DNF: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard

Ghost Leopard - CoverZoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Zoe & Zak Adventures #1)
written by Lars Guignard
published by Fantastic Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Mother Daughter & Son Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Where I stopped reading: page 64 on my Nook

Why I stopped reading: I just could not get into this book. It is a middle grade fantasy book that sounded like a fantastic read. I was really looking forward to it. It took me three days to read 64 pages. I just didn’t want to read it. The characters turned me off as did the circumstances. Case in point, these kids are 11 years old. They go with their single parents to India for a government conference where the parents, who are there for an economic summit or something, are suddenly called away on some emergency (economics related?) in a remote location with no cell or other communication capabilities. (Really?) So what do they do? They leave the children on their own in a foreign country with a rent-a-nanny who would pretty much leave them alone. Yeah, right. That’s not going to happen. I get that it’s a fantasy book and the kids had to get on their own but this is just downright ridiculous.You have to make the unbelievable believable for it to be an interesting fantasy read.

Further, the fact that they just go off on this adventure without really thinking about it was crazy. They weren’t worried about their own safety or well-being in a foreign country. Ridiculous. I also did not like the fact that they were using a trampoline to dive into the hotel swimming pool. Way too dangerous!!! (I’m a former lifeguard.) That sends the way wrong message to kids.chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard is 4.3 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. There were 46 5-star reviews on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you may not.

About the book – from 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.




  1. This is a series that I’ve read and enjoyed. I do agree, there are definitely some unbelievable circumstances at the beginning! I have an 11 year old daughter, so I found myself really thinking about how these kids are acting, talking, being treated, etc.

  2. I don’t really read any middle grade books because I am worried about not connecting to the story and giving up, especially since I don’t have anyone to read them for or share them with 🙂
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    • I’m selective about which middle grade books I choose to read. Most of the ones I choose to read are ones that I may want my kids to read when they get older. Some I have been disappointed in. Others I have absolutely loved. Just depends on the book.

  3. I suppose it’s a bit unrealistic about them being left, but it didn’t really cross my mind too much. I don’t remember if the beginning was slow but I listened to the audio, which I think makes a bit difference sometimes. I was initially annoyed with Zak but in the end I think I might have liked him more than Zoe! I loved seeing India and learning a bit about the culture, the country and the myths. I hope that you might give it a try again sometime. Maybe your mood affected it? Or maybe it’s just slow in the start? I don’t know. But of all the middle grade series I’ve read this is one of my favorites. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more!

    • I may pick it up again and give it another try. It may have been my mood. Who knows!? but some of the things just bugged me. And slow starts in middle grade books are rough. I always think you should grab those young readers and get them hooked from the start. I didn’t get that from this one. I’ll have to try it again.