"Zan-Gah" Review

by Allan Richard Shickman

Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Release Date: July 15, 2007

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.

My Review:

I really enjoyed Zan-Gah's story. This book is totally unique and I think it's great to see prehistoric men and women given a voice and a story.

The book was written almost like interconnected short stories. Each chapter was like a new adventure where we met a new character or entered a new battle.

The story is about survival and coming of age, Zan grows in many ways throughout the book. I liked how he handled physical problems better than emotional ones because emotions are so hard to deal with.

The characters are all well-developed and Zan is a great hero. He stands up for what is right in his world. I also had a soft spot for Zan's uncle Chul, a lovable, simple man balancing on the edge of good and bad, and also completely ruled by his wife and child.

There is a lot of violence in the book, but it's always very clear that it's for survival. San's people respect even the animals they must kill for food or for safety. When his wayward twin Dael has a violent outburst, Zan doesn't approve. I think the right message is sent for the age group about the violence that goes on. 

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line: I really recommend this book to both young readers and adults. I think you'll be fascinated with Zan's world, and surprised to see how similar it is to our own.


  1. I thought it was pretty coo. too! I mean, how often do we see prehistoric fiction? :-)

  2. I thought it was a pretty good book as well, I am a huge fan of Jean Auel, and this book reminded me a bit of her work.

  3. True, very violent, but it was a violent time, and he sure handled it well

  4. I've been seeing these books around a lot of blogs lately but haven't paid much attention to them because the covers just didn't grab me. This was actually the first review I've read of it. It's been a long time since I've read these kind of books. It reminds of me Jean Auel's books (though probably minus all the sex). Maybe I'll give it a try.

  5. The third book of the Zan-Gah series, Dael and the Painted People, is nearly finished. Watch for it this summer at the new web address:


    I hope you will pay us a visit.

    Allan R. Shickman


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!