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Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
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.