Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse by Lars Guignard Audio Book Review and Giveaway

Thanks for stopping by my tour stop on the audiobook tour for Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse by Lars Guignard. This is a middle grade fantasy adventure for ages 8+.  Check out the tour page for the full list of tour stops.

Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse by Lars Guignard

Read by Sonja Field

Genre: Middle Grade Magic, Fantasy Adventure. Ages 8-13

Length:  audiobook length is 7 hours 36 minutes
Publication Date: November 20, 2013

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.

Review of Audiobook

The audiobook of Zoe and Zak and the Yogi's Curse is just as good, if not better than the first audiobook, Zoe and Zak and the Ghost Leopard. The narrator, Sonja Field does a great job of  sounding like a 12 yr old girl, Zoe, and change her voice to sound like a talking elephant, a 500 year old yogi, and a 12 yr old boy.
Her narration is even in it's pacing and the tone is appropriate for the action in the story. I love when she cries out "Holy India" when she's surprised by something.

The story this time is Zoe and Zak are at boarding school in the Himalayas while their parents work all over India. It is supposed to be a great boarding school, but right from the start, things are strange there. Zoe's roommate disappears. The halls are guarded by mean monkeys and guard parrots. The food is inedible and some of the teachers start disappearing. And Zoe and Zak start getting weird messages from elephant tusks and yogis. The mystery is full of action and riddles and late night adventures. And Zoe and Zak make some allies at school, new friends who have some idea of what they do and what they are. There is a huge twist at the end that brings levity to the whole adventure and brings the mystery to an end.

Lars Guignard has a great imagination and his love for India shines through in his writing. The adventures of Zoe and Zak will hopefully continue with many more unusual animals and mysteries. Sonja Fields' narration brings the story to life with her varied voices and accents and makes the novel fly by as you listen. I love this series and though I haven't read it, I prefer to listen to it on audio. I would miss her narration, with the accents and voices of the different characters. I highly recommend the audio book.

I received a copy of the audio book for review. I was not compensated for my review.

Audible iTunes | Amazon  | GoodReads

We want to invite all of you to ask the author and narrator your own questions on the Author's Goodreads Group and they will answer them on March 1st! 

Some things people are saying: 

"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.com

“Lars Guignard has done a fabulous job with this series. I loved the
`Ghost Leopard’ and 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

"The action is non-stop and plot twists and turns keep readers hanging
onto their magic carpets as they fly along with our heroes. The
magicality is wonderful, using legends and fantasy elements from Indian
culture and mythology. There are no instant spells ‘imported’ into the
story: all the enchantment belongs firmly in India, using cultural and
folkloric aspects that will no doubt get young readers interested in
reading up more about the background." 5-Star review from Fiona Ingram, author of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab  

"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+." 5-Star review from motherdaughterbookreviews.com 

About the Author:

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 and 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 and skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range.

For news about new releases, please join his email list here: Zoe&ZakAdventures@gmail.com

About the narrator:

Sonja Field combines her life-long passion for reading with her skill as an actress to bring audiobooks to life! A dynamic and versatile narrator, she has logged hundreds of hours recording textbooks with an organization called Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. She loved recording the action-packed Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse because of its wealth of colorful, quirky, and memorable characters.

 2 copies of Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse in ebook (worldwide), paperback (US only) or audiobook (where audible.com is accessible)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions.



  1. I love a good audiobook though I usually steer clear of MG Fiction. Still, this sounds rather brilliant and I always appreciate an author who can write a book set in India authentically, so I might give this a try. Or, more likely, I'll just recommend it to my younger brother since he falls into the target age group. Great review, Heather! :)

    1. Keertana- I know from doing the tour with the first book that the author spent quite a bit of time in India, I think as a child going to school and fell in love with it. That's why his stories are set there and feel authentic, at least to me who has never been :) This one had so many elephants in it though, which I love. Such majestic animals. And they were such a huge part of the story. I hope your brother likes it!

  2. Though I don't read MG these days, I love the thought of a book filled with enough action and adventure to entice even the unlikeliest of readers. Lovely review, Heather! This does sound like a gem :)

    1. It's fun Melissa. I love reading about new places, well listening rather and this had some cultural things in it I had never heard of before. The author spent quite a bit of time in India so I believe his portrayal of things is true, minus the fantasy bits, like flying elephants!

  3. This sounds like a fun MG read! I like how it's set in India. I love learning about different countries and cultures. I'll pass this recommendation on to the Children's Librarian at my library. Thanks for the great review, Heather!

    1. That's what I like, too Rummanah! A little bit culture from another country. Ganesha is present in both books and I think a little of the religion is in it as well. I asked the question on Goodreads so we'll see.

  4. So glad you enjoyed this too! I thought she did amazing with the narration as well. I like these on audio as well and can't imagine reading them now. I'm use to the audiobooks and love how they are brought to life.
    Thanks for hosting a tour stop Heather!

    1. I'm with you Candace! I'd have to make up all those voices in my head as I read! I think it would take me out of the story too much! I love the audios of the books!

    2. Thanks guys! I had an absolute blast recording Yogi's Curse - creating all those character voices was so much fun. Lars does such a great job of creating distinct characters!

  5. Oh I'm curious to know if my little cousins would try this on audio. One is an avid reader and I don't think she has tried anything like this. It might even get her sis to become more of a reader. Thanks for the rec!!

    1. It would be great for a long trip in the car. They could even have the book and follow along if they wanted. I think kids would love the different voices. Let me know if they listen to it!!

  6. Zoe, Zak and the action in this one sounds good.

    1. Your kids might be a little young still for this series, I'm not sure. But in a couple of years, it will be perfect for them!

  7. This sounds like such a fun read/listen! Holy India!

  8. I still have yet to try and audiobook Heather! I need to do that. I think it's the fact that it takes so much longer to listen than it does to read that has me hesitating. Plus, it's not as easy to cheat and flip ahead to see what happens and we all know how much I love to do that ;-) This sounds like a hugely fun series, I'm making a note of it for my cousins!

  9. I just wanted to chime in and say thanks for the review. As the author it's so great to hear Zoe and Zak come to life. Sonja, the narrator, has a lot of range. For me listening its practically like hearing the story for the first time -- and I wrote it!


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