Zamm Boola


Fiction - Suspense
398 Pages
Reviewed on 08/18/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Romuald Dzemo

Zamm Boola by Scott Leroy Chally follows four friends from a small suburb in Los Angeles, California as they trace the roots of one of them back to Africa. Meet a school bus driver, a mathematics teacher for eighth grade, an English teacher for seventh grade, and a janitor - Leo Lickum, Chilly Ace Chally, Mitch and Antwon - as they look forward to the spring break. At a bar, Antwon surprises his friends with a stunning discovery. He has found out about his family’s ancestry from the census office, a lot of cool stuff about how they were sold into slavery. His quick investigation has led him to the startling truth that an ancestor had been someone different from who he had always thought.

Antwon’s ancestry is traced back to a small village with straw huts next to the Congo rainforest in Africa. The village's name is Zamm Boola. Now he convinces his friends to make the trip to Zamm Boola. Antwon meets some of his distant relatives and, after they are introduced to a shaman, they become entangled in a ritual which leaves them questioning their identities, reality, and whether they can control the outcome of dreams that seem to define their destinies and dreams linked to the rituals.

Zamm Boola by Scott Leroy Chally is a suspenseful novel filled with fun and adventure. The narrative is written in a unique style, and it is filled with drama and dialogues that establish each character’s point of view and explore both conflict and plot points. Scott Leroy Chally develops themes of adventure, family, and slavery, but it is the deft handling of the friendship between the characters and his uncanny gift for humor that make this novel a must-read. It is a unique story told in a compelling voice, original in style and exciting in its plot development.

Rabia Tanveer

Zamm Boola by Scott Leroy Chally is the story of four friends who have been together for years through thick and thin. When one of the friends is finally able to trace his roots back to his homeland, the four friends pack up their bags and journey from Los Angeles to Zamm Boola, a village in Africa. So Chilly, Mitch and Leo travel all the way to Africa with Antwon so that he can learn about his roots and understand his legacy. While there, they met a shaman with whom they sat down and had a ritual on dreams. They thought it would be all light-hearted fun, but they had no idea that during the ritual the shaman actually cast a spell on them. They have dreams that will become true; however, the dreams never have a conclusive ending. It is up to the friends how they react to the dreams; these could be good or bad and it is all up to them. They have to pass these tests and find out what it was all for.

Boy, was this a rollercoaster ride! This is a fast-paced novel that took me all the way to Africa and had me entertained for hours. The descriptions were so vivid that I could literally feel the heat and taste the food that they were eating. I could easily imagine what each and every one of these characters would look like and how they would sound. The dilemma of each of these four friends was suspenseful and full of mystery. I enjoyed reading Zamm Boola because I could not guess what the outcome of every dream would be. This was a well-thought out and constructed novel that I enjoyed very much.