Friday, August 23, 2013

Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse


Title: Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse (Zoe & Zak Adventures #2)
Author: Lars Guignard
Genre: Children /Middle Grade
Published: Fantastic Press (July 23, 2013)
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Synopsis: Zoe and Zak are back in India. Again. And this time they’re attending Moonstock Himalayan Boarding School, which might seem fun except for the fact that the school is a little strange. Students ride elephants instead of school buses, snarling monkeys work as security guards, and angry parrots monitor the halls. And even when they manage to get used to the wildlife, the food is absolutely terrible.But living with a bunch of other kids their age can be a lot of fun too, or at least it seems that way until Zoe’s roommate goes missing. Following the directions written on a steamy bathroom mirror, Zoe and Zak fly through the clouds on their magic carpet to learn that the two of them have been chosen yet again. This time they’ve been asked to lift the Yogi’s Curse.It’s not going to be easy. Zoe and Zak don’t even know what the Yogi’s Curse is let alone how to lift it, but like it or not, they soon discover that a whole lot of people are depending on them. Now, if they’re going to save the day, they’re going to have to fool the monkey guards, avoid the nasty parrots, and maybe even develop a supernatural ability or two. Because lurking beneath Moonstock is a powerful new enemy. And if Zoe and Zak can’t stop him, nobody can.

Review: Adventure certainly seems to follow Zoe and Zak at their boarding school in India. Their adventures start in Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, but The Yogi's Curse can be read as an independent read. Guignard gives enough of the back story for their new adventure to make sense without it being a bore to the reader who has read The Ghost Leopard. Overall, I thought it was very imaginative and a fun read. I did have a problem with Guignard's use of the word "coolie" though. When I first read it, I thought, oh, isn't that a derogatory term? So, of course, I turned to Wikipedia: I think, and certainly hope, that it is an out-dated term, and Guignard mistakenly used it. I also read Zoe as being a smart girl, she, herself, appears very well-read in The Ghost Leopard, and it seems as though she should know not to use that word, or having heard it, looked it up and learned of its origin. However, "coolie" is only in the first chapter, and there is much more to the book than one word! Aside from that word choice and a few grammatical errors and typos, I very much enjoyed The Yogi's Curse and recommend it to children and adults alike, including as a read-aloud or read-together book for parents and their children.

Author Bio: Prior to writing novels, Lars Guignard wrote for film and television. As a teenager he attended boarding school in the Indian Himalayas and his experiences there provided the inspiration for the Zoe and Zak series which now include: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard and Zoe & Zak and theYogi's Curse. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest where he is busy completing the third Zoe & Zak adventure for release in Fall 2013.For news about new releases, please join his email list here:

He can also be reached at the following places: Blog: Twitter: @Lars_Gu Facebook:

I am a book tour host with CMBook Tours: I received a complimentary e-copy of  this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jayme

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review both of the Zoe & Zak books.
    I also appreciate that you flagged your concern over my use of the word "coolie" in the book. I have spent a lot of time in India and have also stayed in touch with many of my friends that I made while I was over there. As part of my research for the series, I run things by many of them. Coolie was one of those words. While I was in India it was a commonly used term, but I had happened upon that Wikipedia entry you referenced as well. So I recontacted several Indian friends and asked them specifically if coolie would be considered derogatory or a racial slur. They all assured me that it was a completely appropriate word to use for a porter which is how I used it in the book. I try to keep the book as authentic as possible regarding Indian daily life. However, your concern may reflect that of some of my readers, so I will address it in the book so as to lay these concerns to rest. Thank you again for your time and your thoughtful comments.