Eiyo Fadneiras,

How are you guys doing? It's November already. And I'm back to share my first post of November. For today's post, I will share my review of a book I finished reading last Monday. The book is titled Alak In The Hinterland and written by Salhan K. Ahmad. Now let's begin this review with the author's bio...


Me with the author, Mr. Salhan K. Ahmad (left) at the Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair last June ^_^

Salhan K. Ahmad was born in Kelantan, Malaysia. He is an author and a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is also an editor at The Malaysian Insight. Mr. Salhan was a reporter at The Star, a producer at CNN, and an editor at Malaysiakini.


Alak In The Hinterland (AITH)  is the first book in the Alak series. The story follows an orphan boy named Alak.

Alak was walking back to his orphanage from school on a very hot day. On his journey home, Alak saw two men arguing. One of them was a wealthy businessman named Mr. Gold. From Alak's observation, the argument was not a good one. Mr. Gold was shouting aggressively at the other man.

Alak wondered what was their argument about? And who could the other man be? Alak had never seen the other man before. He was barefooted and only wore a cawat (loincloth). He was also tall and looked very strong.

The man in the cawat looked calm but sounded very stern. Alak became curious. He went closer to the two men. Alak could hear that they were arguing about land and the trees in the jungle. But he could not hear their words clearly.

Their argument became more aggressive. Mr. Gold shouted and slapped the other man's face. It made the man in the cawat angry. The villagers gathered around to see what was going on. The town's policeman, Constable Bakar entered the scene.

Constable Bakar told the man in the cawat not to move. The man froze and looked around to see Constable Bakar charging at him. So he ran away. Everyone was shocked including Alak. Alak threw his heavy schoolbag to the ground and followed the stranger. Alak was curious about the man in the cawat. 

Meet Alak's new friends~ Bauk, Machang, and Chuchoh ^_^

The strange man ran into the jungle. He ran faster and faster. Alak could only catch a glimpse of him when he went around the bends. And to Alak's surprise, an orange tail crept out from the back of the man's cawat. And it gets longer and longer.

The man in the cawat disappeared. Alak was tired. He could not run any faster. Alak looked around him. There were no longer fruit trees. Alak knew that he had gone deep into the jungle. Alak was also lost. Oh-oh!

Alak regretted. He tried to turn back but could not find a way out. While Alak was trying to find his way out, he found strange-looking flowers. Alak picked up one flower and examined it. They were cengal seeds. He took one bite of the seed and put the remaining in his pocket. Something unexpected happened. Alak started to hear strange sounds. One of Alak's legs was caught in a vine. Alak lost his balance and tumbled down the hill. 

The next morning, Alak woke up in a cave. He was greeted by three cute tiger cubs. The cubs introduced themselves as Bauk, Machang, and Chuchoh. The three of them can talk. Alak was surprised and confused. What happened to him yesterday? And where could he be now?


AITH is written for middle-grade children. But adults can read it too. For me, AITH is more than just an adventure story. It's a very educational story about the environment and nature. 

The story took place once upon a time in a magical forest situated in Kelantan. At that time, there were still a lot of trees and animals in this Kelantan hinterland. But when loggers discovered the forest, they started cutting down trees and chasing the animals from their homes.

This book is an eye-opener for me. Reading AITH gives me insight and knowledge about the animals and plants that once lived in the hinterland. Besides the environment and nature, this book also taught me about kindness. It makes me able to put myself in an animal's paw. I can feel how the animals feel when loggers start destroying their homes and cutting down trees. It's depressing. No creatures deserve to be chased out of their homes. That's cruel!

AITH is a very well-written book. I like the author's writing style. It's very catchy, simple, and easy for me to visualize the story. Plus, this book also has beautiful illustrations in it. All illustrations in this book are made of fine woodblock print. It is something new and unique for me. It's really a work of art. Thumbs up to the artists- Rizo Leong and Sarah Nina. I love the woodblock print illustrations a lot ^_^

Beautiful woodblock print illustration by Rizo Leong and Sarah Nina

Overall, I rate this book 10/10. AITH is definitely a brilliant read. I highly recommend my fellow bookworms to read AITH, especially those who are environment and nature activists. Trust me, you are going to enjoy this book. Plus, AITH is a book all bookworms must not miss.

The story has a cliffhanger ending. And I'm now looking forward to reading the second book. I'm also curious to find out Alak's backstory. Who is he actually? Where is he from? And who was his father?  Is alak's father still alive?  Alak And The Curse Of Jerangau is now on my TBR list. I need to grab that book ASAP. Hehehe ^_^

If you want to know more about the Alak series, check out their Instagram @alak.hub

Okay, this is all for now. Thank you for reading my review of Alak In The Hinterland by Salhan K. Ahmad. FYI, I'm going on vacation starting tomorrow. So I'm going to take a break from blogging for one week. I'll see you guys again when I return from my vacation. Take care ^_^


Fadima Mooneira ^_^

(Authorpreneur, Content Creator, Blogger & Illustrator)

#AlakInTheHinterland #AlakSeries #Alak #SalhanKAhmad #ArcaneLiteratureAndKinderstories #ChildrenBook #BookReview #FadimaMooneiraLibrabry #Edutainment #FadimaMooneiraDotCom


  1. AITH sounds like an interesting book, and I do like the focus on the environment and nature. Also, the illustrations in the book are beautiful!

  2. Another great review. Thanks for exposing us to these great authors. I hope you are have a great vacation. You deserve it! Catch you when you get back.

  3. What a really fascinating tale, I love the illustrations and the fact that this can be enjoyed by both younger and adult readers. It sounds like a really entertaining read!

  4. I LOVE the illustrations in this book, they are wonderful! It reminds me a little of The Jungle Book but I don't know how much of that tale this one follows. Interesting review, thank you, Fadima.

    1. Umm… Jungle Book? Only a little. This one has a tale of its own.

  5. This is interesting book, never heard of this before but seem awesome. It would be cool to read it. Thank you for sharing!

  6. No worries. Thanx for your wish too. Yep, I had an awesome vacation.

  7. Yep, it’s not available in Philippines. But you buy it online. They ship worldwide.

  8. Great review! The picture book stories are always fun to read. I really love to buy it for my younger son. The woodblock print illustrations are unique and rare these days.

    1. Awesome. I’ll ask the author for the link and get back to you later ya.


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