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The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Earth's Children

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
Book Three of The Earth’s Children Series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 31 hours and 48 minutes (768 pages), ASIN: B001F5IKCO

Ayla and Jondalar along with their beloved horses have ventured out from Ayla’s valley. They have decided it is time for Ayla to meet more of her own people. Before long they run into the Mamutoi, the Mammoth Hunters.  Ayla’s different and unique ways attract the interest of these people who soon come to love the unusual new group, but there are also many challenges that the group must face together.

The Mammoth Hunters is the third of six books in the Earth Children’s series. This is a fictional story that takes place at the dawn of time, over 30,000 years ago and examines the practical and spiritual life of Cro-Magnons, the first early modern humans. Ms. Auel has done extensive research on this time period and her books have a wonderful historical quality. The story is told by a third-person omniscient narrator centering primarily on the main protagonist, Ayla, a young Cro-Magnon woman who was raised by Neanderthals and is now trying to reintegrate back into the society of her birth.

There are several themes running throughout this novel.  The story looks at surviving within an environment where people are closely confined and in order to thrive they must live with co-operation and consideration. Yet it also examines discrimination, the harm that can come from it as well as the strength that is required to overcome it. I did enjoy the story, but I also thought it dragged and most of the dialogue was weak. There was too much detail given towards everyday living and not enough given for the development of the characters. I also felt that Jondalar’s conflict went on too long and became rather tiresome.

This standalone novel concludes a portion of Ayla’s journey, but her story is not yet over. Overall, I thought the book was OK, and I am not sure whether I am going to continue with the series.


To Purchase: “The Mammoth Hunters” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Valley of the Horses by Jean M. Auel

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Earth's Children

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book 2 of the Earth’s Children Series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 21 hours and 46 minutes (592 pages), ASIN: B001AYHPH6

Ayla has been cursed by The Clan, she has been forced to leave the only family she has ever known to go out on her own. She is a young Cro-Magnon woman who was raised by Neanderthals but is now searching for her birth people. All alone, she survives through the use of her wits and her hunting abilities. She finds a sheltered valley which she calls home and where she plans to stay through the winter.  Meanwhile Jondalar and his brother, two new Cro-Magnon characters, have journeyed for several years from the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, meeting people and having adventures.  This novel follows both of these separate story lines following them on their journeys.

The Valley of Horses is the second of six books in the Earth Children’s series. This is a fictional story that takes place at the dawn of time, over 30,000 years ago and examines the practical and spiritual life of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons. Ms. Auel has done extensive research on this time period and her books have a wonderful historical quality. The story is told by a third-person omniscient narrator centering primarily on Ayla, but at times also on Jondalar.

Ayla’s journey is well told and interesting.  I really enjoyed the relationship she developed with the wild animals. The details of life during this time period is interesting and the personal interactions of each of these people as they deal with the challenges that they must face was at times heart wrenching but also heart-warming. The concept of prejudice was introduced and continues as a thread throughout the story.

This is a standalone story that alternates between Ayla and Jondalar as they move closer to each other. It continues Ayla’s story as it shows what life was like at the end of the ice age. I recommend this book as a very good read.

To Purchase: “The Valley of Horses” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Earth's Children

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Book 1 of the Earth’s Children Series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 19 hours and 36 minutes (512 pages), ASIN: B001AWVRX6

An earthquake during the Ice Age separates a little girl, Ayla, from her family. This same earthquake destroys the home of The Clan of the Cave Bear. While the clan is looking for a new home they find the little girl, who is hurt and dying.  They decide to adopt Ayla even if she is one of the “others” and different from themselves.  This is Ayla’s story as she grows up within her new family.

Clan of the Cave Bear is the first of six books in the Earth Children’s series. This is a fictional story that takes place at the dawn of time, over 30,000 years ago and examines the life of The Clan. They are Neanderthals at the twilight of their existence. The series also explores life with Cro-Magnons, the first early modern humans. Ms. Auel has done extensive research on this time period and her books have a wonderful historical quality. The story is told by a third-person omniscient narrator centering primarily on the main protagonist, Ayla, a young Cro-Magnon woman who is adopted and raised by The Clan.

I first read this book many years ago and I enjoyed it as much today as I did then. The pre-historic setting is well drawn. The characters are all thoroughly developed and the reader really gets to know what life was like living in the clan. The theme is one of community, family, love and belonging. Ayla must repress who she really is in order to exist within the confines of their society. Without the safety and security of the clan she would surely die, besides this, she also deeply loves these people who have become her family. The ending is sad but satisfying.

This is a standalone story, ending at a turning point in Ayla’s life. It also ends with a beginning, Ayla’s story will continue on in a completely different direction in The Valley of the Horses, the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book  it is excellent, well told and very interesting.

 

 

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