Crystal Starr Light's Reviews > Valley of Horses, The

Valley of Horses, The by Jean M. Auel
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Feb 01, 12

bookshelves: historical, anachronistic-heroine, audiobook, banned-books
Read from January 15 to February 01, 2012

I've never seen a series take such a downturn so fast!

When we last saw Ayla in The Clan of the Cave Bear, she had been banished, sentenced to death by the clan leader, Broud, who hated her. The Valley of the Horses takes place immediately after, as Ayla begins to wander the steppes in pursuit of her people. Eventually, she settles in a valley populated with horses. While she is there, she befriends a horse and ekes out a living.

Oh.

My.

God.

I don't think I've ever seen a series shoot itself in the foot so early on. I've seen series suffer burnout, the author tossing up his or her hands and saying "I just don't give a damn anymore", but usually this occurs, oh, say, six books in the series after he or she has drug the main characters all over the universe to death and back again. At this point, I figure the author is thinking, "Looks like I can't write anything but another teenaged emosparklyvampire series, might as well milk this one as best as I can before I hit the unemployment line". (I know Frank L. Baum of the Oz series would agree with me if he were alive.)

The Valley of the Horses should be the sixth book in the series by that reckoning. The amount of WTF in this book is near critical levels. Characters bounce all over the place, problems that were hinted at in the first book appear here 10X worse, and generally the story stops being about the person I became invested in: it stopped being about Ayla.

Now, that's not to say there aren't good parts. Sure, you might need a electron microscope in order to find them, but they are still there. The Ayla sections of the first half are excellent, exactly what we've come to expect and love from The Clan of the Cave Bear. Ayla journeys across the steppes, Ayla must try to fend for herself, to find food and clothing and shelter. Sure, she has started accumulating a rather eye-brow raising list of inventions (the calendar, horseback riding, animal domestication, flint, reproduction--did you know it was Broud's organ that created her son, Durk?), but you know what? Even that I could buy. She is by herself, she must invent or die. She loves animals and has been tending them since she was a child, so it isn't unexpected for her to continue this into her adulthood. The calendar thing is also hinted at back in the first book, when Ayla peppers Creb with questions about days and counting. Yes, Ayla is getting close to Mary Sue territory, but this is her story. I'll believe it.

UNTIL Auel adds Jondalar. Who is Jondalar? Let me introduce you to him:

Meet Jondalar:



Jondalar is the most attractive, strong, intelligent, sexy, wonderful, skilled, muscular, thoughtful, generous, kind man you will EVER meet. He is MINDBLOWING in the sack (but WATCH OUT! Most women can't take it ALL *eyebrow wiggle* if you know what I mean!). His blue eyes are enough to make the cave panties wet. He is the BEST toolmaker EVER (and NO, I do NOT mean that kind of tool!). HE LOVE SO MUCH AND SO HARD THAT NO ONE CAN ENDURE IT. Jondalar is freakin' God incarnate.

And THAT is the beginning of what kills the story. THAT is what makes this book, which could have been interesting, absolutely dreadful. Because once Jondalar walks onto the set, the story ceases to be about Ayla and instead becomes about Jondalar.

(Hey, I don't know if I've mentioned it...did you know that Broud's organ created Durk? The Clan believed it was a battle between totems, but Ayla is pretty sure it's a man's organ that creates babies.)

I don't mind Ayla finding companionship. I don't mind her finding love. I DO mind it when the whole story's emphasis is on a man we've only just met and have no real reason to like. I NEVER liked Jondalar. EVER. The author tries to sell me on how wonderful he is by having EVERYONE gush about him (and trust me, EVERYONE does), but I went into convulsions every time I had to hear all the "wonderful" things about this tool. And *this* is the man Ayla ends up with? I would ask for an exchange!

So while Ayla is busy trying to survive, I get stuck listening to Jondalar and his doofus brother doing stupid and pointless things on their spiritual journey. I get to hear a bajillion arguments the two of them have about where they should go ("No, Jondalar, let's go to the mountains!" "No, Thonalan, we should head to the river!" "Let's stay with these people!" "No, we need to move on!"), how awesome Jondalar is, and how much they want to bonk women. Oh, and as if the latter weren't enough, I get TWO fairly graphic sex scenes of Jondalar with some chick on her First Rites and Serenio (or some other woman whose purpose was only to provide another sex scene to show Jondalar's Mad Skilz in the cave bedroom) and Thonalan falls into insta-lust with some woman whom he can't even converse with for several pages.

(BTW, I have to mention it, but there is a horse sex scene in this book. Yes, a horse sex scene. And it turns Ayla on. And Ayla, being so bright and intelligent, doesn't know WHY she feels all horny-like.)

None of this ends up mattering because a plot contrivance sends Thonalan and Jondalar back into the wild and completely negating the last billion pages Caveman Time Wasting. Thonalan is an idiot and tries to chase after some meat that a cave lion stole (REALLY!?!?!) and is killed. Ayla comes to the rescue and FINALLY, FINALLY after nearly 3/4 of the book, Ayla and Jondalar meet.

At this point, I was actually pumped. FINALLY, there was a point to Jondalar! Finally, we would get around to what has been alluded to since the first book. But NO! Instead, now we get hastily contrived resolutions to the language barrier (Creb comes to Ayla in a dream and POW! she speaks Jondalar's language!), Jondalar getting a hard on nearly every other time he sees Ayla (along with groin pains, which tells me he needs to see someone about his urinary tract infection), Ayla wanting Jondalar to sex her up, but Jondalar not doing so because he thinks she is in healing training. Or something. Oh, yeah, and also during this whole time, Jondalar hardly talks about his dead brother and when he finds out it was Ayla's cave lion that killed Thonalan (and she chased the cave lion away), he is like, "Wow, you must be a spirit to have such control over animals".

(Did you know that Broud's organ created Durk? Ayla isn't totally sure, but she thinks it is a man's organ that makes a baby, not a fight between totems.)

When the two FINALLY talk it over, Jondalar initially can't get past his "Ew, she had sex with a flathead! Flathead cooties!" But this doesn't last too long...Ayla is the PERFECT woman, with the perfect breasts, perfect lips, perfect hair, perfect ba-donka-donk. Jondalar is pretty sure we wouldn't remember this or figure it out for ourselves, so he makes sure to remind us. OFTEN.



After a few more sex scenes that get repetitive to the max (which is NUTS, yes, there have been about 6 in this book, but I wouldn't think the sex would get repetitive THAT fast), Jondalar says he is going away...and a dream changes his mind. He declares his TWOO LURVE to Ayla, and Ayla reciprocates. They talk endlessly about wanting to pleasure each other, Ayla suddenly learns how to deep throat, and the book ends with a hint about meeting the Mammoth Hunters.

The Clan of the Cave Bear was unique, interesting, and captivating. The characters were well created, the story was fantastic, the setting filled with great details (although at times, these got to be a little excessive). It's become one of my favorite books.

THIS book, however, is a disgrace. It took all the things I loved about The Clan of the Cave Bear, set them on fire, and chucked them over a cliff. The characters become obnoxious, the story becomes a standard, not well-written or interesting romance, research is presented for the sake of research, and sex replaces good character moments and character growth. The best parts of this book are the Ayla chapters in the first half. They are solid, well-constructed and bear the most similarity to the first book. Once Jondalar enters the story full-time, the story's quality drops drastically.

Normally, I would give up on this series right here, but I have a death wish. This book has, oddly enough, been a delight to listen to, mostly because of the heaps of WTFery in it. Therefore, I am going to continue my journey with The Mammoth Hunters and keep my fingers crossed that it is better (and secretly hope it is not!).

ADDENDUM: I've rated this three stars, mostly because I want to see how "The Mammoth Hunters" is before putting a solid rating in place...and YOU thought I was going to take this time and tell you how it was Broud's organ that created Durk! HAH!
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Reading Progress

01/15/2012 "I wonder how far I will make it into this series before I have to quit?"
01/16/2012
2.0% "Normally, I take a break between series (like with Gabaldon's Outlander series), but with this book, I just couldn't!"
01/16/2012
5.0% "And enter Jondalar...somehow, already, I am thinking of Barbie and Ken!! (Thanks to Misfit for bringing that image to mind from her "Land of the Painted Caves" review!)"
01/18/2012
7.0% "Jondalar's people are very...horny?" 8 comments
01/18/2012
9.0% "I find I like Ayla's section way more than Jondalar"
01/20/2012
17.0% "Ohhhhkay. Was TOTALLY NOT expecting a fairly graphic sex scene this early in the book. VERY UNCOMFORTABLE listening to this on the plane :P" 2 comments
01/24/2012
19.0% "Geesh...seems like all Jondalar and Thonalan do are argue about what to do next ("Let's go to the mountains!" "No, we should stay here and settle for the winter!") or talk about humping girls. Boring, boring, boring!" 8 comments
01/24/2012
21.0% "As I read through this book, I have to wonder: does Ayla sign in her head to "think"? If she read, would she sign in her head (like some people read "aloud" when they are privately reading)? Where did all these vocal sounds come from? Last book, I got the impression that very little was communicated vocally."
01/25/2012
24.0% "Now that was a bummer...there was a perfect chance for the Jondalar story to intertwine with Ayla's. Guess I have to wait a bit longer until there is a point to reading Jondalar's misadventures :P" 1 comment
01/25/2012
25.0% "Um, Jondalar? Did you forget that your brother is dying from being gouged by a rhino? Why are you complementing girl's smiles and running around without pants??" 5 comments
01/25/2012
27.0% "*sarcasm mode initiated* I am SO glad Auel included this trip to visit the River people. My life would not have been complete without Jondalar and bro meeting these people and having Thonalan falling into insta-lust with what's-her-name. I guess men would like a woman like her--she can't speak the same language!!"
01/26/2012
32.0% "I need to start keeping a list of all the inventions and discoveries Ayla's made. Reproduction (which I don't understand why the mystery--is it my modern mind?), flint to make fires, domestication of horses, horseback riding, and using horses for pack animals." 2 comments
01/26/2012
34.0% "*groan* Back to Jondalar and Thonalan. By the way things are going, we're going to have a Cave Man wedding. woooo, so excited, not."
01/26/2012
37.0% "Cave Man wedding. I'd like to uninvite myself, honestly. Maybe if Auel stuck to writing these guys a bit more like she writes Ayla and a little less about pains in Jondalar's groin (does this guy have a urinary tract infection?!?) or Jondalar making love, I'd be a happier camper." 2 comments
01/27/2012
40.0% "If I have to hear one more gushing monologue about how awesome, sexy, wonderful, skilled, amazing in bed, muscular, strong, thoughtful, kind, generous, gentle, and godlike Jondalar is, I am going to... *barf* ... too late :P" 3 comments
01/27/2012
41.0% "Jondalar Sex Scene #2. Why do the sex scenes always seem to occur when I am in an airplane or at work???"
01/30/2012
45.0% "If I could be sure that every other chapter was a Jondalar chapter, I would totally skip them and focus on the Ayla chapters. HOWEVER, I am dying to know how these two finally meet (I can't believe I am this far through the book and they STILL haven't met!)."
01/30/2012
48.0% "Horse Sex Scene #1. Never thought I'd type that. Adding to the list of Ayla's inventions: the calendar!"
01/30/2012
51.0% "Complement Time: *grumbles* The question of what measure a human is, the difference between "Flat Heads" and the Others is very interesting. I may not like Jondalar, but I do like his questioning of what makes a human different from an animal."
01/30/2012
57.0% "Well, THAT was a big waste of time...why spend so much time with the River people just to have them leave??? Oh, wait...we had to have all these people talk about how ZOMG!1!!AWESOME Jondalar was. Nevermind." 6 comments
01/30/2012
58.0% "wow i totally didnt expect serenio and jondalar not to mate...and by mate i don't mean "have big, sweaty, mindblowing, wowowowowowow sex"...it is so devastating...i am so sad...poor jondalar i just wonder if he will EVER find a woman to love that is as awesome and wonderful as he is????" 2 comments
01/30/2012
63.0% "OMG OMG OMG!! Ayla and Jondalar are about to meet! ABOUT FRAKKIN' TIME!!! I've been waiting since Jondalar's first boring chapter for this to happen, for Jondalar's existence to make any sense and relevance. And to make things better...they meet while Thonalan is being an idiot."
01/30/2012
66.0% "I think we have the first nurse-patient romance...Ayla might be wondering why she feels the need to keep Jondalar alive, but the rest of us know: it's because that's what the book has been driving at since page 1."
01/30/2012
67.0% "I don't know if I can type this...Jondalar holds back emotionally because *eye twitch* because he loves too much and no one can take the Love of Jondalar AHHHHHH *brain explodes*" 16 comments
01/31/2012
69.0% "Did you know it was Broud's organ that made Dirk? Did you know it was the stallion's organ that made Whinny's baby? I wasn't sure if you got it the first 18 hundred times it was mentioned, so I thought I'd remind you." 4 comments
01/31/2012
69.0% "OMG, we went from Ayla learning a few words to Ayla being able to converse in choppy sentences. WTF? How many days have passed in this cave???"
01/31/2012
71.0% "Great...went from describing all the wonderful characteristics of Jondalar to describing all the wonderful physical attributes of Ayla--from hair and lips to buttocks and breasts...and of course, Jondalar wants to touchie. Why do I always have to be at work during these parts? I just hope no one drops by and asks what I am listening to..." 7 comments
01/31/2012
73.0% "Uh, Jondalar? You do remember your brother is dead right? Just thought I would remind you. You act like your beloved brother has never even existed. Anytime you want to stop staring at Ayla's ass and mourn would be great." 2 comments
01/31/2012
76.0% "And this is the part of the book where the author said, "F- it, I don't want to write anymore scenes where Ayla is learning to speak. It's too boring. I haven't had Jondalar jump anything in a whole 20 pages, and I haven't gone into the migration patterns and fecal composition of mammoths. I'll write a dream sequence and suddenly Ayla will remember how to speak from her childhood" *facepalm*"
01/31/2012
78.0% "So they FINALLY reveal the Big Misunderstanding because of the Language Barrier and Culture Shock: BOTH Ayla and Jondalar have been wanting to jump each other like bunnies. And Jondalar gets time for a little speech about women's rights. In prehistoric times. Excuse me while I try to keep a straight face." 9 comments
01/31/2012
83.0% "After the wild antics of the last few hours, this is rather boring and prosaic. Typical boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy puts foot in mouth around girl, boy tries to suck up to girl to get into her cave panties." 1 comment
01/31/2012
85.0% "Oh, great, Ayla's talking about Aunt Flo with Jondalar. Awkward!!"
01/31/2012
87.0% "Oh, so NOW you want to mourn after Thonalan. After spending nth pages eyeballing Ayla's ass and wanting to make whoopee. Sorry, bubba, but that just doesn't work for me. You don't remember to mourn your brother until who knows HOW many months pass??"
01/31/2012
89.0% "Okay, the question we've all been waiting for...where is the bow-chicka-wow-wow? You can't tell me that Ayla and Jondalar aren't going to jump each other's bones."
02/01/2012
91.0% "Ayla Invention List: Travois, horseback riding, animal domestication, using horses as pack animals, sex (did you know Broud's organ created Dirk???), flint, calendar, and now a spear thrower." 7 comments
02/01/2012
92.0% "WOULD YOU JUST F@#$ ALREADY?!?! Enough of the Longing Glances! Enough of the long, boring monologues about "Poor Ayla" not having First Rites. Enough about riding on horses and Ayla feeling Jondalar's Junk (the third character in this book) stabbing her in the back and LIKING IT. Jondalar, get off your "perfect" ass and ASK AYLA TO F@#$!!"
02/01/2012
93.0% ""I like that mouth on mouth, Jondalar. That...kiss." Well, at least you FINALLY are going to do the horizontal tango. We've only been waiting 1/4 of the book!" 7 comments
02/01/2012
94.0% "Um, Jondalar just found out that the cave lion that Ayla raised killed his brother...and he thinks Ayla is some sort of spirit goddess and is in awe? Where is the anger, the hate? "Damn you, Ayla, and your lion! If it weren't for you, my brother would be alive"? Don't want to go that route? Ohhhhhkay!" 1 comment
02/01/2012
95.0% "After Jondalar examines Ayla’s mouth with his tongue… “What now?” she asked. “More of the same?” “All right.” I hope my coworkers don't hear me snort in laughter, or I'll have some awkward 'splainin' to do." 5 comments
02/01/2012
95.0% "THE Sex Scene (Sex Scene #4). HALLELUJAH! It only took, what, fifty bajillion hours? And, of course, I am at work :P" 9 comments
02/01/2012
97.0% "Did you know that Broud's organ created Dirk? How about that the stallion created Whinny's foal, Racer? I'd say the author (ab)used the "Copy Paste" function, but this book was published in the early 80's and I don't know if computers were used for that purpose yet." 1 comment
02/01/2012
97.0% "Jondalar needs a dream sequence to tell him he loves Ayla? Geez, Jondi, I need whatever you are smoking!"
02/01/2012
98.0% ""Jondalar felt a familiar stirring in his loins" It's that damn kidney stone he's been trying to pass for the entire book. Either that or it's a BOY!" 1 comment
02/01/2012
98.0% "Ayla & Jondalar Sex Scene #2 or 3, I wasn't paying attention: Auel is going to make up for taking so long by cramming in as many A/J sex scenes as possible before the end."

Comments (showing 1-50 of 53) (53 new)


message 1: by Misfit (new)

Misfit I didn't realize how early she started the Ayla discovered the principals of conception theory.


message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah FYI, I chortled every time you typed "Broud's organ" in this review.

Fabulous, dahling. Faaaahbulous. >:D


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) That was AWESOME. And I hope you do keep listening to them because I don't want to read these books EVAH.

OMG, is it sad that I immediately recognized "Jondalar" as Reb Brown, aka Captain Speed Hardchunk from Space Mutiny??



I need to get out more. :P


Kaia Listening to them must be easier than reading them. I've been working on this one for about a month. And I still have 3 and 4 to deal with. My in-laws gave them to me for Christmas.


Synesthesia If you hate this book this much the Mammoth Hunters will send you crying and screaming into the night.
Jondalar is too boring for Ayla. All he does is make tools and have sex with his ginormous tool. He is NOT INTERESTING.

But Ayla is inventing every modern convenience. Soon she will invent the television out of some beach glass and coconuts.


message 6: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Wait until Land of the Painted Caves and she mapquests (sans PC) their travel route :p


message 7: by Crystal Starr Light (last edited Feb 02, 2012 08:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Crystal Starr Light Misfit wrote: "I didn't realize how early she started the Ayla discovered the principals of conception theory."

I was rather surprised myself. Six books harping on how sex is? A little...much?

Sarah wrote: "FYI, I chortled every time you typed "Broud's organ" in this review.

Fabulous, dahling. Faaaahbulous. >:D"


Thank you! I am glad you liked!

Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "That was AWESOME. And I hope you do keep listening to them because I don't want to read these books EVAH.

OMG, is it sad that I immediately recognized "Jondalar" as Reb Brown, aka Captain Speed Ha..."


Thank you! I will continue my journey, because, hell, it's been a riot.

That is SO COOL you recognized "Jondalar" as Reb Brown! I stole an image of him from "Yor's World". I thought it was a decent representation of our favorite long schlong demi-god.

Kaia wrote: "Listening to them must be easier than reading them. I've been working on this one for about a month. And I still have 3 and 4 to deal with. My in-laws gave them to me for Christmas."

I think they are. I can do other things (work, organizing the house, driving home) and tune out some of the boring parts (and believe me, there are plenty of boring parts!). I didn't mention it in my review (probably should), but the audiobook narrator isn't bad. Sure, she makes Ayla sound like a naive child, but Ayla is supposed to be only 14 - 17 through this book.

Synesthesia wrote: "If you hate this book this much the Mammoth Hunters will send you crying and screaming into the night.
Jondalar is too boring for Ayla. All he does is make tools and have sex with his ginormous too..."


Oh...boy. If I were smart, I'd probably abandon ship, but I already have the audiobook on my iPod. I want to finish my list about Ayla and Jondalar inventions. It would also be nice if Ayla ended up seeing her son, Durk, again or met up with her people, but I DOUBT that will happen.


Crystal Starr Light Misfit wrote: "Wait until Land of the Painted Caves and she mapquests (sans PC) their travel route :p"

Ugh...I *hate* it when authors do that! Because I am that weird person that HAS to understand EXACTLY how that travel route works out. I just stare at the pages, reading over and over those parts, until I give up in frustration.

I guess it's a good thing I am listening to these (though skipping is made WAY more challenging!!).


message 9: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Thank you! I will continue my journey, because, hell, it's been a riot.

It's been fun for us too. I've been bashed a few times for continuing to read books/authors I won't like anyway, like it is sooooo wrong to wade there just for curiosity's sake. Like PG and a run-away freight train.


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) Your photo of Jondalar sent me to Netflix to add "Yor, the Hunter from the Future" to my queue but, ALAS!, it's not there! *pouts incredibly*

Now I absolutely MUST watch it, SOMEHOW. The chick from "The Story of O" is also in it. Oh, this is gonna be awesomely bad. :D


Crystal Starr Light Misfit wrote: "I've been bashed a few times for continuing to read books/authors I won't like anyway, like it is sooooo wrong to wade there just for curiosity's sake."

Good heavens! Ridiculous...I've read quite a few series well past the point of quitting just because of curiosity (or a sadistic desire to see the characters burn...).

Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "Your photo of Jondalar sent me to Netflix to add "Yor, the Hunter from the Future" to my queue but, ALAS!, it's not there! *pouts incredibly*

Now I absolutely MUST watch it, SOMEHOW. The chick fr..."


No!!!! Netflix doesn't have it??? A shame too!


message 12: by Katie(babs) (new) - added it

Katie(babs) Thank you so much for this review! I have the first 3 books in this series and all anyone talks bout is Jondalar's mighty man tool ala John C. Holmes.


message 13: by sj (new) - rated it 2 stars

sj Oh, you're in for a treat [snickersnort] with the rest of them. The Mammoth Hunters is the last one that makes any pretense of having a story, the rest are just there to pimp the amazing amounts of research she put in, and to copy and paste every single thing that happened in the books before.


Crystal Starr Light Katie(babs) wrote: "Thank you so much for this review! I have the first 3 books in this series and all anyone talks bout is Jondalar's mighty man tool ala John C. Holmes."

You are very welcome! I am glad you enjoyed it! The amount of time spent A) gushing about Jondalar and his junk, B) gushing about Ayla and her assets, and C) making "Pleasures" *gags* is absolutely ridiculous! A shame too, because the series certainly didn't start out this bad!

essjay wrote: "Oh, you're in for a treat [snickersnort] with the rest of them. The Mammoth Hunters is the last one that makes any pretense of having a story, the rest are just there to pimp the amazing amounts o..."

Yippee..that is personally one of my pet peeves (the other one is Mary Sues--shockingly enough, this book has both of them!). I love it when an author does research into the subject...but to use a book as an excuse to show it off? zzzzzzzzzzzz...


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) I remember hearing from Mom when I was a teen that there was all kinds of porny stuff on in these books, so I went looking (of course!) and was disappointed. They seemed endless and so opaque. All that "Pleasures" stuff.

Of course I was used to Bertrice Small and her love lances and honey ovens, so anything else seemed pretty dreary. LOL


Crystal Starr Light Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "I remember hearing from Mom when I was a teen that there was all kinds of porny stuff on in these books, so I went looking (of course!) and was disappointed. They seemed endless and so opaque. All ..."

I can TOTALLY see why these would be disappointing. Sure, there is sex, but the sex is so...blah. Boring. Perfunctory. "Insert Tab J into Slot A." Wash, rinse, repeat. And how they talk so much about giving each other "Pleasures"! *shudders*

Actually, I was rather thinking porn probably has better plot and sex that this book!


message 17: by sj (new) - rated it 2 stars

sj Crystal Starr Light wrote: Actually, I was rather thinking porn probably has better plot and sex that this book!

It does.


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) The Google Preview for this book is full of surprises. A character called Rondo?? Was he a handsome devil like Rondo Hatton?




message 19: by Isis (last edited Feb 02, 2012 11:49AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Isis Crystal Starr Light wrote: "I can TOTALLY see why these would be disappointing. Sure, there is sex, but the sex is so...blah. Boring. Perfunctory. "Insert Tab J into Slot A." Wash, rinse, repeat."

You've hit the nail on the head there. I can't remember if a comment to similar effect made the final cut of my Auel reviews, but I sure did think it! It's unbelievable how incomprehensibly dull Ayla and Jondalar's "Pleasures" are! Where on earth is the variety, the passion, the inventiveness, the playfulness?! I AM supposed to believable that these two are ridiculously sexually compatible, right? And both of them are supposed to be fantastic lovers, right?

LOVED your review, Crystal! I'm just grateful I've already washed my hands of the entire series! *eyes darken * Unless Auel does end up doing a seventh book, which has been hinted at *mutter* ... and then I'll pick it up again purely for the lulz and the entertainment of reviewing it.


Crystal Starr Light Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "The Google Preview for this book is full of surprises. A character called Rondo?? Was he a handsome devil like Rondo Hatton?

"


Rondo?! I think I barely remember the name (one of the River People I believe)...so much time was on our It Couple :p

Isis wrote: "It's unbelievable how incomprehensibly dull Ayla and Jondalar's "Pleasures" are! Where on earth is the variety, the passion, the inventiveness, the playfulness?! I AM supposed to believable that these two are ridiculously sexually compatible, right? And both of them are supposed to be fantastic lovers, right?"

Exactly! We are told NUMEROUS times how much they love each other, but honestly, I never FEEL it. I could feel when Creb loved Ayla and vice versa; but with Ayla and Jondalar, they are two perfect people who perfectly fall in love and have perfectly (BORING!) sex.

Thank you for your kind words and glad you enjoyed the review!

Is there REALLY talk of a book 7? *runs for the hills*


message 21: by Isis (new) - rated it 3 stars

Isis Rumours of it. No confirmation yet.

I felt the exact same way. I was like "I don't understand this... these two characters shouldn't even be together except that the author is forcing them to be... it's like they're trapped in an extended fling, but I'm not even feeling their sexual compatibility never mind actual LOVE!"

*shakes head* My reaction to the series is in line with yours so far. First book? Well it didn't completely blow me away, but I enjoyed it a heck of a lot and was so eager to find out what happened next, it was a definite keep-and-re-read for my shelf. Second book? Starting to go "meh" and feel the wobbles in the writing, but hoped the dip was a one-off and it'd be back to the good stuff in the third book. Third book? A few good points, but kinda left underwhelmed and scratching my head wondering how the first book could have been so good and then... Fourth book - booooooooored. Fifth book - I can't believe this bad stuff is still ruining this series. Sixth book - I expected this to be a repeat of the bad fifth, but in some ways it was even worse, and in a strange way there were a few kernels here which could have made a really interesting plot but they were just wasted... not that I can say I was disappointed because by this stage I'd come to expect the standard from this series that I inevitably got.


message 22: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Crystal Starr Light wrote: "Rondo?! I think I barely remember the name (one of the River People I believe)...so much time was on our It Couple :p"

Oh, the River People...aka the group that wandered into the plot by accident, hung around waiting for a cast call, then left for no good reason. But for shame, lady! How could you forget poor Rondo?!

Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "OMG, is it sad that I immediately recognized "Jondalar" as Reb Brown"

OMG, that IS Big McLargeHuge! No wonder he looked so familiar. *cackle*


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) Sarah wrote: "OMG, that IS Big McLargeHuge! No wonder he looked so familiar. *cackle*"

Slab Squatthrust is psyched you finally recognized him. :D


message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah ....Ew. That's a stalker you definitely don't want to have. :D


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) LMAO! Oh, go ahead and laugh....


message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I'll laugh when I'm done buying Powerbars. These things never go on sale, man...

>:)


message 27: by Isabel (new) - added it

Isabel Hahahaha awesome review!!


Crystal Starr Light Isabel wrote: "Hahahaha awesome review!!"

Thank you so much; I'm glad you enjoyed it!


Brian Wow, thanks for that. I was planning to write my own review, but now I don't have to. You touched on all my points! The only addition I would make would be even though the Jondalar parts were atrocious, whenever the story would switch back to Ayla I was still genuinely interested. Despite the fact she had no one to talk to and it was just her surviving, it was still much more pleasurable to read than the bits about Cro-Magnon society.


Crystal Starr Light Brian wrote: "Wow, thanks for that. I was planning to write my own review, but now I don't have to. You touched on all my points! The only addition I would make would be even though the Jondalar parts were atrocious, whenever the story would switch back to Ayla I was still genuinely interested. Despite the fact she had no one to talk to and it was just her surviving, it was still much more pleasurable to read than the bits about Cro-Magnon society. "

I am glad you enjoyed!!

I honestly really enjoyed the Ayla parts myself; it reminded me a lot of what I loved about "Clan of the Cave Bear", just watching her learn about her environment and survive.

In contrast, the Jondalar sections seemed so boring and pointless; as soon as I started one, I would be aching to go back to Ayla.


Dierdre Aila This was the funniest review ever - mostly because it is exactly what I would have written (including the fact that it was Broud's organ that got Ayla pregnant... I can't listen to that one more time! Thank you so much!


Crystal Starr Light Awwww, thank you for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed :)


Ashley I always skip over the Jondalor parts. Yes, skip; I've read this book and the first one multiple times. I only read mammoth hunters once, though. It's awful .


Crystal Starr Light Ashley wrote: "I always skip over the Jondalor parts. Yes, skip; I've read this book and the first one multiple times. I only read mammoth hunters once, though. It's awful ."

I think that this book wouldn't have been so bad had Jondalar's parts been completely omitted. Yeah, Ayla inventing everything and taming all those animals was Mary Sue-ish, but it WAS interesting and she still was an interesting character. Jondalar, on the other hand, was NEVER interesting and always seemed like a whiny baby.


message 35: by Isis (new) - rated it 3 stars

Isis Ah, I remember the hilarity when I read the series for the first time, and then I met you through this review I think and it was hilarious all over again watching someone else follow the series down the slippery slope. Good times.

You know, once in a while I remember that Auel has finished this series now and there will be no new releases to pore over the mind-boggling WTFery. Of my circle of four abominable authors, one is now inactive.

I still can't help feeling it's a pity in a way because I did like the first book and at times throughout the series there were definitely interesting seeds planted... that were then never reaped. Could have been so much better.


Hayley Wow. Couldn't have said it better myself! Great review....I was laughing out loud to myself the whole time!


Crystal Starr Light Thank you, Hayley!! Glad you enjoyed it :)


message 38: by Casey (new)

Casey Horrible review, wonder when was the last time you wrote and published a classic series beloved by billion??? I like the idea of learning about new people in this era, and seeing different perspectives, how boring would it be if the author just rewrote Clan of The Cave Bear again and again.


Crystal Starr Light Uh, glad you liked the book (oh, double check the rating BTW - I rated it THREE STARS which means IT WAS OK), no need to get RUDE in my review, which is MY OPINION.

In fact, if you like so much, why are you even reading a MILDLY negative review?


Crystal Starr Light And when did I need to be a published author to be able to give MY OPINION of a book? Where is YOUR published novel to be able to give such a glowing report?


Synesthesia Indeed. It's well researched, but folks have the right not to GUSH over it with hearts bursting out and anyway Jondalar is annoying.


message 42: by Monica (last edited Dec 06, 2013 05:50AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Monica I thoroughly enjoyed your review and agreed with nearly all of it - but this book still remains one of my favorites in the series. Alya, off on her own - making her way without Broud around to oppress her... On my second read of the book, I confess to skipping over the Thonalan/Jondalar chapters (snore). Ultimately, I loved her connection to Whinney and Baby. I loved reading about how she (alone) prepared for the winter. Yes, the book is long-winded (I skip over a lot while reading) and the sex scenes make me snicker but all in all, I love Alya. And I love how this book shows how Alya makes it...all on her own.


Crystal Starr Light Ayla is definitely the best part of this book!!! I wish that the Jondalar sections had just been omitted - I wanna read more about HER, not this goofy loser!


Synesthesia Totally. It was cool how she tamed a lion and a horse and such and survived on her own. Jondalar just was not as cool.


Crystal Starr Light While Ayla may be a Mary Sue, I love how competent and independent she is!!

And thank you for commenting!! I love talking books :)


Synesthesia I had to stop reading that book because I was like YOU INVENT SEX POSITIONS AND YET YOU CANNOT TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! *shakes both of them*


message 47: by KnowledgeGeek (new)

KnowledgeGeek Thank you for a fantastically hilarious review! I haven't laughed this hard in ages! I shall now be placing my garage sale copy of book #2 of this series up for sale.


Rachel I think I enjoyed your review even more than I enjoyed the book. I give this review 5 stars!


Katrina one of the most valid reviews ever, i liked the book a lot but now that I'm reading this review I think it was all just afterglow from the Clan of the Cave Bear. This book certainly didn't have the same charms as the first.


Crystal Starr Light Thank you, all for your sweet sweet words!

I was so disappointed; I had just finished "Clan of the Cave Bear" when I started this one up, and I just felt it never reached the potential that Auel showed existed in "Cave Bear".

And the sequels are even worse than this one!!


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