About the Book
Title: Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple (Zoe & Zak Series, Book #3)
Author: Lars Guignard
Publisher: Fantastic Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Number of Pages: 267
Recommended Age: 8+
Last semester, Zoe and Zak returned the first lost Noble Truth to its rightful home. Now, Zoe and Zak are back in India for their second semester at Moonstock Himalayan Academy. School kicks off with the Activity Week Challenge in the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan where the students must deliver medical supplies. Things, however, take a turn for the worse, when Zak becomes deathly ill after an encounter with a strange floating bubble. On returning to Moonstock, Zoe and Zak discover that a creature has come through the lava hole far below their dormitory. When Zoe and Zak follow the creature, they soon discover what they must do. They have been tasked with finding the second lost Noble Truth — the Tiger Eye of Justice. Finding the Tiger Eye sounds like an impossible mission, and it’s only made more confusing when Zak discovers that he has been given a supernatural power to help them with their task– a power which Zak, for the life of him, just can’t control. But he’s going to have to learn how to use his new ability, because if Zoe and Zak can’t find the Tiger Eye quickly, Zak’s time will run out.
My Thoughts: Tiger Temple, the third book in the Zoe & Zak series by Lars Guignard, is another adventure set in mystical India where our young heroes are given another important mission by the “mother of the universe”, the goddess Durga. This time, not only must Zoe and Zak find the Second Noble Truth (i.e., The Tiger Eye of Justice) in order to free the Tiger People; but, they must do so in time to save Zak’s life who becomes cursed when he comes into contact with a mysterious bubble – a bubble intended for Zoe.
But to do so, they must contend with the new boy at school, Vijay – who takes an instant dislike to Zak – and a powerful enemy from an old Indian legend, Virochan, who wants to claim the power of the Tiger’s Eye for himself. As in previous books, Zoe and Zak receive help along with the way with familiar faces such as Mr. Muk, Mon Sta, and even Alta, the flying elephant, who makes a surprise appearance. In an added twist, Zoe and Zak enlist the help of their two friends, Jill and Tuk, who now know a bit more about their friends’ secrets. It will take everything in Zoe and Zak’s arsenal, including Zoe’s growing yogi powers, Zak’s new-found gift of gab with animals, and trusty friends Stryker, and Doormat to defeat this new enemy.
As in previous books, Guignard does a tremendous job of immersing the reader in Indian culture and mythology. We are introduced to a new Goddess, Durga – who is Ganesha’s mother; and, in a very entertaining part of the story, the students of Moonstock take part in a game of elephant polo! As always, the reader is also teased with mouth-watering descriptions of Indian food including pappadums, tandoori, and butter chicken. Yum! Guignard also does an outstanding job of describing all of the geographical locations visited by Zoe and Zak in the story: the mountainous landscapes of Indian (and Bhutan!); the tropical beauty of the Andaman Islands between India and Thailand; and the rugged beauty of Gangotri at the mouth of the river Ganges. There are a whole lot of geography lessons packed into this book!
One of my favorite things about the Zoe and Zak series is the creativity in coming up with new challenges that the two main protagonists must face. In the Tiger Temple, mysterious stripes begin to appear on Zak’s body like sand slipping through an hourglass signalling the end of time (for Zak); they are chased by a large snake which, in a climactic tension-filled scene, devours Doormat (don’t underestimate him though!); they discover magic portals between worlds; they get to ride on the back of giant tigers; and finally, they come face-to-face with not only a large and angry blind tiger, but a nasty new villain! Phew!! The action never slows down! There is no losing the reader as, scene after scene, Zoe and Zak are faced with a new challenge.
Having read all three books thus far, I must comment on the development of the two main characters that I have witnessed. Given that Zoe is the narrator of the story, it is easier to see how she is growing as a character. She is gaining more confidence as her yogi powers develop and she gets more comfortable with taking risks. What I find interesting is that Zak’s character has grown by leaps and bounds from a slightly more marginal role in the first book, Ghost Leopard, to a much more significant role in Yogi’s Curse, to becoming equal in importance in Tiger Temple. It’s tricky business to achieve balance when one of the main characters is the narrator, but I think the author is totally on the right track. More please!
My Bottom Line: Tiger Temple is another grand adventure set in mystical India featuring our two favorite protagonists: Zoe and Zak. This time around Zak’s life is truly in danger and it is a race against time to find The Tiger Eye of Justice in order to save him as well as the Tiger People. This story features the ever-growing and developing kids Zoe and Zak; an exciting and engaging plot; new and nasty villains as well as new friendly faces (and some old!); and, lots of mystical and cultural elements originating from India peppered throughout the text. Tiger Temple is the best story in the Zoe and Zak series thus far and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next! I highly recommend the Tiger Temple as well as the whole Zoe and Zak series to children aged 8 and older who love a great adventure filled with mystery, suspense, and mysticism.
* I received this book free-of-charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. Mother Daughter Book Reviews is also coordinating the Tiger Temple Blog Tour on behalf of the author.
Buzz About the Zoe & Zak Series
Book 1: “Awesome! ~ I am 11 and I liked the book because I love adventures. It was a different kind of adventure from what I usually read and it was funny too. ” ~ 5-Star Review from J. Olsen, Amazon
Book 1: “This was a fun read. This book was like a kid’s version of Indiana Jones. It’s also very educational as Zoe tells you real facts about what she sees and the history. I enjoyed it immensely. If you have a 10-12 year old child that loves adventure books, this is definitely a must read. ” ~ 5-Star review from Simone Lilly-Egerter, Amazon
Book 1: “I’m sure this book was written for children who are around the age of the two children in the book, 11 or so. But, this 35 year old loved this book! It had action, adventure and imagination galore! It was exactly the kind of adventure that a lot of kids that age dream of.” ~ 5-Star review from The Novice Christian, Amazon
Book 2: “I have a 10 year old son who is an avid reader!! He loves books, (but he’s picky too) he loved Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. He was so excited to read the 2nd book in this series! When I presented him the first book he was not sure he would like it but changed his mind quickly, then when I heard about the 2nd book being released he almost jumped out of his chair! (no exaggeration) He is anxiously awaiting the 3rd book! I would say that any child who enjoys fantasy/adventure books should read this series! It is a well written page turner! It’s a fun story that adults can even enjoy the storyline without getting bored! According to my son, ‘every kid should read this series’. ” ~ 5-Star review from SavyGreenSaver, Amazon
Book 2: “I loved this book, even as an adult reading it. I was completely sucked into the plot and was constantly finding myself staying up “just a little longer” to read one more chapter. Different twists and turns in the book have you constantly guessing who is behind what and who Zak and Zoe can trust. I could definitely see myself being involved in this series as a middle schooler considering how much I enjoyed it even now. Another thing I liked about it is if you missed the first book, you could still follow along with this one and not be lost.” ~ 5-Star review from Staci, Amazon
Book 2: “Lars Guignard has done a fabulous job with this series. I loved the `Ghost Leopard’ & love this one even more. For late-elementary to middle school age readers, you can’t beat this series. It’s fun and fast-paced. Even my picky fifth grader enjoyed every page. There are bits of magic thrown in keep the action exciting. Mr. Guignard has a brilliant imagination & readers are blessed that he’s chosen to use it for YA fiction. If you’ve yet to read the first installment in this series, do yourself a favor and read these books back to back. Don’t limit it just to kids! Adults will have a blast reading these too!” ~ 5-Star review from Liz Terek, Amazon
About The Author: Lars Guignard
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, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, and Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple.
He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he dodges bears and cougars while hiking & skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range.
For news about new releases, please join his email list by contacting the author: Zoe&ZakAdventures@gmail.com
Tiger Temple Blog Tour Schedule (2014)
* Tiger Temple Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash).
Contest runs: January 15 to February 21, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winners will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winners will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Lars Guignard and Fantastic Press and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. This giveaway has been posted at Online-Sweepstakes.com.
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