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Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard

(Zoe & Zak Adventures #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Imagine you're totally lost in a strange city with no idea where you are and no way home.
Now imagine that elephants and snake charmers start telling you that you've been chosen to save the world.
Would you even believe them?
What would you do?

Zoe Guire isn't sure. Having that elephant talk to her was really weird, and, as a rule, Zoe doesn't do weird. Except the thing is, wh
Paperback, 338 pages
Published July 21st 2012 by Fantastic Press (first published April 26th 2012)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  198 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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I read a lot of middle-grades and young adult literature, so when I was offered a free copy of the audio version of this book in return for a review, I jumped at it. Unfortunately, if I hadn't felt obligated to do the review, I would have stopped the book less than halfway through.

This is being marketed with comparisons to the Harry Potter and Lightning Thief series. Maybe in some parallel universe. I would say it is closer to Michael Grant's Magnificent 12 series, especially in terms of readin
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book! Interesting start to what will be a very entertaining series
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: requested
I'm still getting used to listening to audiobooks, and I have to say this one was really pleasant to listen to. I really enjoyed the narrator, Bailey Carlson's, reading of this book and I think kids will love it too. She does different accents and inflections for the different characters, and it really helps the story come to life. It's never confusing to know who is speaking because each voice is distinct. I was really happily surprised by this!

And now for the book itself. I don't think that th
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I signed up to review this book as part of a book tour. I only sign up for these types of books when the premise seems interesting. The book was advertised as a combination of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, so I was intrigued.

Though I did not dislike the book, I did not feel like it was truly a mix of these two books. Its style and focus was different. Zoe and Zak, middle-grade-aged kids, are temporarily living in India, where their single parents are busy at work. While away, they leave the ki
Julie Grasso
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
We begin the adventure hearing Zoe's Guire's every thought, as she travels to India with her mum, for what she thought would be a relaxing holiday after her mums conference finishes. Enter Zac Merril, and his dad, also attending the conference. Zoe is less than impressed. When Zoe and Zac's parent's are urgently deployed to address a matter of great importance, strange things start to happen to Zoe, and Zac is no help. He seems to specialise in getting himself and Zoe into mischief, that turns o ...more
Kirstin Pulioff
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love Love Love! This book had me from the first chapter. This book overflows with top-notch character development, culture, adventure, and FUN!

Written from the perspective of Zoe, an 11 year old girl, the book begins with a bang. Caught up in the overwhelming sights and sounds of India, she arrives at her hotel ready for an adventure. Unfortunately, her mother's work interferes with her plans, and she must find a way to entertain herself for awhile. Joined by a school friend, the slightly annoyi
Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard is an adventure story about Zoe and Zak who were chosen to protect the people of India from the Monkey God. When Zoe’s mother takes her to India for her business trip, Zoe is determined to take the best picture so she can win her school’s contest.

But when she sees Zak, a boy that she went to school with, she is annoyed and really doesn’t want him there. However, he loves adventure so when he finds Rhino Butt’s map, Zak wants to know where it takes him.

I abso
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There is an in between stage when children are not wanting to read "baby" books any more and parents do not want them reading young adult books yet. Finding a good book to help foster the love of reading in a child can be a challenge. That is why I am so excited about this book and series. It has high interest level without a vocabulary that excludes all but the best of readers in the target audience. I am also excited because I think this will be a great read aloud and my kiddos are almost at t ...more
*** * WIN 1 of 3 COPIES OF GHOST LEOPARD (Open WW ~ Ends December 17, 2013)* ***

My Review

Steeped in Indian mysticism, Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard is a magical journey through the eyes of 11 year old Zoe Guire into an ancient world where good must battle evil to protect the legendary Ghost Leopard which assumes a physical form (and consequently is vulnerable) only one night every 100 years. When Zoe travels with her mother, her colleague, and his son Zak Merril to India, she soon begins t
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I am learning how to listen to audio books. I have to do something else active or I fall asleep. I can't be on the computer at all or I totally tune out. So, I cleaned. My husband is possibly fainting and probably trying to figure out how to thank the publisher and Candace. Cleaning is very low on my list of priorities. But cleaning while listening to an audio's like being in another world and I kind of forgot I was doing something I hate. I might be on to something here.

Zoe and Zak a
Dena (Batch of Books)
Talk about an adventure on the wild side! Ghost Leopard lived up to my every expectations when it came to action and imagination. Flying carpets, demonic monkeys, ancient curses, name it. For me, it was highly reminiscent of Indiana Jones.

At the very beginning of the book I had the dreaded "Oh no" feeling when several cliche's happened in succession. It opens with a dream, and Zoe waking up. As a reader, I have been there and done that too many times to count. Then I got the whole "
Victoria Simcox
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This novel is jam packed with adventure, tons of humor and great information on the culture, religions and mysticism of India. The main character, Zoe, is a smarter than average, type A, eleven year old girl, who tags along with her mom on her business trip to India. Zoe figures she’ll have fun doing things with her mom during her free time―that’s what she figures, however, things don’t go quite as Zoe had planned. Soon after she arrives at her luxurious hotel, she is unexpectedly surprised by ...more
Fiona Ingram
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
When 11-year-old Zoe Guire arrives in India on a brief sojourn with her mom, she has no idea what is in store for her. She also has no idea that she possesses hidden powers. Upon their arrival, Zoe discovers (to her mild annoyance) that Zak Merril, a boy she knows from school, is also there with his dad, who is Zoe’s mom’s colleague. Events take a strange turn and both Zoe’s mom and Zak’s dad have to leave to sort out a few things. Ostensibly, Zak and Zoe will remain at the Delhi Grand Palace ho ...more
Beth  (YA Books Central)
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first audio book middle grade novel that I have ever reviewed. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. I have listened to audio books before and really enjoyed them, especially if they have a good narrator but I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the voice relating to the age in this one. After starting it I realized that the narrator actually does a great job of coordinating between the two main characters, Zoe and Zak. I found it easy to understand when she swapped from one to ...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
0 stars - DNF

Where I stopped reading: page 64 on my Nook

Why I stopped reading: I just could not get into this book. It is a middle grade fantasy book that sounded like a fantastic read. I was really looking forward to it. It took me three days to read 64 pages. I just didn’t want to read it. The characters turned me off as did the circumstances. Case in point, these kids are 11 years old. They go with their single parents to India for a government conference where the parents, who are there for
Ronda Fox
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kid-teen
I liked the concept when I read the synopsis, but I was sorely disappointed. Instead of begging an exciting adventure of a girl and her friend, it was a very slowly moving, unrealistic (there has to be SOME believability even in fantasy), and boring book.

The main character was a huge problem for this book. At the beginning she kept thinking, "no," but she went along with Zak no matter what. Plus, she was way too responsible to let all the initial things occur since she overthought EVERYTHING. Fu
Chris Torretta
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a fun read! This reminded me of my days devouring Nancy Drew and her mysteries! Much like Zoe and Zak she would always find something completely incredible and be able to get herself out of trouble just in time!

Much happens in this that make Zoe and Zak question their sanity, and everything around them. They wind up getting into so many crazy scenarios and just as I started thinking what in the world are they going to do to get out of this, something even more incredible happens! But it was
Ginny  Gallagher
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
**Original review on Gin's Book Notes-**

Three words to describe Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard: Fun, Smart, Adventure

The main characters of this story are Zoe and Zak. Zoe is a smart and regimented eleven year old. She sticks to the rules and enjoys learning new things. Zak is the complete opposite. He is impulsive, immature, and seems to find trouble wherever he goes. I loved both of these characters. The Mom part of me cringed at some of the predicaments they got thems
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great book! I think readers will love this book. It really has it all; humor, adventure, suspense, the list goes on. I noticed more than once Zoe commented that the downside to photography (she loves to take pictures and is trying to win a photography contest at her school) is that,"sometimes you feel like you weren't really there in the moment." This is so true. I think that a lot when I am somewhere taking pictures. I love being able to relive those memories by looking over the pictures at a ...more
Jemima Pett
Great book!

This is a cracking adventure story set in India. I managed to start this series with book 3, and you can check my review of that here, but prior knowledge of Zoe & Zak does nothing to harm the story, indeed it’s fun to see them as they are thrown together for the first time.

The blurb tells the story well, and gives a flavour of the writing. This is a rich, exciting tale, with plenty of hints and twists. You may favour Zoe, or you may identify with Zak, but you certainly feel the
Jenny Bynum Black Words-White Pages
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 8+
Recommended to Jenny Bynum by: Mother Daughter Book Blog Tours
I received an e-ARC copy of this book for a blog tour in return for an honest review. At first, I loved the book with the little bit of humor and how exciting it was to be a child who goes on a trip to India, but as the book went on, it was kind of hard to keep myself interested in the story. Once the adventure actually started, then the story started to pique my attention. Overall, the story has an awesome plot line and is a very well written read with humor and attention to detail of the Hindu ...more
Ashley Howland
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Zoe and Zac are trapped together in India while their parents work. Told to stay in the hotel, they end up on an amazing adventure. Together they must save the mythical Ghost Leopard. Along the way they uncover an age long mystery and must work together to succeed. This is a fast adventure story that is filled with fantasy. The main characters Zoe and Zac are engaging and easy to relate to. Children will enjoy the never ending excitement. I look forward to reading the next Zoe and Zac adventure.
Ashtrie Karana Putrie
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book open up an adventure of two kids in India, the land of old magic where deity still hold their power. As a fan of Indiana Jones, I like how the story goes. Action packed adventure in exotic environment would bring children and big kid (like I am) to a journey in imagination. With educational trivia immersed in the story would give the book another thing to talk about.

Recommended for school age and above.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Four Stars: an entertaining and educational adventure, perfect for younger readers.

Zoe is excited to finally visit India. She is accompanying her mother, who is a U.S. Ambassador. After her mother completes her work obligations, the two of them plan on touring India. In the meantime, Zoe is going to explore the fantastic hotel where they are staying. What Zoe doesn't expect is to run into Zak, a classmate from her school back in New York. She and Zak don't hang in the same circles, and they aren
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
(This review can be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl).

This title has the honor of being my first audiobook review! Luckily, it was a positive experience due to this book being an interesting one. In fact, this book reminded me of the Indiana Jones series but for children.

I think the title is a fantastic one when it comes to a middle grade read. The whole "ghost leopard" bit definitely piqued my interest, and I think it will definitely catch the attention o
Kayla Beck
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kayla by: Candace
Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please.

Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard is a super fun audiobook that I listened to over the course of about two weeks. It is about two kids who go to school together who happen to run into each other in India while traveling with their parents. They weren't really friends at the start of the novel, but we see the progression of their relationship. (Not THAT kind of relationship - they're eleven.) It reminds me of The 39 Clues serie
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A journey that’s full of legend and magic.

The Ghost Leopard is a story that is set in exotic India and is packed with a colorful assortment of cultural legends and customs. Zoe and Zak are a couple of teens who know each other, but have never really been close friends. Zoe is the clever, dependable one, and Zak is the carefree guy who loves a good laugh.

Early on in the story our pair of budding heroes accompany their parents on a business trip to India. I realize that the plot needed the kids to
Carol Fleisher
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of Charisma Media Network

About the Book:

Imagine you're totally lost in a strange city with no idea where you are and no way home.

Now imagine that elephants and snake charmers start telling you that you've been chosen to save the world.

Amy Fournier
*Actual rating 3.5

Every once in a while I love a good middle grade book, and I also love audiobooks, so when approached about this tour I was very excited for it. This book was such an adventure. It was fun and different, and I absolutely adored the characters. Unlike a lot of books where friends go through things, the characters in this are not friends. In fact, Zoe doesn't even like Zak at all. It makes it really great watching them become friends through their journey. They go through quite a
Nicole Hewitt
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 Stars

This review and many others can be found on my blog - Best Kids' Reads

Ghost Leopard was a fast-paced adventure story that is perfect for the 9-12 set! It follows Zoe and Zak on a mystical adventure through India, where they find that they are expected to protect a mysterious creature called the Ghost Leopard.

The negatives:

The beginning.
I thought that the book started out just a little bit slowly with a little more detailed explanation than a 9-12 year-old might prefer at the beginnin
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Lars Guignard is the author of the bestselling Zoe & Zak Adventure series and the Circuit series of novels.

Ever since attending high school in the Indian Himalayas, Lars has been an avid backpacker and traveler. After a stint spent circling the globe, he settled down long enough to attend the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He then went on to work as screenwriter in the film and televi

Other books in the series

Zoe & Zak Adventures (3 books)
  • Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #2)
  • Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #3)
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