Author: Allan Richard Shickman
Rating: A for Acceptable
Review: When you think of an epic adventure, your mind automatically drives itself towards magic and towers and dragons and wars. But not all epic adventures have the magic and dragons. Not all revolve around magical artifacts or great kingdoms. Sometimes, the highest adventure, can be just a simple traveling to save ones brother across a land that has never been traveled on.
Zan-Gah is different from anything else one will read. It sets you back several thousand years into the past. Where people lived in tribes and huddled together for warmth to sleep. Where rival tribes band together to take down a lion who attacked them in the middle of the night.
As you might have guessed from the novel, this is set in the Prehistoric times. How far, it’s not really told but it does not really matter because the story just wraps you up that you forget exactly what time we are in today. Zan-Gah is the story of a young boy who earned his name after he killed a Lion that attacked a little boy. Zan-Gah had a twin brother who disappeared. For a year no one found him, until finally Zan-Gah decided to go looking for him. Alone he traveled through tribes and unknown lands, not knowing the full extent of the dangers that lay around him. The book might be only around one hundred and fifty pages long, but the setting spans out to around two years, making the character grow before your eyes.
The travel and adventure was well written. Is it something that holds complexity and other storylines? No, but Allan Richard Shickman, the author, makes the simple written words something to think about. During the Prehistoric times, there were no cars, or planes, or boats or even bikes to travel on. Everything was by foot so most of the land was never really discovered. At least not by certain people. No one knew the dangers that lay ahead. They couldn’t go on google maps and see their neighbors. To them the world was what they knew and everything out there was just useless.
The way it was written, it takes you back to the time, makes you feel how they feel. Everything they discovered we, of course, already knew but it was as if we were discovering it ourselves also. In the book, Zan-Gah figures out the power of a sling and to him it is a great weapon. To him it’s the equivalence of a bomb to us today. With that sling, he was able to change the course of all of his battles and help his people defend themselves properly.
Things like twins and certain dances and sounds to them was magic. It was unexplainable to them and it was something beyond their knowledge. We of course know everything that’s going on, but to feel their emotions as they are confused about having a twin brother and the reasons they come up with as to why they do, it makes one think that simplicity is what we really need.
I’m used to high fantasy and young adult and this was a change. It made me realize that there was a time before swords and maces. Before towns and villages. Before bakers and priests. There was a time when it all started and when it all began. I’m glad I read Zan-Gah because it made me think about that time. It allowed me to live with these characters, if only for a brief stay, and experience everything they did. It made me think, that life today is extremely easy to life back then. That our teenage problems today seem infantile to what they had to go through yesterday.