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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
A book with an international setting that will appeal hugely to fans of adventure and historical novels, Zamm Boola by Scott Leroy Chally follows four friends whose friendship dates back to their years in junior high school in Los Angeles, California. Now in their thirties, Leo Lickum, Chilly Ace Chally, Mitch, and Antwon are looking forward to spring break when Antwon invites them on an exciting trip to Africa. He has just discovered that an ancestor, sold into slavery about two hundred years ago, originated from a small African village called Zamm Boola. He wants to know more about his heritage and he invites them to come with him as he explores the truth about Za Zacody. The four friends set out for Africa, and Antwon is about to connect with some distant relatives. But an encounter with a shaman leads to a dream ritual that changes their lives in ways they never could have imagined. It's fun to find out what happens.
This book is a pleasure to read. Written in a dramatic style, the conversations are well developed and the characters come out clearly with their backgrounds, the fun stuff they do, and the way they relate to each other. The humor greets the reader from the very first page. Readers encounter a character's discovery, surprising facts about Antwon's ancestry, and become curious that he wants to uncover the truth about his ancestry — something like the experience in Roots by Alex Harley. The theme of slavery is explored, but the trip to Africa takes readers into a completely new setting, a way of life that is unique. I enjoyed how the author explores life in a small rural community in Africa and exposes beliefs and religious practices that define the sacredness of life for these people. Scott Leroy Chally uses a conversational style of writing that engages the reader in the story and helps them connect with the characters. It is both entertaining and inspiring, with characters that are real and unforgettable.