About the Book
Title: Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse (Zoe & Zak Series, Book #2)
Author: Lars Guignard
Publishers: Fantastic Press
Publication Date: September 9, 2013
Recommended Age: 8+
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 itself 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, Zoe and Zak are 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.
My Thoughts: Yogi’s Curse, the second book in the Zoe and Zak Adventure series by Lars Guignard, starts off where the first book Ghost Leopard leaves off. Zoe and Zak are reunited in India as their parents start work and send their kids off to a boarding school in the Himalayan mountains, Moonstock Academy. Ironically, as I am thinking to myself, “I would never send my kids on their own to a boarding school in India”, the author cleverly addresses this by having Zoe reflect on her situation:
I know, what were our parents thinking? Why didn’t they bring us to school themselves? Why didn’t they at least tell us which train to get on? Well, in their defense, the school brochure pretty specifically said that all that stuff would be handled. A teacher was supposed to meet us at the train station and escort us to school where we would arrive bright-eyed and bushy tailed for an exciting semester of life development and learning.
I have to admit that this was effective in addressing the suspension of disbelief necessary to move the story along. Well done!
Guignard wastes no time in delving into the Indian mysticism introduced in Ghost Leopard. Students begin to disappear from the school and with the help of a familiar-looking ally, Mr. Muk, Zoe and Zak must discover a way to break the yogi’s curse and protect the Elephant Egg of Life at all costs. But it won’t be so easy as they are chased by giant flaming birds, some dangerous monkeys, and a new powerful villain who just happens to be a demon.
Yogi’s Curse has many of the same strengths as Zoe and Zak continue to be entertaining as they are thrust together into the same setting. They continue to play off each other’s strengths as they seek to break the yogi’s curse. Guignard once again immerses the reader in Indian culture and mysticism, making us feel as if we are there breathing in the beauty of the Himalayan mountainscape. And finally, the intricate plot features unexpected twists and turns; heart-stopping moments filled with danger; and, a great adventure and mystery that will keep the reader guessing throughout.
My Bottom Line: Yogi’s Curse is a non-stop thrilling adventure featuring the ever-entertaining tweens, Zoe and Zak, now attending boarding school in India. Armed with Zoe’s growing yogi powers and Zak’s trusty whip Stryker, the duo must rely on their wits when a new evil descends on the school and students begin disappearing. Lars Guignard keeps up the pace with this second installment in the Zoe and Zak Adventure series. I recommend this series to tweens and teens who love a great adventure steeped with magic and mysticism. Ages 8+.
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“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
“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
“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:
The Yogi’s Curse Blog Tour Schedule (2013/2014)
Fiona Ingram (Review)
Bookworm for Kids (Review)
Dalene’s Book Reviews (Review)
** Be sure to look for the upcoming Blog Tour for Book 3 in the Zoe and Zak Series, “Tiger Temple” coming January 15, 2014. **