Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children, #5)” as Want to Read:
The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children #5)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  27,382 ratings  ·  834 reviews
The Shelters of Stone opens as Ayla and Jondalar, along with their animal friends, Wolf, Whinney, and Racer, complete their epic journey across Europe and are greeted by Jondalar’s people: the Zelandonii. The people of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii fascinate Ayla. Their clothes, customs, artifacts, even their homes—formed in great cliffs of vertical limestone—are a sour...more
Mass Market Paperback, 800 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Shelters of Stone, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Tina The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children #6) was the last book in the Earth's Children series & it was published in 2011.
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. AuelThe Valley of Horses by Jean M. AuelThe Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. AuelThe Plains of Passage by Jean M. AuelThe Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel
Best Pre-History Fiction
5th out of 145 books — 210 voters
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
319th out of 4,239 books — 17,707 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Crystal Starr Light
A Prehistoric Clip Show

Okay, guys, that was really funny. Switching the novel with this fan fiction? Brilliant joke! You got me. Now, where's the real novel?

...

Uh...THIS is the novel?



Summary: Ayla and Jondalar return to his home. Everyone loves Ayla; Ayla and Jondalar tie the knot; Ayla gives birth to the hellspawn and somehow her name sounds better than Twilight's Renesmee--but only just barely.

Oh, yeah, and EVERY SINGLE STORY FROM THE LAST BOOK IS REPRINTED. So don't bother even READING the pr...more
Beth
Total Crap. Enough of "Pleasures" and discriptive scenes of ice age Europe. Some new information and a plot would have been great. The series has gone from one of my favorite books (Clan of the Cave Bear) to something I almost didn't finish. The series started crashing with "Plains of Passage" where Jondalar and Ayla "Pleasured" themselves across the continent while righing wrongs, curing injustice and improving life styles in their spare time. "Shelter" just bombed. Can't remember a single scen...more
Ani
Aug 01, 2007 Ani rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: only those people who have read the first four and are really committed to this series
I can't believe we had to wait 12 years for this book. It is a far cry from The Clan of the Cave Bear, which was captivating in its detail and character development. This book is in sore need of an editor. There is too much detailed description, and the pace moves incredibly slowly. Ayla is too perfect of a character, and the characters who don't like her are inevitably drunks or jealous bitches.

I feel really committed to this series, since I really loved the first two books, and liked books 3...more
Kara Millman
Utter crap. Pretend the series ended with Plains of Passage and Ayla and Jondalar had a baby and lived happily ever after.
Ally
Sep 19, 2011 Ally rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of redundancy and detail
Auel has written a beautiful saga about prehistoric man, and if I weren't so attached to her characters and their fate, I would have chucked this book long ago. Sadly, this is the worst of the five--mainly because it lacks plot and interest. Auel spends 200 pages on their first day with the Zelandoni, about 600 on the first month or so, then suddenly the last months whizz by in, maybe, 100 pages. She is redundant not only from her previous books, but within the book itself. She makes the same de...more
Danielle
I couldn't wait for this book to end. Repetitive repetitive repetitive. Auel uses the same phrases and descriptions so many times throughout all five books that it drove me batty. How many formal introductions of the same characters do there have to be? How many times do you have to tell the story of how Ayla acquired her animals, found Jondalar, was raised by flatheads, etc. etc. etc. Did Auel really need to write out the really long mother song multiple times??? And the thing that drove me ins...more
Hannah
...hindsight being 20/20, I would have wished that Auel had spent an ADDITIONAL 12 years revising this book and gotten a better editor instead of dumping this horrible parody of our beloved Ayla on her fan kingdom. Not even a brief "thank you for your patience" on her dedication page to all of us who put her financial portfolio in the stratosphere these 20+ years.
It apprears she took her loyal readers for granted in a big way. It's obvious from the writing that she doesn't care about her charac...more
Kim Bui
I would have liked to like this one more since I waited so long for it, but it seems as if the author just get lazier each book. The research is amazing, but the plot, the characters, all of that fails more with each book.
Mike
This is book 5 in a series I have been following since high school. The first was Clan Of The Cave Bear, followed by Valley Of The Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, Plains Of Passage, and now The Shelters Of Stone. In Clan Of The Cave Bear, I got hooked on the story of the main character, named Ayla. The books are set in prehistoric eras when people were still hunting with spears, living in caves and dodging mammoths on the way home. (what's the dark stuff between a mammoth's toe nails? Slow cavemen....more
Emily Lakdawalla
Oct 03, 2007 Emily Lakdawalla rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only to people who are devoted to the series
This book is not worth reading unless you fell in love with Ayla in Clan of the Cave Bear and Valley of the Horses and are desperate to find out how her story continues. Each installment in this series is weighted down with the retelling of all of the previous books in the series, plus all the description that Jean Auel heaps into her books, to the point that this monster advances Ayla's story by barely a year. Typically, the description of technology, biology, and landscape in the Earth's Child...more
Malcolm
Oct 05, 2008 Malcolm rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a good story and with an interest in prehistory
This book took me longer to read that the previous four books - not because it wasn't interesting to read. Rather, I didn't want the book to end. Certainly, this book has some "fill" that could have be cut but it doesn't distract from what is overall, a great read. Ayla and Jondalar cross a great glacier dividing northern Europe to return to Jondalars people who live in natural spacious stone caves. Ayla is accepted by his people, well most of them. Of course, there are a few flies in the ointm...more
Shannon
What I find most amazing about this book is that Ayla somehow is managing to invent everything known to modern man. Fire, domesticated horses, dogs as pets, baby food, etc...you name it, and the perfect Ayla is doing it. It's too incredible to make the book seem real. And she's too perfect to make her seem like a real character.

Not to mention, I am bored by the pages and pages of descriptive text about every plant, animal and cave dwelling Ayla comes across. WHERE IS THE PLOT!!?!?!??!

I am more...more
Junkie for the Written Word
I ran out of books and my husband had bought this because he has a stronger constitution than I.

I will save you the trouble of reading the whole book, here's the condensed version:

Jondalar finally returns home to the Zelandonii, with Ayla at his side. Ayla is introduced to his family and friends and as she gets to know them they love her as much as every other soul on the planet does. Except, of course, the white trash and those ladies who want more of Jondalar's jondalar*. Although very annoyi...more
Iset
May 13, 2014 Iset rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with severe insomnia
Recommended to Iset by: No one

After finishing the doorstop "Plains of Passage" I was not looking forwards to reading this latest book in the saga (apparently there is one more to come but not yet published). Part of me was sort of hoping that it would be better than "Plains of Passage" and "The Mammoth Hunters", because finally Ayla and Jondalar have reached the place that was their goal since three books ago, and finally we might get a somewhat meatier plot. Unfortunately, it was trouble from the moment I read the Acknowled...more
Elizabeth Reuter
After reading and liking Clan of the Cave Bear as a kid, all the vitriol against Auel's Shelters of Stone surprised me, and made me curious despite never having read the volumes in-between.

While I agree with some criticisms, they don't spoil the book in my opinion. Ayla and Jondalar have silly scenes in and out of the sack, but they take up little page time. The story is slow, but doesn't drag so much as meander; Ayla learns about a new culture and meets new people, so the plot is character-base...more
Rebecca Radnor
Having read the whole series.... book 1 ROCKED, book 2 was not bad... book 3 was cheesy.... book 4 was a bore, book 5 however seems to be getting back on track and is on par with book 2. Ms. Auel has this nasty habit of repeating everything so much that you have the feeling its to compensate for lack of inspiration. Lady, if we've gotten to book 5 all we need is a reminder (think flat heads) you don't have to tell us everything all over again, and DEFINITELY not more than once per book. That and...more
Stephanie
First read April 2009.
Sometimes you just need some caveman politics, cultural studies, and soft-core porn to comfort you in rough times. Or at least I do. (Also? This book was the fifth in a buy-four-get-one-free at the library book sale.)

Rereading February 2011 in anticipation of the last book in the series coming out this spring.

This book does not need to be 800+ pages long! If only Auel didn't have Ayla tell and re-tell the same stories every time she meets a new character - stories that read...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Sandra Burr

NOTE – if you have NOT read at least the first three books in the Earth’s Children series, this review might be considered a spoiler.

Book number five in the Earth’s Children series continues the adventures of Ayla and Jondalar. They have finally arrived back at Jondalar’s home, the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii. The people of the Ninth Cave readily welcome Jondalar back from his five-year journey, and they even welcome his foreign companion. Ayla controls animal...more
Chantal Boudreau
I debated writing this review. I loved the first three books in the Earth’s Children series, and I was quite fond of the fourth book, but I honestly had mixed feelings about this book, the fifth in the series. Jean Auel’s characters are lovable and interesting, as always, and I can appreciate the amount of research that went into the story, as well as her vivid descriptions, but there were also entire sections of the book that I struggled to get through (the first couple of chapters filled with...more
Corrie
Let me first say that I read the earlier books of this series approximately 20 years ago. I remember really enjoying them. At that time, at least to me, they were very original and exciting. The only complaint I had was that Ayla was such an 'amazing' woman, that it wouldn't have shocked me if the author had her invent electricity, the automobile and the computer since she invented everything else known to mankind.

However, reading this book now really made me wonder if they were as good as I tho...more
~M~
I'm torn about this book. I was very interested to see the Zelandonii through Ayla's eyes. I was excited to learn about a new prehistoric culture. I was happy Ayla and Jondalar resolved their "issues." I was interested to see if Jondalar's people would accept Ayla and how they would react to her story.

I was really happy to get through The Plains of Passage, which I found intensely boring. I was ready for the next adventure!

All that is in the book but... blah. It fell flat. There is no dramatic t...more
Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stef
Meh. What can I say. The series certainly continued on a horrible downward spiral. But why oh why did I read all of it? It couldn;t have been simply compulsion to finish.. And why do I find myself thinking about the story and the setting so much, could it have been because I have read nearly 3,000 pages of it over two months of my life? Hmmm, perhaps I liked it a little bit, if only for the familiarity of characters i have gotten to know (and hate!) so well. I wouldnt recommend anyone to begin t...more
Tara
Drivel. Reads like a hastily filled in outline, thrown together during National Novel Writing Month, complete with shameless word padding. It's as if a completely different author took over.
Delicious Strawberry
The main flaw in this book (and the last couple of them as well) is the repetition. Ms. Auel is a good author who can illustrate a scene vividly, but her downfall is that she repeats herself so much.

I kept reading about how amazed people were at Ayla and Wolf and the horses. It happened like ten times. Enough is enough. Yeah, we get the idea. There's also how often people think Ayla is so hot or smart or amazing or whatever. Even Marona, despite her hatred for Ayla, is jealous because Ayla is so...more
Starfire
On the plus side: research. So. Much. Research. Some of which was theory that has since been superseded. Also, worldbuilding. Of which there is much, and it's (for the most part) internally consistent.

On the minus? Repetition. So. Much. Repetition. Different characters thinking EXACTLY the same thing. In EXACTLY the same words. Paragraphs worth of repeated description. Repeated exposition. Repeated dialogue. Repeated repetition. Gahhhhhh!

Add to that the constant POV changes between paragraphs, t...more
Ronda
Jun 24, 2009 Ronda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a great book in the series.

We got to learn more about the herbs and thier uses, we got to travel more and meet many new and interesting people with different cultures.

I've enjoyed riding along on the Ayla and Jondular train, I find myself always rooting for them!

Only bad thing about this book is knowing the author has left us fans hanging for too many years now to finally get to read the final conclusion of the series.

Hopefully Jean M Auel will do right by Ayla, Jondular and her fans wh...more
Heather
This book was really such a let down. I'm not sure how I got through the nearly 900 pages of text except by skimming or skipping large portions of landscape description and repetition of information already shared. The book could have dropped 200 pages easily, however, since I mostly skipped that, it's not what bothered me most. The book had no actual climax whatsoever. The plot progressed at the same speed the entire book, which originally seemed to indicate something important would happen lat...more
Sandra
If you enjoy books that recreate a time and place with painstaking detail, The Shelters of Stone delivers. However, I like a plot -- it doesn't have to be fast-paced, but there should be some tension. There isn't any in this book. We know Ayla will become a leader of her clan. We know the problems in the marriage will be resolved. Basically, this is a sociological report on the customs of a long-ago people using fictional characters that fail to come to life in this fifth and hopefully final boo...more
Joy
Oh man am I glad to be done with that! I will not be reading #6, and the last in this series! Jean M. Auel definitely needs to retire.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Is the 6th book even worth reading? 35 230 Aug 14, 2014 07:08PM  
The Shelters of Stone 9 52 Feb 26, 2013 03:37PM  
  • People of the Earth (North America's Forgotten Past, #3)
  • Voice of the Eagle (Kwani, #2)
  • Forbidden Land (The First Americans, #3)
  • My Sister the Moon
861
Jean M. Auel, née Jean Marie Untinen is an American writer. She is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. Her books have sold 34 million copies world-wide in many translations.

Author Jean Marie Auel (surname pronounced like "owl") is the second of five children of...more
More about Jean M. Auel...
The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1) The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2) The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children, #3) The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children, #4) The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, #6)

Share This Book