Voices for All: The Legend of ZoaBrio by Scott Vincent
Publisher: Venzi Productions
Number of Pages: 288
Published: November 1st, 2017
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Opening Lines: Stacey was enjoying her school field trip at the zoo, until a large ocelot attacked her."
12-year-old Stacey loves animals in all shapes and sizes, and would never do anything to hurt them. So it's surprising when she's accused of teasing them while on a school trip to the zoo. Stacey's adamant there is no way she would tap on the glass to upset the animals, and she's just as confused as the zookeepers as to why they're acting so unusual. Plus, she doesn't know how the rhinoceros escaped his enclosure and came charging after her, but it was very scary. Once safely back home, Stacey encounters a gorilla hiding by her trash bin, the same one she saw at the zoo earlier who smiled at her from behind the glass. But now, the gorilla is in her backyard, asking if she wants to "hear a funny joke." At first, Stacey is in shock, but then Louis the gorilla explains that they've been waiting for her to take them back to ZoaBrio, a place where they can all be free. After all, she's wearing the pendant that holds the key to their future. Louis and an ocelot named Ozzy take her to the zoo to meet Doug, the elephant who explains the legend of ZoaBrio and how humans and animals once lived together in harmony. Humans have a gene that if activated allows them to communicate with animals or "ziff." But, as the legend goes, humans lost the ability when civilizations began to increase and animals were pushed further away, cats and dogs took up the space of animals and organized ways to block the communication between humans and animals. Now, ZoaBrio is hidden from many of the animals and they need Stacey's help to find it. Stacey also learns that the cats have formed a secret society called NOZE and are close to completing a doomsday device that once released will destroy everything associated with ZoaBrio, including Stacey. What's worse, they've kidnapped her beloved friend, a cockatoo named Krakoo and are demanding her pendant in exchange for his release. Will Stacey and her new friends be able to rescue Krakoo, find NOZE and prevent them from unleashing their device on the world? Guess you'll have to read Voices for All: The Legend of ZoaBrio to find out.
Voices for All: The Legend of ZoaBrio envisions a place where animals and humans can communicate with one another as equals. Animals are not put into cages, neglected, or have their lands taken away, their protection and preservation are of the utmost importance. ZoaBrio is a sort of parallel world that has been invisible for a long time, hidden behind a system of magical doors and an energy field that can only be passed through if you have a pendant from ZoaBrio. At first, Stacey lacks the ability to communicate (ziff) with any of the animals, besides Louis who's self-taught, but she's willing to take a chance on a potion that could activate the ability if it means that they'll help her rescue Krakoo. Stacey teams up with Alex, Louis, a little dog named Emma who is connected to ZoaBrio, and Ozzy to take on NOZE. This is a fun middle-grade fantasy adventure with plenty of humor. There are raccoons singing "Your Happy and You Know It" a cockroach who makes an especially good evil character and Vincent's love for animals shows in his descriptions of their physical characteristics and mannerisms. There's also a subtle hint that tofu makes a wonderful replacement for protein. It isn't heavy-handed in it's messaging and instead is light-hearted and entertaining, reminding me a bit of the movie Cats versus Dogs.
Favorite line: "Nature is magical. Everything in nature is considered magic until it's understood, then it is called Science."