I despised this book with every fiber of my being. It is by far the worst book in the series. I could handle the endless repetition of the painted caves. What I could not handle was the return of the prehistoric soap opera from "Mammoth Hunters." Ayla seemed to have gone through a serious personality shift in this book. She did not feel like the same character I had spent the previous five books with. In some cases, she felt spiteful and harsh, which made absolutely no sense to me. Jondalar's jealousy issues were something that was incredibly irritating as well. I thought he had learned his lesson in the previous books, but nope! I almost preferred all of the painted cave descriptions because at least it got me away from once-loved characters whose behaviors disgusted me in this book. I was so let down by this book, and by "Shelters of Stone," that as far as I'm concerned, the series ended with "Plains of Passage," so at least it could go out on a high note.
This book is repetitive to the point of boring. So sad after the first books in the series. I skipped pages at a time, if I had wanted a full on description of caves, I would have borrowed a book on caves. In the end I couldn't handle anymore so went to the end of the book to see if they separated or were reunited. Always happy to see a happy ending although it did seem to leave a lot of unanswered questions.
B-o-r-i-n-g. I can't believe I got through the first 5. PG for some sexual content.
You people don't understand this book. The point of this book is to get you fascinated about the caves and its artwork. This series is supposed to narrative nonfiction an put a research into it.Why don't you people appreciate the book for what it is?
A long, dull brick of a book, which can be started in the middle without missing anything. There is one interesting part in the second half: Ayla's calling as a shaman, and the difficulties of introducing the idea of men having some role in making children. Until then, it's all Stone Age tourism, and it goes, many times, like this: 1.) Ayla and Co., and a guide enter a sacred cave. 2.) Paintings are examined. 3.) Someone asks what they mean. 4.) No one knows. 5.) Someone sings The Mother's Song, which has an unfortunate resemblance in cadence to A Visit From Saint Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas).
This book had some great scenes in it but you had to read through a lot of repetition from the previous books to get to the new stuff. You also have to get through a lot of descriptions about the caves and ceremonies. While some of that stuff might be interesting it would have been better to have more new story and less of those details.
I was grossly let down with this book. I loved this series, I started reading it when I was 12 years old back in '75. But not only was it repetitive and boring and projects unexpected character flaws in Ayla, but long-hanging questions were left unanswered! What about her dreams of her son and The Clan? Does Ayla meet them again? Why don't we get to know Jonayla better? Do the two peoples learn to respect each other and trade? If Ms. Auel was burnt out on the series she should have left it hanging ... She could have written a separate book about her endless painted caves - if you've read one cave description you've read them all! What a waste.
Reading many of the reviews here, I feel the majority of people didn't "get" this book. I loved it. I believe Jean Auel wrote this book from her heart. Its pages transported me to the prehistoric age in a deep and profound way. It stayed with me long after I read it.
>DO NOT READ THIS BOOK, IF YOU LOVED THE SERIES.<
I loved the first three books of the Earth’s Children series, and the other two seem necessary for the build-up to the conclusion. Yet, there was no closure in the final book of the series, if anything things seem more messed up in the character’s lives by the end than at the start of the book. I had to read Ed Herman’s FanFiction to get the conclusion that the series dearly needed. I have since erased this 700+ page waste of time from my memory and will try to remember the good aspects of the series.
I'm sorry to say that I finished it late last night. Why sorry? The time I wasted slogging through it, and also the sadness of seeing such a promising series treated so poorly. Of the 700 pages, I'd estimate at least 100 are simply cut and paste and repetitive sections taken from other books. Do we really need to the "Song of the Mother" reprinted ad nauseum on page after page? And do you really need to retell the story of the first 5 books every time Ayla meets new people? Jean M. Auel disappointed. There is no real character development. And the real lack of though and energy she invested into the last book of the series comes through in the book's ending. Which is basically an exact retelling of a similar event that happened between Ayla and Jondalar in the Mammoth Hunters (Book 3). Sad, sad, sad. The only reason I finished the book is because I'm stubborn and I wanted to see how bad it would get.
dogskids thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over
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