I'm not going to beat around the bush, here. This is a TERRIBLEL book. The only reason I muddled through it is because I read the rest of the series aI'm not going to beat around the bush, here. This is a TERRIBLEL book. The only reason I muddled through it is because I read the rest of the series and have a small obsession with finishing them once I've started. Most series I read, however, do not end this badly. I now feel as though this was a complete waste of my time (I could probably have guessed it would be since I was completly bored by page 35, but such is life. Live and learn).
So here in a nutshell are all the things I've learned from reading this book: 1) Jean Auel likes caves--a lot.Me? Not so much. 2) Her editor on her previous novels has died. Which, if you missed that little bit of information in the foreward, becomes abundantly clear once you are actually reading. (In fact, you can almost see the deterioration of the editors health as the quality of writing starts off great in the first novel and then slowly goes downhill in the later stories). 3) Ms. Auel no longer actually cares about/enjoys her characters, if she did, this book would have been much more interesting (NOTE TO AUTHORS: if you do not like your characters, the rest of us won't either).
I must say the characters seemed one-dimensional, and the conversations were stilted throughout the book. The entire book could really have been written and condensed into Part 1. As it is, this novel is filled with repetition. How many times must we wander the countryside with Ayla as she looks at one cave, then another?? How many times must we listen to characters introduce themselves to each other, which requires a paragraph per person??? The first 2/3 of the book was nothing but this. The last 1/3 finally had action, but even that was not very exciting. I just feel that so much more could have been done with this novel, there could have been a much greater conclusion to this epic series. As it is, this final installment is nowhere near "epic." Why could we not have summed all this up into Part 1, and then used the rest of the book to witness Ayla becoming the First?? Why could we not have experienced Ayla and Jondalar having a son, watching that son grow to manhood and meet his brother Durc??? Sigh.
As to my earlier comments, I would like to point out that, as a writer, if you actually like your characters, and are invested in them, one would not think it would take 9 YEARS to write this. Ms. Auel spent 9 YEARS of research so we could wander round and round in circles with Ayla on her Zelandonii journey?? I wish this writer could remember that, while research is a good thing, this is a NOVEL. It is FICTION. We are not reading this as a requirement for anthropology. We just want a good story, and in a good story, there is room for fictional license. Perhaps if there was less time spent researching, and more time imagining, this would have turned out to be a better conculsion.
All in all, I am very disappointed in this book, and have conflicting feelings regarding the ending: part of me thinks, well, maybe there could be another as this just feels incomplete. The other part of me thinks: dear god, just let it be done. Stop the torture. The woman obviously has no interest in turning out quality work any longer. Again, big, big, sigh....more
Have you ever been wandering through flea markets or antique stores only to come upon a stack of old black and white photos and wondered who exactly tHave you ever been wandering through flea markets or antique stores only to come upon a stack of old black and white photos and wondered who exactly these people were and what were their stories? If so, this is the book for you. Ransom Riggs has created a story around the people in those photos, those "peculiar" children. This book is a great start to a new series! Revolving around the story of a teenager named Jacob, who, upon the death of his grandfather, finds out that there was more to the man than anyone knew or suspected. Trying to piece together his grandfather's life, Jacob discovers a home for peculiar children, and learns that his grandfathers fairy tales of children with special powers and the monsters who pursue them, are very, very real. If you are a fan of suspense, mystery, and the paranormal, this is a book you will truly enjoy!...more