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Great Sky Woman (Great Sky Woman #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The epic story of how primitive humans, without words or machines, set in motion civilization’s long, winding journey to the present.

Thirty thousand years ago, in the heart of the African continent and in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, lived the Ibandi, who for generations nurtured their ancient traditions, and met survival’s daily struggle with quiet faith in their gods
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Del Rey (first published 2006)
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**edited 12/08/13

Great Sky Woman not only manages to completely avoid condescension and anachronism, but goes on to immerse its reader deep into the detailed world and complex culture that it creates.

...And that's all I'm going to post here. The rest of my (rather verbose) review is posted over here at Booklikes.

Why? Because I disapprove of GoodReads' new policy of censorship, I will no longer post full reviews here.

Whilst I found myself ultimately disappointed by Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series, it has set me off on a quest for good Palaeolithic fiction. I’ve read a little of Steven Barnes before, some of his sci-fi, so I went for this book at least already knowing the quality of writing I’d be getting, if not the actual story. My feelings upon finishing it are that I like it, but I don’t love it.

One of the high points has to be Barnes’ description of the environment in which the characters are moving.
Jessica Snyder
(My review)

"If you like Auel, you'll love Barnes"
I found this book mentioned in a review of one of the books from Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series. I can't remember which book, or which reviewer, but I wish I could, to send a hearty "Thank You!" If you like the prehistoric genre that Auel basically started, but you'd like to read something less mind-numbingly repetitive, with more attention paid to plot and character than to textbook descriptions of flora, fauna, and geological
This book was amazing. Wonderfully unpredictable and engrossing, It had a little bit of everything: love, tribal conflict, coming of age, ancient spirituality, betrayal, ambition, joy, strife. I found myself not wanting to put it down at bedtime, and that's always a good sign.

The author did a wonderful job of taking me deep into the fantasy of a lifetime so long ago. I found myself completely vested in the experience, egging on certain characters while screaming (inside) at others. There was so
Tananarive Due
Set 30,000 years ago, this is a magical coming-of-age journey set at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Deby Fredericks
Steven Barnes explores African tribal life through the mechanism of an alternate history where two young people struggle to understand their rare spiritual gifts amid an ancient and unchanging society that is about to face great upheaval. I liked it and hope to find the next volume soon.
Tried listening to the audio book and didn't get too far. It started out slowly and I had a hard time staying engaged.
May 12, 2012 Pilouetta rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pilouetta by: elisa
i enjoyed barnes' exploration of a culture more primitive, though it is clear that he is using the practices of actual and extinct tribal peoples. he sets this type of culture in a narrative of superstition, mystical power, and fantasy. barnes is an acute historian, wonderful storyteller, but most importantly, he writes interesting characters, so that even though fantasy writing isn't my main read, i can help but read it voraciously when the author is staven barnes.
Erin M.
This I found very entertaining. I chewed through this book over two days, and just couldn't put it down!

The author had an excellent understanding of his setting and characters, and must have done an admirable amount of research to create a story this convincing. I particularly enjoyed his portrayal of the spiritual aspects of the people and the meanderings of their daily lives.
Dec 19, 2007 Beth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adult Fiction Readers
I've gone through this book like a hot knife through butter. It's an excellent, fast read with well drawn characters. I'm really enjoying it! The fact that the author is an African American scifi writer is also a plus--there are very few of them. This is one of the best and most entertaining books I have read in a very long time.
Karen Cowgill
Very good book, a little sad in spots.
MeiLin Miranda
Completely believable and written in a crisp, immediate style that places the reader in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and the footsteps of all our ancestors, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Terrific. Simply terrific.
What I liked most were the details of the physical environment, the appropriateness of the names and how each one had a place in the story, the use of the herbs and plants, and the growth and development of the main characters.
Oct 05, 2008 Nusaybah rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nusaybah by: I have read this author's work before.
Reasonably paced, excellent brain candy in the realm of alternative, historical fiction. I put the other two books I am reading on hold until I finish this much lighter read.
Alex Akira
I love Steven's books, for the most part,but for some reason I could not get into this one.
Sorry Steven.
Variation on Clan of the Cave bear. I wasn't riveted, but I don't need that when I'm doing repetitive work.
Ken Graham
I feel like Steven Barnes was at the height of his storytelling powers with this one.
Dec 18, 2007 Tia marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
A friend just added this to her list and the description totally got me!
It was a little slow for my taste, but not bad. Relaxing read.
Shirley Port
Found the book very interesting. An easy read
Read from 5/17 to 5/20.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Cushing
Daniel Cushing marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2015
Beiza added it
Oct 30, 2015
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Oct 27, 2015
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Oct 26, 2015
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Steven Barnes (born March 1, 1952, Los Angeles, California) is an African American science fiction writer, lecturer, creative consultant, and human performance technician. He has written several episodes of The Outer Limits and Baywatch, as well as the Stargate SG-1 episode "Brief Candle" and the Andromeda episode "The Sum of its Parts". Barnes' first published piece of fiction, the novelette The ...more
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Great Sky Woman (2 books)
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