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Leanne
01-05-2011, 07:44 AM
I know at least a couple of people here have read this series. Every once in a while I would check to find an update about what she is doing. Well, she finally finished that last book. It is coming out March, only 9 years after the last book. :D

yks 6nnetu hing
01-05-2011, 07:51 AM
that's excellent news! even though I was slightly disappointed after the last book... so many pages, so little story advancement. Then again, I've been trying to re-read the series (got as far as book 4, then got interrupted by Potter re-read) and I've got to say, reading them again there is actually quite a lot of story advancement... so maybe I was unfair to be disappointed... we'll see. In any case, awesome news!

GonzoTheGreat
01-05-2011, 07:57 AM
Very good.

Now I'm wondering whether she'll write another series, and how long that's gonna take.

Ishara
01-05-2011, 01:37 PM
that's excellent news! even though I was slightly disappointed after the last book... so many pages, so little story advancement. Then again, I've been trying to re-read the series (got as far as book 4, then got interrupted by Potter re-read) and I've got to say, reading them again there is actually quite a lot of story advancement... so maybe I was unfair to be disappointed... we'll see. In any case, awesome news!

LOL - exactly my opinion of the last book. Terrible. I feel like printing that stupid song alone time after time took up about 100 pages that could have gone towards development. And the sex wasn't even that great. It got a big m'eh from me. But, I'll still read the next one!

Weird Harold
01-05-2011, 03:58 PM
...And the sex wasn't even that great. It got a big m'eh from me.

The sex in the Earth's Children series has always struck me as gratuitous. It's nice to know that ancient humans engaged in and enjoyed sex, but it's not necessary to go into that much detail. :(

Overall, the series is interesting, but each successive book has seemed more and more contrived -- there's simply too much advancement for one character's lifetime.

Ishara
01-06-2011, 07:35 AM
The sex in the Earth's Children series has always struck me as gratuitous. It's nice to know that ancient humans engaged in and enjoyed sex, but it's not necessary to go into that much detail. :(

Overall, the series is interesting, but each successive book has seemed more and more contrived -- there's simply too much advancement for one character's lifetime.

Well, I'll admit to the fact that almost everything I learned about sex prior to actually getting some was from these books - gratuitous yes, for sure. But I was still grateful for the details. LOL (eta: of the nice sex, obvs. Reading the rape scenes at 10 was probably not my smartest moment.)

On a more serious note, I agree completely about the contrivance. I don't think that Auel actually has a plot line. I'm convinced that she doesn't know how the story will end and so fills her books with discoveries, stupid details about limestone geology and that cursed song.

GonzoTheGreat
01-06-2011, 07:39 AM
She tried to make it as scientifically accurate as possible, with the addition of the (admittedly speculative) Neanderthal mental abilities. That worked well, until a bunch of annoying scientists made new discoveries halfway through the series. Then she had to improvise, in order to maintain both accuracy and narrative consistency. If someone hadn't found that song in a deep cave somewhere, I don't know what she would have done.

1Powerslave
01-09-2011, 01:15 PM
It will be great to read the last book finally. The sex does get a bit repetitive between Ayla and Jondalar, but I think it's good it's there. It fits in and sets the mood, I think more books should have sex in them.

Weird Harold
01-09-2011, 07:37 PM
It will be great to read the last book finally. The sex does get a bit repetitive between Ayla and Jondalar, but I think it's good it's there. It fits in and sets the mood, I think more books should have sex in them.
I have no objection to sex in books -- provided it does something to advance the story; which Jane Auel doesn't seem to understand. The sex scenes are mostly about as relevant to the storyline as TV commercials are to soccer matches.

GonzoTheGreat
01-10-2011, 03:41 AM
Then again, if she replaced the sex with a commercial for a wonderful new banking product (available really soon after Ayla invents Currency), would that improve the books?

yks 6nnetu hing
01-10-2011, 04:07 AM
It will be great to read the last book finally. The sex does get a bit repetitive between Ayla and Jondalar, but I think it's good it's there. It fits in and sets the mood, I think more books should have sex in them.

*ahem* almost any chicklit *ahem*

I'm just happy it's mostly only between Ayla and Jondalar. Besides, not all of it is gratuitous, quite a lot of it is let's-make-up sex.

Ishara
01-10-2011, 09:05 AM
Which is never the way it goes in real life, is it? I mean really!

yks 6nnetu hing
01-10-2011, 09:13 AM
Which is never the way it goes in real life, is it? I mean really!

:p depends. we almost never argue.

GonzoTheGreat
01-10-2011, 09:16 AM
:p depends. we almost never argue.Try walking from Moscow to Lyons in one year, without carrying any type of identification. That'll give you plenty to argue about (though possibly not with each other, admittedly).

1Powerslave
01-16-2011, 03:01 PM
*ahem* almost any chicklit *ahem*:D

Daekyras
01-17-2011, 08:22 AM
:p depends. we almost never argue.

yks, if you and ishara ever do have a fight, i am willing to act as a mediator to "help" in your reconcilliation....:D

Anyway, i don't think the sex in earths children is really warranted. It was an interesting read the first time but it felt too frequent and contained too much detail at times. It felt like a mills and boon novel!

GonzoTheGreat
01-17-2011, 09:18 AM
Anyway, i don't think the sex in earths children is really warranted. It was an interesting read the first time but it felt too frequent and contained too much detail at times. It felt like a mills and boon novel!Half a dozen times or so in a two year period is too frequent?

Weird Harold
01-17-2011, 09:35 AM
Half a dozen times or so in a two year period is too frequent?
When it interrupts the main narrative, yes. the same frequency or even more could be included by using a "fade to black and then the next morning" technique for the sexual encounters and it wouldn't make the book unsuitable for precocious readers who shouldn't be getting sex-ed quite that graphic yet.

GonzoTheGreat
01-17-2011, 10:34 AM
When it interrupts the main narrative, yes. the same frequency or even more could be included by using a "fade to black and then the next morning" technique for the sexual encounters and it wouldn't make the book unsuitable for precocious readers who shouldn't be getting sex-ed quite that graphic yet.And why, pray tell me, should they not be educated?

I think that the parts of the series where it is mentioned (more or less) that modern ideas of "keeping it in the bedroom" did not exist during pre-history are fairly accurate. At least, it seems reasonable to assume that even before the invention of the bedroom people had sex. So if you think about it, then you'll realise that the "do not tell the kids" attitude is rather unnatural.

Weird Harold
01-18-2011, 12:32 AM
So if you think about it, then you'll realise that the "do not tell the kids" attitude is rather unnatural.

Unnatural or not, In the US, the Earth's Children series can't be put in the Young Adult section of a library or bookstore or on a list of reccomended reading for children and/or young adults.

The graphic depictions of sex in the series does not IMHO add anything to the narrative that a figurative fade to black that leaves the details to the readers' imagination couldn't accomplish.

"Behind the Bedroom Door" is a literary technique, not a literal refence to bedrooms, doors, houses, bushes, partitions, or anything other than a figure of speech.

I could have used "off camera" just as well, without implying or suggesting that cavemen had invented cameras nad "French Postcards."

The movie made of Clan of the Cave Bear didn't lose any of the story by not filming the sex scenes graphically -- the movie sucked for a lot of other reasons, but at least it wasn't relegated to dingy, dirty, backstreet theaters with sticky floor frequented by strange men wearing nothing but trenchcoats. :D

GonzoTheGreat
01-18-2011, 03:44 AM
Unnatural or not, In the US, the Earth's Children series can't be put in the Young Adult section of a library or bookstore or on a list of reccomended reading for children and/or young adults.That might be because it is incompatible with Creationism, though. :D

Weird Harold
01-18-2011, 04:23 AM
That might be because it is incompatible with Creationism, though. :D
No, that would be entirely due to the sexual content. There is a good deal of material in the Young Adult section and Young People's Library" that is incompatible with creationism and other religious beliefs. All of the dinosaur books and fantasy series are just peachy -- until more than one somebody takes their clothes off and notices that boy and girls are different and the differences fit together.

In fact, I'm currently reading a Young Adult Novel in Terry Pratchet's discworld universe that would upset creationists a whole lot more than the fact that Neanderthal and Cromagnon man existing.

cindy
01-18-2011, 11:49 AM
In fact, I'm currently reading a Young Adult Novel in Terry Pratchet's discworld universe that would upset creationists a whole lot more than the fact that Neanderthal and Cromagnon man existing.



Nation? Excellent book, if that's the one. Actually, they're all excellent.

Auel's sex scenes from the end of book 2 to the present are just lame. they're badly written, and are out of place in what started as an excellent story. not to mention a very repetitive page eater.

i hope the new book is better, and it may be, because a lot of the science has come back around, at least re the possibility of a neanderthal contribution to the modern genome. i'll buy it, anyway. and skip the silly parts.

but i do sort of feel like Auel's totally not into writing any more of this series, and hasn't been for a long time.

Ishara
01-18-2011, 12:45 PM
When it interrupts the main narrative, yes. the same frequency or even more could be included by using a "fade to black and then the next morning" technique for the sexual encounters and it wouldn't make the book unsuitable for precocious readers who shouldn't be getting sex-ed quite that graphic yet.

I agree. I was given the "non censorship" approach to my reading as a kid and I could read whatever I wanted with the understanding that I ask questions if/ when required for understanding. The problem with Auel is that questions weren't required, but it was, looking back, far to graphic.

1Powerslave
01-18-2011, 03:27 PM
I don't think that fade to black and off camera can establish Ayla and Jon as the two sexual beings to the same extent as with their on screen sex. That part of their character portraits would be less alive. So while all sex scenes might not add to the story (though some were clearly tied to the storyline, Madenia, Ranek), it adds to Ayla and Jon as characters.

Weird Harold
01-18-2011, 05:00 PM
Nation? Excellent book, if that's the one. Actually, they're all excellent.

I Will Wear Midnight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Shall_Wear_Midnight), the fourth Tiffany Aching (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffany_Aching), Witch of the Chalk book.

Weird Harold
01-18-2011, 05:07 PM
I don't think that fade to black and off camera can establish Ayla and Jon as the two sexual beings to the same extent as with their on screen sex.

It would require a little more actual effort and writing skill, but it could be done. If nothing else, making the sex scenes read like an actual part of the story instead of "We now pause for a salacious interlude for no apparent reason."

GonzoTheGreat
01-19-2011, 02:36 AM
It would require a little more actual effort and writing skill, but it could be done. If nothing else, making the sex scenes read like an actual part of the story instead of "We now pause for a salacious interlude for no apparent reason."But that's her writing style. If it bugs you too much, then do not read the books.
She also has "we now pause for a botany lesson for no apparent reason" and "we now pause for a description of some habits of a random animal for no apparent reason" in her repertoire.

Now and then, those lessons actually come in handy during some pub quiz or the like.

Weird Harold
01-19-2011, 03:02 AM
But that's her writing style. If it bugs you too much, then do not read the books.

You apparently don't understand the concept of gratuitious (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=zIp&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=define%3A+gratuitous&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=l1g6&aql=&oq=)

The paleobotany and paleobiology asides are the reason for reading the books. The sex isn't; the sex is gratuitous == "Not called for by the circumstances; uncalled for; without reason, cause, or proof; adopted or asserted without any good ground; unjustified (http://www.google.com/url?q=http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gratuitous&sa=X&ei=Uqc2TY7jDMzpgAeYzc24Aw&ved=0CA0QpAMoAQ&usg=AFQjCNGsDcqWnd1sYpXomsfUM_A1Bnt4vA)"

Ishara
01-19-2011, 12:15 PM
Well, Gonzo kind of has a point. The treatises on limestone are in my opinion, gratuitous. Some of the sex has a point, other parts don't. When it pushes the story forward, I'm all for it. Otherwise, it's a filler. But still, educational. ;)

1Powerslave
01-20-2011, 09:25 AM
Not every single sentence need to propel the story forward. There is character building and world building, I think all recently mentioned "asides" falls into either of those categories. It all adds to the immersion (and possibly annoyance) the reader experiences. Also adding immersion are descriptions of surroundings and visuals and such.

Though if the writing of the for instance limestone lectures could feel disjointed from the narrative of the story. That might make it feel gratuitous and out of place.

GonzoTheGreat
01-20-2011, 09:41 AM
Now I'm almost tempted to insert a treatise on limestone into a rebuttal of one of Felix' theories on Valan Luca, just to see what happens.

Ishara
01-20-2011, 10:12 AM
DO IT!!!!!!

1Powerslave
01-20-2011, 05:49 PM
Now I'm almost tempted to insert a treatise on limestone into a rebuttal of one of Felix' theories on Valan Luca, just to see what happens.
:D

Belazamon
01-21-2011, 11:55 PM
Now I'm almost tempted to insert a treatise on limestone into a rebuttal of one of Felix' theories on Valan Luca, just to see what happens.
Five bucks says he uses it for evidence in his subsequent rebuttal.

1Powerslave
03-16-2011, 09:26 AM
Probably old news, but there is an excerpt from Land of the Painted Caves available. I only found it yesterday, and I had to read it, hehe. First three chapters if anyone is interested.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/44999944/The-Land-of-Painted-Caves-by-Jean-M-Auel-Excerpt

ALSO, I found this hilarious video review of the Mammoth Hunters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pT2yO8tNhA&feature=feedlik
It's a massive 45 min knowledgeable and in depth review sprincled with lots of jokes. He doesn't go easy on Jean, especially in SoS. He's reviewed all the books like this and has only the last part of the Shelters of Stone left.

Weird Harold
03-16-2011, 09:40 AM
Probably old news, but there is an excerpt from Land of the Painted Caves available. I only found it yesterday, and I had to read it, hehe. First three chapters if anyone is interested.

I'll pass on the early chapters. I've had it on hold at the library ever since they ordered it so I will get to read fairly quickly after the Mar 29 release date.

In the meantime, I'm re-reading the first few volumes of William Sarabande's First Americans Series: Across the Sea of Ice, Corridor of Storms, Forbidden Land, et seq. It's a lot darker view of prehistory and focussed on the colonization of the America via the bering land bridge -- not nearly as grounded in actual paleology.

Unfortunately the library doesn't have the first book, Across the Sea of Ice, but there's enough recap in Corridor of Storms to fill in the memory gaps.

I'm not sure if the heavily anti-shaman tone of the first two are the reason I gave up on the series wehn it was first published -- I think I made it through the first five books before giving up -- but Sarbande's villians are seriously messed up, EVIL, people and all of them so far are shamans. <shrugs>

1Powerslave
03-16-2011, 09:55 AM
In the meantime, I'm re-reading the first few volumes of William Sarabande's First Americans Series: Across the Sea of Ice, Corridor of Storms, Forbidden Land, et seq. It's a lot darker view of prehistory and focussed on the colonization of the America via the bering land bridge -- not nearly as grounded in actual paleology.

Unfortunately the library doesn't have the first book, Across the Sea of Ice, but there's enough recap in Corridor of Storms to fill in the memory gaps.

I'm not sure if the heavily anti-shaman tone of the first two are the reason I gave up on the series wehn it was first published -- I think I made it through the first five books before giving up -- but Sarbande's villians are seriously messed up, EVIL, people and all of them so far are shamans. <shrugs>
So... that was a reading recommendation, riight?

Ishara
03-16-2011, 11:05 AM
LOL - will check out the excerpt at home, just in case there's any gratuitousness in the first three chapters (very likely, imo.)

I got all excited last week as I was browsing the bookstore, and thought I had scored an early release. Alas, they had just re-issued the previous 5 with new (and pretty!) covers. Although now my collection won't match, which is just annoying...

If you like the native historical fiction, I strongly recommend Kathleen O'Neal Gear and Michael Gear - a husband and wfie duo who write the "People of..." books. They're based on the First North Americans and were really great reads.

1Powerslave
03-16-2011, 11:24 AM
LOL - will check out the excerpt at home, just in case there's any gratuitousness in the first three chapters (very likely, imo.)Hehehe.

If you like the native historical fiction, I strongly recommend Kathleen O'Neal Gear and Michael Gear - a husband and wfie duo who write the "People of..." books. They're based on the First North Americans and were really great reads.I tried reading the first of that series, but I don't know if I finished it. I'll look into it again.

Ishara
03-16-2011, 01:14 PM
The nice thing about them is that they're not a "series" per se. You can just pick one up and it's a complete story without any knowledge of previous books.

Weird Harold
03-16-2011, 02:38 PM
So... that was a reading recommendation, riight?
If you like Auel's Earth's Children, you might like Sarabande's First Americans -- if you can find it.

So, yeah, it's a reading recommendation.

GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2011, 04:15 PM
I liked the first couple of books of the First Americans. After that, it became both repetitive and weaker.

1Powerslave
03-16-2011, 04:48 PM
If you like Auel's Earth's Children, you might like Sarabande's First Americans -- if you can find it.

So, yeah, it's a reading recommendation.
It looks interesting, thanks. I've put it up on my list. I had hoped that I could find it at my library, but an online search turned up a Barbara Streisand cd as the only hit. :(

GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2011, 04:57 PM
It looks interesting, thanks. I've put it up on my list. I had hoped that I could find it at my library, but an online search turned up a Barbara Streisand cd as the only hit. :(Jedi hand wave: "These are not the things you are looking for."

1Powerslave
03-16-2011, 05:05 PM
Jedi hand wave: "These are not the things you are looking for."
Maybe I uncovered an easter egg. Perhaps the kind soul that wrote that database didn't wish any search to turn up empty handed. "Essential Barbara Streisand" is better than nothing, right?

GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2011, 05:26 PM
You're asking me? I'm listening to "Thinkin' about you" by Britney Spears right now.
No, I don't think that Essential Barbara Streisand is better than nothing. If you borrow that from the library, you have to carry it home, which costs energy, and then later on carry it back, which costs even more energy. All in all, a definite net loss.

1Powerslave
03-16-2011, 05:38 PM
Britney? I find that hard to believe. And about Barbara, what if they have her digitally?

GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2011, 05:56 PM
Barbara, digitally? Is that really possible?

1Powerslave
03-16-2011, 06:47 PM
Perhaps you're right. Having Barbara digitally might not be possible without some net loss of energy...

Btw. Anyone other than Ishara that can vouch for those People of... books?

Weird Harold
03-16-2011, 08:57 PM
I liked the first couple of books of the First Americans. After that, it became both repetitive and weaker.

All I really remember about the later books is that I got so fed up with the series that I actually dumped the first few from my collection as a series better left unfinished. :D

Btw. Anyone other than Ishara that can vouch for those People of... books?

The "First North Americans" series (as opposed to the "First Americans" series) looks to be interesting on the surface. IIRC, They're more of a fantasy/mythological work than pre-historical fiction -- I read the first one or two and decided they weren't for me.

My local library system has them (http://ilsweb.lvccld.org/search~S12?/aGear%2C+Michael+/agear+michael/-3%2C0%2C0%2CB/exact&FF=agear+kathleen+oneal&1%2C66%2C/indexsort=c) and I may give them another try and there are links to Google Previews: the first is People of the Wolf (http://books.google.com/books?id=Ry2PPwAACAAJ&source=gbs_ViewAPI)

Ishara
03-17-2011, 08:13 AM
Btw. Anyone other than Ishara that can vouch for those People of... books?

Sheesh! What am I? Chopped liver?

I wouldn't call them mythylogical really. They're fiction set in a historical setting, hence historical fiction. Not necessarily historically accurate (how could it be) and certainly a precence of spiritualism (but given the topic group, inevitable), but maybe that's what you meant? And, they're WAY shorter than Auel's.

1Powerslave
03-17-2011, 11:32 AM
Sheesh! What am I? Chopped liver?Haha. Not at all, Ish. Just that there is strength in numbers. And, I did try that GGK book where a basketball player and his friends were sent to another world (which i did think was a great start) and... then I don't remember much more. A fairy? A lake? :p

Ishara
03-17-2011, 01:38 PM
No fairies, and yes there's a lake, but not till the third book. But there's also a lake in book one.

Read it again! Fionavar is awesome!

1Powerslave
03-18-2011, 06:37 AM
Added GGK to my list. I'll give him a try sometime in the future again.

So what did you think of the first three chapters? I thought they were okay. I thought she created great tension in the first chapter.

I liked the way she described the lions as so much bigger and stronger than the humans. It really put me into the situation. I expected someone to die in that encounter. I was a little disappointed that nothing went wrong, since that would have hightened the drama tremendously. I kept wishing for Ayla to be wrong, about the tactic to use when approaching the lions. Or perhaps that one of her or Jondalar's spears would glance of a lion's rib at a critical moment and the lion would be among them.

GonzoTheGreat
03-18-2011, 06:53 AM
Wolf did get into a bit of a fix, didn't he?

There probably wasn't as much gratuitousness as Ishara had hoped for.
I do hope this one doesn't turn into the Big Baby Book. I think I'd prefer some more limestone.

1Powerslave
03-18-2011, 08:10 AM
Yes, there was that with Wolf, that was good. But I would've liked more danger. I mean, standing there with only a few throwing spears, and then a few cave lions are rushing you. I guess I just see myself there, totally unable to make a perfect spear throw, I would've been so dead. :)
But then she did convey that they only had two spears per lion to stop their rush. Had both missed... they wouldn't have time to throw another (except Ayla :D).


I also wouldn't want this one to turn into the Big Baby book. There are other much more interesting topics to explore. Will Ayla domesticate more animals? Will Danug make a journey to Zelandonii? Will Ayla hear or see Durc? Ayla mother vs. Zelandonia. Zelandonii vs. Clan, war?

Ishara
03-18-2011, 08:57 AM
I thought it was good - I'm glad you posted the link - thanks!

I have to say though, it just seems a bit...domesticated to me right now. Hopefully things pick up a bit!

Ishara
04-07-2011, 04:51 PM
Well, I picked it up yesterday. I'll let you all know!

yks 6nnetu hing
04-08-2011, 01:33 AM
Mine's ordered. It's arriving today or early next week. thing is, I'm still in the middle of my re-read (book 4 now) so it'll be a while until I can get started with this.

GonzoTheGreat
04-08-2011, 03:19 AM
I have all the others in paperback, so I'll have to wait a while before I can really start reading.

Ishara
04-14-2011, 06:46 AM
So...has anyone else read this yet? I feel the need to echange thoughts. I am not especially pleased...

Weird Harold
04-14-2011, 07:12 AM
So...has anyone else read this yet? I feel the need to echange thoughts. I am not especially pleased...
Looks like at least another week before my turn at a library copy.

I'm not expecting much literary excellence after finishing a re-read last month, but I've never read the series for the literary excellence. :D

yks 6nnetu hing
04-14-2011, 07:21 AM
I've still book 5 to go in my re-read...

Isabel
04-14-2011, 11:20 AM
Ishara: at the asoiaf forum there is a thread about it. Also not really full of pleased people.

Ishara
04-14-2011, 11:36 AM
LOL - how did someone put it this week? "I don't frequent that place."

Thanks Isa - I can wait to be unhappy about it here. ;) The mildly bad taste will linger, I'm sure.

jana
04-16-2011, 10:56 PM
This thread amuses me because my mom is reading the series and every time she talks about it she complains about the sex scenes (in a very scandalized voice).

1Powerslave
04-17-2011, 10:01 AM
I've read it now. There was waaay too many painted caves...

Loose ends tied up. Will Ayla become spiritual leader of the Zelandonii. How will Ayla and Jon deal with Mother festivals, a distance relationship. Where do children come from.

Loose ends, or at least possible plotlines, not touched. The Clan... I would've liked some Clan.

All in all I guess she did an okay job of it.
I did not like how Danug's huge appearance was glossed over. And I was quite upset with how Ayla could consider risking herself by taking the root again. I might be okay with her and Jon so easily thinking they are hopelessly lost, but NOT with Ayla abandoning her child.
And of course, there were too many painted caves. And too much mother song.

Weird Harold
05-05-2011, 04:23 PM
I've read it now. There was waaay too many painted caves...

I just finished the large print version from the library; it has 1248 pages and only about 248 of those were actually releveant to moving the story forward.

Too many painted caves -- or at least too much flashback and backstory recalled by the painted caves. I think I would have gotten a better sense of the actual caves from the reference book Ms Auel cited in the acknowledgements.

To many explicit reminders of the contents of the first five books. Once for each bit of backstory wouldn't have been bad, but it got old when every time someone was mentioned their back story had to be summarized -- Like I couldn't remember that Danug's father was as big as Danug and neither Ayla nor Jondalar had ever seen anyone bigger, or that Mandroman was missing his front two teeth because Jondalr went all Hulk on him in a jealous rage?

Too much Mother's Song, indeed. By the time the Mother's song became relevant to the plot I nearly missed it.

Finally, a very unsatisfactory ending to what is supposed the be the sixth and final book of the series. There are way too many loose ends left for the series to end where this book leaves it.

Given the increasing amount of redundant explication and treehugger propaganda as the series progressed, I'm not going to be terribly breathless about aniticipating another volume.

Ishara
05-06-2011, 11:43 AM
I'm not putting this in spoiler tags.

I was mostly not impressed, I have to be honest.

Things I liked:
- that the book took place over a span of years, similar to Clan of the Cave Bear
- that we got to see the relationship between Jondalar and Jonayla
- Marthona, I just like her
- seeing Dalanar and Joplaya and her son again and the discussion of "trading" kids for a while

Things I loved:
- Danug!

- and Barzec!

- Jonayla protecting the horses

- Ayla's snotty response to Jondalar when she catches him with Marona

- the one tour of the big cave, which I understood to be Chauvet. I went to the official website and tried to go from space to space like they did, and it was very helpful in understanding and appreciating the descriptions of the paintings

- the closure of the Ranec storyline. The mental image of him standing there desolate and heartbroken as she left stayed with me for a really long time, and I'm happy he's happy, and moreso, I'm happy he was big enough to want her to be happy too.

Things I didn't like:
- the resolution of the band of rapists

- the total overshadowing of the cross-continental trip of Danug and Barzec by the stupidness of all the emotional crap.

- that Latie never did find herself a horse. Made me a bit sad.

- the dumb song. Even *when* it was a plot point, I still skipped all of it, and went straight to the last four lines. Boring.

- the repeated trips through the damn caves with the damn moaning/ singing/ whistling/ roaring like a lion (like, really?!)

- Zelandonii - I have never liked her. I have never seen her acting for anyone else's best interest but her own. I feel that Auel never spent enough time proving or establishing that she was a positive force - she always felt vaguely malevolent, or at least, like a scientist observing things without taking direct positive action

Things I really, really didn't like:
- the clear shift from neutrally describing same-sex relationships, transgendered people and essentially anything not male-female or typical to a clear bias towards male-female bonding pairs and the outright loss of status associated with being in a relationship that was not male-female. I felt like Auel could have written speeches for the Religious Right.

- Jondalar's seeming inability to man the eff up and acknowledge his behaviour may have caused hurt. I don't even mean him acknowledging that he did something wrong, as he eventually got there, but use your words pal.

- Ayla's miscarriage. I resent the fact that everyone was so complacent about the "price" she paid when really it was a result of a self-absorbed zelandonii trying to impress people by putting in some sort of poisonous hallucinogen in with mint. That's just shitty behaviour.

- "He's making my baby! He's making my baby!"
Oh. My. God. Stupidly, ridiculously over the top.

Weird Harold
05-06-2011, 12:49 PM
I was mostly not impressed, I have to be honest.

Of the three of us who have commented, it seems to be a unanimous verdict: Unimpressive


Things I loved:
- Danug!

Especially him catching the two acolytes talking about him with sign language. :D

- Jonayla protecting the horses

Possibly the best scene in the book.

Things I didn't like:
- the resolution of the band of rapists

I thought that was fairly realistic, although I have my doubts about any stone-age society being so averse to killing clearly dangerous people.

- that Latie never did find herself a horse. Made me a bit sad.

I have always thought there was far too little done towards domestication of horses and dogs in the series.

- Zelandonii - I have never liked her. I have never seen her acting for anyone else's best interest but her own. I feel that Auel never spent enough time proving or establishing that she was a positive force - she always felt vaguely malevolent, or at least, like a scientist observing things without taking direct positive action

I think this is the only point where I disagree with you. Zelandonii is a complex character and there is a heavy dose of empire building to all of the Zelandoni, but the First is clearly one who resists the immediate urge to keep things secret just because they can be kept secret.

She's clearly a master manipulator and politician, but she's far less of a power-hungry character than someone like Madroman or the Zelandoni of the Fourteeth Cave -- both of whom bear some resemblance to Forsaken. :D

Things I outright hated:

The only thing I actually "hated," which is really far too strong a word, is the lack of closure in the ending. Far from closing threads, new threads were spun out, old threads were chased off into the wilds to brew trouble for later, and very old threads were simply ignored -- again.

Ishara
05-06-2011, 05:08 PM
Especially him catching the two acolytes talking about him with sign language. :D
Heh. Yes, that was super funny. I always loved Danug, and to see him all grown up and sassing the ladies was awesome.


I think this is the only point where I disagree with you. Zelandonii is a complex character and there is a heavy dose of empire building to all of the Zelandoni, but the First is clearly one who resists the immediate urge to keep things secret just because they can be kept secret.
She's clearly a master manipulator and politician, but she's far less of a power-hungry character than someone like Madroman or the Zelandoni of the Fourteeth Cave -- both of whom bear some resemblance to Forsaken. :D


Okay, I'll give you that. She's one of the only non-2-dimensional characters we have in the series (I'd say that Ayla and Willamar are 2 others). And she is manipulative without being power hungry. Part of the reason I don't like her is that she doesn't have clear priorities - I can't get a handle of what she wants. Shes not necessarily malicious, but she's also not inherently good. Madroman is boring in his hatred. I just don't like Zelandonii.

yks 6nnetu hing
06-02-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm about halfway through. Considering I JUST finished with a full re-read before starting this one, I've got to say I really don't get what there is to complain about nature-loving - that aspect of the books is pretty much the same here as in the previous books. I don't at all see what you mean about the negative description of gay people (unless you mean the Fifth... in which case so far it's more an individual personality thing rather than generalization), but maybe that's still coming up. I totally agree on Zelandoni being a complete and utter bitch.

I didn't like it in the previous books and I don't like it in this one: all the names. Man, it's difficult to remember who is this Prikeval and who's Proleva's youngest sister's mate's mother.

At the same time it doesn't really feel like it picked up where the previous book left off. She spent so much time with Brukeval's hatred of the Clan and with the kids of Lanidar's (the barma-maker) hearth and yet... they're barely mentioned in this book. although, I am only halfway, maybe they'll come up again.

sandoz12
06-03-2011, 12:07 AM
Is the sixth book worth persevering with? I haven't read too many comments to avoid spoilers.

Basically I loved books 1-4, thought 5 was ok. But I have got totally stuck on book 6. 15% of the way in but it just feels totally meh.

Is it worth continuing with? Does it get better?

I wonder if she should have wrapped the series with the fifth book. Or maybe its just that I have outgrown the series. Read books 1-4 when I was a teenager and now I find her whole writing very simplistic and am wondering if it was always like that and I just didn't notice when I was younger.

Weird Harold
06-03-2011, 12:38 AM
Basically I loved books 1-4, thought 5 was ok. But I have got totally stuck on book 6. 15% of the way in but it just feels totally meh.

Is it worth continuing with? Does it get better?

"Meh" seems to be the general rating. It doesn't get great, but it doesn't really get any worse either.

The biggest problem I had with reading it was the repetiveness of so many elements -- both withing this book and from the entire series.

sandoz12
06-03-2011, 01:02 AM
"Meh" seems to be the general rating. It doesn't get great, but it doesn't really get any worse either.

The biggest problem I had with reading it was the repetiveness of so many elements -- both withing this book and from the entire series.

Thanks for answering my question and that's exactly what I have found. I will probably put it aside till I have nothing else to read.

Yeah she made the series go to long. Basically it was only interesting when new cultures were being introduced. Once they got to Jondalaar's homeland and stayed there it became boring.

Plus like you say just sheer repetition becomes boring, for example the first couple of organised hunting trips are interesting but after that they just become boring. And by this stage of the series they have been done to death.

yks 6nnetu hing
06-08-2011, 07:01 AM
I think I figured it out: the main, the very main thing about Ayla is her medicine woman identity. That's what's been her core, her self-image in the first books more than any other element (Clan vs. Others, spirituality, hunting, being a mom and even her love of Jondalar) but in the last books... it's like the whole healing thing is taken away from her and instead she's almost forced into a nunnery... oops, sorry, the Zelandonii. All the emotion is sucked out, even the moment that could have been used to bring some drama and emotion back in (when Jonayla gets measles) is just glossed over. Quite sad, really :(

I won't even start on the unfeasibility of a monotheistic religious/spiritual system in primitive societies, it's getting rather annoying at this point.

Ishara
06-08-2011, 08:00 AM
Read books 1-4 when I was a teenager and now I find her whole writing very simplistic and am wondering if it was always like that and I just didn't notice when I was younger.
I think this.

I started the books when I was 10 and finished PoP when I was about 12 - and it was good writing at at a reasonably high level for that age. I just feel that the simplistic writing and the repetition as well as the blatant lack of character development hurts Auel as she goes through the series. Whoever said it was okay while they were busy travelling was right. It was a good storyline to showcase Auel's research skills while allowing us to gloss over characters and plot development because we never stayed in one place too long. Once they landed with the Zelandonii though, she needed to step up her game, and simply didn't.

yks, after you finished did you see what I meant about the shift in thinking re: homo/trans-sexual relationships? The Mammoth Hunters and PoP both featured non-traditional characters with no identifiable gender, as well as same-sex unions, some with children. I just found the definitive statements towards the end about unions to be way over the top. But I could have just started hating things in and around the "he's making my baby!" scenes...LOL

yks 6nnetu hing
06-08-2011, 09:42 AM
I think this.

I started the books when I was 10 and finished PoP when I was about 12 - and it was good writing at at a reasonably high level for that age. I just feel that the simplistic writing and the repetition as well as the blatant lack of character development hurts Auel as she goes through the series. Whoever said it was okay while they were busy travelling was right. It was a good storyline to showcase Auel's research skills while allowing us to gloss over characters and plot development because we never stayed in one place too long. Once they landed with the Zelandonii though, she needed to step up her game, and simply didn't.

yks, after you finished did you see what I meant about the shift in thinking re: homo/trans-sexual relationships? The Mammoth Hunters and PoP both featured non-traditional characters with no identifiable gender, as well as same-sex unions, some with children. I just found the definitive statements towards the end about unions to be way over the top. But I could have just started hating things in and around the "he's making my baby!" scenes...LOL

I haven't finished yet. Life's interfering. Also, before I started this book, I had JUST finished a complete re-read of the series and the writing style is actually degrading quite a bit in this one :(

Ishara
06-08-2011, 12:14 PM
I haven't finished yet. Life's interfering. Also, before I started this book, I had JUST finished a complete re-read of the series and the writing style is actually degrading quite a bit in this one :(

Stupid life. ;)

Good to know we're not imagining things about her writing degrading...it sort of makes you wonder how much editing her husband Ray (now dead) did for her.l She was always quick to give such praise and thanks...maybe that's why...

sandoz12
06-11-2011, 02:10 AM
Glad to hear everyone reporting similar experiences as I have. I have just left my book aside (figuratively speaking as it resides in my kindle).

Instead I have started the Song of Ice and Fire series (late I know but other than WoT and LoTR I never really liked fantasy) and am absolutely loving it. Wish I had started it far earlier. But please no spoilers. I am finding I have to be so careful on DM because people put spoilers in there without thinking.

Only problem is getting hooked on a new series when you have just started a new part-time job and also have large assignments due in the very near future isn't a good idea:)

yks 6nnetu hing
06-20-2011, 02:09 AM
yks, after you finished did you see what I meant about the shift in thinking re: homo/trans-sexual relationships? The Mammoth Hunters and PoP both featured non-traditional characters with no identifiable gender, as well as same-sex unions, some with children. I just found the definitive statements towards the end about unions to be way over the top. But I could have just started hating things in and around the "he's making my baby!" scenes...LOL

right. I finally finished it.

to answer your question, no I didn't perceive it as a shift against gay/transgender relationships (and I was paying particular attention, there's this one bit where they're discussing all the ramifications and Zelandonii says something to the effect that it's always nice to have a mate to take care of children and sometimes two women mate each other for example, in that case the child has two mothers. Something like that). I *did* find that there was a clear shift in the "people's minds" towards the traditional monogamous relationship though. And I got the impression that the main characters (= Auel herself?) didn't entirely approve.

I finally got to see what happened to Lanidar's family... but it was such an anticlimax considering that they'd not been mentioned for the whole damn book. Likewise so much time was spent cavorting around caves in the middle part of the book that when Folara was falling in love I had to pause and think "who's Folara?"

Speaking of caves, I found the end of the Big Cave really disappointing. I mean, Ayla goes in there all by herself - presumably to discover something about herself/the world and then when she gets to the end... nothing?

also, I kept being distracted by the horses. Aren't they getting old? doesn't Ayla/the Ninth Cave want to continue to breed/keep horses? if so, they ought to take a leaf out of Ayla's Gift of Knowledge book and get some horse-breeding thing going

I wasn't so put off by Jondalar's outburst, in fact I was surprised that he'd held together as long as he did, considering all the times his attack on Madroman was described. [tongue in cheek] I mean, srsly, doesn't he love Ayla as much or more than he loved Zolena? [/tongue in cheek] I really disliked Ayla's taking the blame for it though. I mean, yeah, she knew what she was doing would cause Jondalar pain but she is NOT responsible for Jondalar's actions. That line of thought was much too close to justifying domestic violence for my taste (although, as I might have mentioned before, I have overall a really hard time believing the kumbaya-society Auel has built where there's very little violence and everybody just loves everybody else. After all, there have been documented primitive societies living in the stone-age technological level who routinely had tribe wars and ate their enemies ritually).

edit: I just realized that the above came off really negative. I did overall find the book ok. some parts were slower to read than others, and the third section of the book was the best with regards to actual content and the style of writing felt more like the earlier books. I did like that most of the loose ends were tied up and finished :)