Crystal Starr Light's Reviews > Shelters of Stone, The

Shelters of Stone, The by Jean M. Auel
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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 previous four books; at some point in this book, Ayla or Jondalar will tell you it.

I don't know whether I should be p!ssed that I spent all this time listening to the book equivalent of a 90's clip show or I should laugh my @ss off at the ridiculous joke of this being published. Or cry thinking about how many trees this piece of sh!t destroyed on its route to the bookstore. Or rage about the number of books that were rejected to make room on the bookseller list for THIS.

I've done my raging about this series; it's been a ridiculous, over the top, barely concealed Mary Sue fanfiction-y ride. But I almost want to go back to all the previous books and bump up the ratings by a star or two (YES, a star or TWO). With ALL the complaints I've had for the last three books (and if you've read my reviews, you know THAT is a laundry list), those books look like literary GOLD next to this piece of Mammoth defecation.

Gone are any attempts at making Ayla a realistic character. Gone are any attempts to take this story to the next level, to have ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING that was foreshadowed in the previous books. Gone are any attempts to treat the reader with intelligence.

I am SHOCKED that this book took 12 years to write. I would have given 12 days: that would be PLENTY to pick through the last four books, copy all the stories from there and paste them into this waste of paper, sprinkling a bunch of senseless research, bad sex, and Ayla Sue prancing around, telling someone off for their "bad behavior".

Ayla is the biggest Mary Sue I've ever read. She is such a flagrant Mary Sue, I had to check to make sure that this wasn't fanfiction; I wouldn't be surprised to see this characterization from a thirteen year old girl on the internet, but from a 60+ woman? You coulda fooled me! Ayla is the sexiest, most attractive, most intelligent, most competent woman that the world has ever seen. She could heal cancer with willow bark tea; she can wear boy's underwear (a big Zelandani no-no) and a top with her boobs hanging out, and no one will mutter a peep about her indiscretion--in fact, women will imitate her and every man will get a huge boner for her (and yes, this does happen). Everyone gasps in admiration about her ability to tame animals, produce fire, use a sewing needle, use stitches to heal wounds; everything she says is as if from the Mother's lips. She rushes into the town drunk's home to rescue his starving family, and the crowds cheer. She heals a stupid boy that was hunting rhino, and the Zelandani roar. Ayla could blaspheme the Mother, destroy their religion, and burn the entire shelter to the ground, and STILL the ENTIRE Zelandani race would cheer her on.

Oh, but POOR AYLA is humiliated when Marona dresses her in boy's underwear!

[image error]

Oh, but Ayla can't sing!

Uh, last I checked, those two things don't make a character any less of a Mary Sue. In fact, I took the Mary Sue test for Ayla (http://www.springhole.net/writing/mar...). Wanna know what she got? 161. Know what that corresponds to? ""50+ Kill it dead."

Jondalar is still a whining baby. All he wants is for Ayla to remain flat on her back so he could pound into her all day with his massive dong. The only reason he turns down performing First Rites is because his massive dong would scare off the young virgins and NO ONE could take him all. WOW HOW F@#$ING ROMANTIC!! I wished so many times that he would fall off a cliff or chop off his hand or break his dong on Ayla's "petals of perfection".

It is an insult to call the other characters "characters". The only ones who act even REMOTELY human are Marona, who is p!ssed because her f@#$ing fiance ran off and she was left with NO COMPENSATION (and Jondalar is back, thrusting his new, boobalicious fiancee, the Woman Who Can Do No Wrong, Ayla, in her face), Brukaval, who wants Ayla to f@#$ing mind her own business for once, and the dude that Jondalar punched in the face, thus ruining the dude's livelihood. Marthona, Jondalar's mother, accepts Ayla with barely a second thought. Same with Joharran, the leader of the 9th clan. Zelandani aka Zolena, the Dani woman that Jondalar loved SO MUCH and couldn't be with, is morbidly obese, conveniently "unattractive" to the vapid Jondalar. Everyone else that would have made a shred of conflict for this piece of sh!t is painted so painfully villainous, it would have been more subtle to have them dress in black, twirl their mustaches, and cackle about their evil plans to rule the world.

And all the stupid poor widdle kids that Ayla has to rescue! GAH! For once, I would like this woman to do something selfish, for her own personal gain, instead of rushing over to the town drunk (who hates her) to rescue his POOR FAMILY, to shame all the rest of the clan women into giving the baby their birth milk because, "THAT'S WHAT THE CLAN WOULD DO AND YOU THINK THEY ARE ANIMALS!" In fact, I think Auel "wrote" half the book by just tossing in a new character that Ayla has to fix whenever she ran out of stories from previous books to tell.

There is so much repetition in this book, it's borderline plagiarism. We are reminded TWENTY-TWO TIMES that Ayla has an unusual, exotic accent. I THINK I GOT IT AFTER THE FIRST TEN TIMES!! (I was going to post each one of the 22 quotes where it is mentioned, but I didn't want to get repetitive.) Other conversations that Auel has tortured us with in the past--every f@#$ing story from the last four books, where babies come from, how Iza told Ayla to wash up after having sex, how many times Ayla goes to take a p!ss or crap and how much more often it is now that she is preggers--is repeated over and over and over and over again. And then the introductions! GAH! Here is just ONE introduction:

"I am Folara of the 9th cave of the Zelandani, blessed of Dani, daughter of Marthona, former leader of the 9th cave of the Zelandani, daughter of the hearth of Willamar, master trader of the Zelandani, sister of Joharran, leader of the 9th cave of the Zelandani, sister of Jondalar of the 9th cave of the Zelandani, master flintknapper and returned traveler who is soon to be mated to Ayla of the 9th cave of the Zelandani. She has a bunch of names and ties of her own, but the one I like best is “friend of horses and Wolf”."

Imagine this for nearly EVERY "character" and multiply that by infinity. That is how many times I had to read this. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that twenty different writers wrote this book, threw together their portions in one big pot and sent it to publish.

And if you thought the previous books were in any way misogynist, you haven't even SEEN this book. Here are some WONDERFUL quotes from this supposedly equal-rights culture:

"She had become Ayla of the Zelandani and Jondalar's mate, and that came first."

Though a stigma of shame was placed on those who did not wait until they had their First Rites, some girls inevitably did succumb to the persistent blandishments. But no matter how relentless the pressure, by yielding to it, the girls became ultimately less desirable as mates because it indicated a lack of sufficient self-control."

"It is true that your mate will not be as tempted to look with pleasure upon other women if you satisfy his desires."

"Maybe [Jondalar] should have asked [Ayla] before he started all this [so Ayla could become Zelandani]"

Wow, HOW FAIR! Girls who have sex before First Rites are looked down upon because they can't wait. But boys? NOTHING. If your man leaves, it is YOUR FAULT because you didn't have sex enough with him. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Oddly enough, there are only 3 sex scenes in this book. Not surprisingly, they are pretty much the EXACT SAME sex scene we've read since "Valley of the Horses":

Jondalar goes for Ayla's boobs. (He even asks, at one point, if a baby nursing feels like when he does it. I AM SERIOUS, HE ASKS THIS.)

Jondalar moves to Ayla's "petals".

Ayla moans and can't believe how "ready she is".

Jondalar wants to take her "right now" and can barely hold back.

Insert Tab J into Slot A. Fireworks, explosions, flowers fall from the sky, angels sing, deer dance in the field.

And then we have the Mother's Song. I have a great aunt that used to write poetry about what happened to the family in the past year (and force rhyme to death out of it) and put it into her Christmas cards. The poetry would be something like this:

And Johnny did run to the store one day
To say hello to his Aunt May
And what do you think should happen there?
He found a cute, adorable, cuddly bear!

THAT is better poetry that this horrible mess. And the absolute LAST THING I wanted was Ayla commenting on how moving and wonderful this piece of sh!t poem was.

Sandra Burr has been doing an amazing job narrating these books (and somehow managing to not burst into giggles during the sex scenes). HOWEVER, the Transylvania accent that she suddenly gives Ayla in this book is TOO MUCH. Somehow, it made her even MORE annoying, MORE Mary Sue-ish, AND MORE vampy.



I just have one question: HOW THE F@#$ DID THIS GET PUBLISHED?!?!!!?!? This is, without a doubt, the WORST book of the series so far. It is pointless, it totally negates all the tension of the last four books, wondering and worrying if Ayla would be accepted into the Zelandani. I've read fan fiction better written than this.

So my advice? AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!

P.S. Only one book to go! Can I make it?
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Reading Progress

03/16/2012 "I think I'm going to officially start on Monday. I don't think I can take anymore Ayla today." 6 comments
03/19/2012 "Time to start up "Shelters"!"
03/19/2012
2.0% "Sooooo...why is Sandra Burr giving Ayla a vaguely Eastern Accent now? Burr's Ayla voice has always been an almost squeaky, wide-eyed American teenager...but NOW we want to bring out the exotic accent, five books into the series???" 9 comments
03/19/2012
2.0% ""As the calcareous shells of crustaceans who lived in the sea were discarded, they built up on the floor and eventually became calcium carbonate, limestone." Glad to see that Auel hasn't stopped substituting lecture for story." 3 comments
03/19/2012
3.0% "So, uh, this is the woman that Jondalar has been whining about the last three books? Certainly doesn't feel like it--they have absolutely NO sexual chemistry and they don't act like ex-lovers around each other." 3 comments
03/19/2012
3.0% "YAY!!! Ayla's "exotic" accent is brought up! Double points for being alongside a description of how well she speaks Zelandonii (as if it were her native tongue, no less!) AND for a comment on how "pleasant" it sounded!"
03/19/2012
3.0% "“Some people would be jealous if they saw someone they loved looking at someone else with love.” Oh, Jondalar, don't you get it? Ayla ain't "some people"! She's f-ing perfect! She's not like your sorry @ss."
03/19/2012
5.0% "zzzzzzzzzzz..." 5 comments
03/19/2012
5.0% ""Seeing her man’s heartache and need had pulled [Marthona] out of her own distress to help him." Because we can't have a MAN provide comfort and support to a woman...women are just supposed to "get over" the death of THEIR OWN SONS and help comfort the adopted fathers. What about BOTH parents comforting EACH OTHER?! UGH! (Okay, maybe I am reading too much into this...)"
03/19/2012
6.0% "Time to show off Ayla's ability to make fire with flint and her healing abilities! We don't yet have enough people worshiping at Ayla's feet!" 4 comments
03/19/2012
8.0% "“It wasn’t his exposed manhood that people stared at when Jondalar bared himself. It was the massive scarring on his upper thigh and groin.” I'm a little shocked. I thought Jondalar's dong was enough to make women go to ground." 7 comments
03/19/2012
8.0% "And Ayla is now assured it is JONDALAR's baby inside her, not of his spirit, but made by having Pleasures. So you waffled all this time because...???"
03/19/2012
9.0% "Um, Auel? I've already read "Valley", "Mammoth Hunters", and "Plains". You do NOT need to have Ayla retell the ENTIRE story to us. Mmmmkay?"
03/19/2012
10.0% "Really? All Ayla needs to do to convince the Zelandonii that the Clan are people is to wave her hands in Clan symbols? *shakes head* Ridiculous." 3 comments
03/19/2012
11.0% "Wait a minute! What is with the formal introductions? Ayla and Jondalar have been chatting up with Zelandoni and all these other people for quite some time. Why bother with formal introductions now?" 2 comments
03/20/2012
12.0% "And now Falora (I keep thinking "Fedora") is gabbing to her girlfriends about how awesome Ayla is (including mentioning her exotic accent). Isn't that speshul?"
03/20/2012
12.0% "MONITOR WARNING!! Jondalar, once again, thinking about where babies come from and his imminent "knot tying" to Ayla: "They might even be his children, the children of his body, started with his essence. The same essence he could feel rising in him now." O.o"
03/20/2012
12.0% ""her large, high breasts and proud nipples" Ooohkay, so nipples are now "proud"??? [If you can't already tell, we are approaching the first Jondalar/Ayla sex scene.]"
03/20/2012
12.0% "Jondalar's "knowing" fingers, Ayla's "eager" nipples...this feels even MORE purply than usual." 4 comments
03/20/2012
12.0% ""Because Ayla was so meticulous about [washing after having sex], even using freezing, icy streams, it had become habit for Jondalar as well, though he hadn't always been so fastidious." Ewwwwwwww! Shame on Ayla for not asking him what he did with his junk before doing the dirty." 2 comments
03/20/2012
12.0% "“Long before, during a formative erogeny (sp?), a period of mountain building when impressive peaks were folded and raised at the leisurely pace of geologic time, a pillar of igneous rock broke away from the place of its volcanic birth and fell into a stream.” And when you get tired of repeating Ayla's story, feel free to insert some research."
03/20/2012
13.0% "Just met Marona and her friend. I love how now Jondalar's engagement to Marona wasn't "official". As if that makes his execrable act all that more palatable." 3 comments
03/20/2012
13.0% "Oh ho ho ho! We know Marona and her lackeys are bad because they are the only ones who don't want to approach a wild animal. How stupid! I'm surprised more of this people haven't run for the hills at the site of the wolf, given how they've never seen a domesticated animal before."
03/20/2012
13.0% ""Ylopa was surprised at Ayla's unusual enunciation and was so unused to hearing any language other than her own, she had some trouble understanding the stranger." Of course, it can't be AYLA who can't be understood, it is ALWAYS someone else's fault if they can't understand our Blessed Mary Sue."
03/20/2012
14.0% "Am I a bad person for loving how Marona is picking on Ayla?" 2 comments
03/20/2012
14.0% "

"[Ayla] had met many people...but she had never been laughed at before."

[image error]" 2 comments
03/20/2012
14.0% ""On Ayla, the outfit took new meaning". Of course, because, God Forbid we have anyone who hates Ayla for a damn good reason or Ayla ever appears anything less than perfect." 11 comments
03/20/2012
14.0% ""Even her strange accent, at which Lareva had nearly laughed out loud and Ylopa had had difficulty understanding, was called exotic and charming." Trying to keep tally of all the times someone gushes over Ayla's accent...I think that makes at least three in six chapters."
03/20/2012
16.0% ""Though her accent was quite noticeable, it wasn't the way she spoke that astonished the people." And thus the audience is yet again reminded how Ayla pronounces Whinny's name exactly how a horse would whinny."
03/20/2012
16.0% "“Though the people didn’t know it, and their descendants wouldn’t even think in such terms for many millennia, the location of the land of the Zelandanii was halfway between the North Pole and the equator.” And now, let's pause from the feast to talk about the fertile land we live in." 2 comments
03/20/2012
17.0% ""Why does she [Ayla] talk so funny?" Even the little boys notice Ayla's charming, exotic, strange accent!"
03/20/2012
17.0% ""[Salova was] suddenly conscious of [Ayla's] unusual enunciation again" Wow, I knew Auel repeated herself a lot, but this is crazy insane!" 1 comment
03/26/2012
18.0% "Ayla gets another fan, Broud minus organ reappears in the story, and a long, boring backstory for another barely developed character, Brukaval, said Ayla's fan. And even Jondalar admits, "Everyone already loves you."" 2 comments
03/26/2012
18.0% ""She had realized that when a man put his organ in that place where babies came from, somehow it made new life start. It wasn't what the Clan believed...or anybody else...but Ayla was convinced it was true" YAY for repetition!!! I have missed this!!! Maybe she will bring up Broud's organ again!!!"
03/28/2012
18.0% "Oh, come on!! When did Auel start getting interested in how these people took a crap??? We get a nice big chunk on how Ayla goes through morning sickness, then on how the Zelandanii take care of their waste and THEN on how the Clan did it. Good GOD!" 6 comments
03/28/2012
19.0% "Oh, and Ayla quits drinking any alcohol because "it might be bad for the baby". WHERE this knowledge comes from, I have no idea. I mean, didn't most pregnant women drink wine, even up to a few years ago???"
03/28/2012
19.0% ""He had noticed the difference in the way she spoke before and even more now." But of course! We can't go 30 minutes without hearing this! We're stupid readers and must be reminded as often as possible or we would forget everything!" 4 comments
03/28/2012
20.0% ""[Ayla] noticed her increased need to pass water again." Unless this is a MAJOR plot point, WHY THE FRAK ARE YOU BRINGING THIS UP!?!?!" 9 comments
03/28/2012
21.0% "Auel sure phoned this in...it's about as much fun as a clip show. All the same scenes, all the same stories as the last four books. And another goddamn "WOW AYLA KNOWS HOW TO MAKE FIRE FROM A FIRESTONE!" I've been EXTREMELY generous to the previous books, but I can already SMELL this is a 1-star book." 2 comments
03/28/2012
22.0% "Wow, the same sex scene. THE SAME FRAKKIN' SEX SCENE. Good God, Jondalar, if you are the Mother's gift to women, do something different between the sheets once in a while!!"
03/28/2012
23.0% "[Post-sex scene] "Was this how that baby had started inside her? Was it his baby too, as Ayla always insisted? Could that be why men were created?" I am running out of ways to show my disgust and exasperation with this book."
03/28/2012
23.0% ""...she would even have time to wash their furs..." You mean Jondalar and Ayla have been humping all this time on...? *projectile vomit* ERROR ERROR DIVISION BY ZERO CANNOT COMPUTE BLUE SCREEN" 4 comments
03/28/2012
24.0% ""I have a different surprise...Life has begun inside me. I am carrying Jondalar's baby." Well, now that's an interesting way to say you're PG. Not to mention, don't you think Jondalar should tell his own mother???" 6 comments
03/29/2012
24.0% "You know, I was just imagining that Marthona was ACTUALLY secretly plotting to do something wicked against Ayla because she actually supports Marona and hates how her son is enchanted by this crazy wannabe-goddess. And then I wept, because I knew that Auel would never do any of that."
03/29/2012
24.0% "wow and let's see that damn "thread puller" again...SOOOOOOO much repetition in this book. I'll bet 90% of the book is retelling the previous four." 4 comments
03/29/2012
25.0% "[After long, boring introductions] "Kimarran noticed her foreign accent and then her lovely smile. She was truly beautiful, he thought, but could he expect any less from Jondalar?" Between the recounting of the last books, to the repeating of introductions to EVERYONE commenting on Ayla's f#$%ing accent and how f#$%ing beautiful she is...yeah, it's just a wee bit annoying."
03/29/2012
25.0% ""She speaks in perfectly clear and understandable Zelandanii, but she has a manner of speaking that is strange." NO!!!! Do tell!! "It's not exactly an accent...she almost seems to swallow some of the sounds. It isn't unpleasant, but it does make you take notice of her. Not that you wouldn't anyway." Really? I haven't heard this in a few sentences, so please, tell me!!" 4 comments
03/29/2012
27.0% "So we see a glimpse of another "gay" character (one imbued with "male and female" spirits), and I was just imagining him dressed in tight pink, going to Ayla, "Girl, you're hair is FABulous!" And it gave me a chuckle." 7 comments
03/29/2012
29.0% "When did Ayla learn to catch a fish with her bare hands? I know she's been able to master everything she's ever tried, but I don't recall her catching a fish with her bare hands. And given how much repetition there is in this book, I would have been CONSTANTLY reminded of it." 4 comments
03/29/2012
29.0% "AH AH AH! Auel said "Shelter of stone" in the book "Shelters of Stone"!!! Sad that this has been the most exciting thing to happen yet..."
03/29/2012
29.0% "So now Ayla's a fashion trend-setter. Her boy's winter underwear/too tight vest is bound to be a winner among the ladies in a year...although WHY would women chuck the stigma associated with wearing boy's clothes and adopt this stupid fashion in a mere year is beyond me...oh, right, it's AYLA they are imitating. Nevermind."
03/30/2012
30.0% "Ayla goes to take a piss (because, doncha know, she has to pass water more being preggers and all), and WOLF SNIFFS IT!! WHY AM I READING THIS?! WHY AM I READING ABOUT PEOPLE PISSING AND DOGS SNIFFING IT?! SERIOUSLY!?!?" 6 comments
03/30/2012
32.0% "

OMG, Ayla isn't going to be able to save an injured man?!

" 5 comments
03/30/2012
33.0% "

"[Thafona] thought she does have a strange way of talking. Not her words, but the way they sound. Maybe that's why she doesn't talk much." Uh, EXCUSE ME?! Ayla, not talk much?

[image error]"
03/30/2012
34.0% "And now Ayla is hypothesizing why the man died and has come to the conclusion it is internal hemorraging. Would people of this era understand something like that? Would they be able to come to the conclusion that a man was bleeding and that black, hard spots on his body were from pooled blood?" 3 comments
03/30/2012
36.0% "

Oh God, I know why Auel let this guy die...to show off all her Zelandanii funeral rituals and religious beliefs of the afterlife.

"
03/30/2012
37.0% "Oh my God!! (I'm saying that a lot, aren't I?) There really is no plot in this book, is there? This dude, whom NO ONE knew before, dies just to show off research and pretend to be a plot. HOW RIDICULOUS! Now, if Marthona or Joharran or Marona or Jondalar had died, THEN I could see taking all this time and effort talking about it. But REALLY???!?!!???!" 3 comments
03/30/2012
38.0% ""Ayla noticed that [Laramar's] teeth were crooked." Well, we know who the baddie is! All bad guys have crooked teeth. Even if this is prehistoric times, there is no such thing as dental health or oral surgery, and people didn't have a clue about things like dental floss, brushing, and fluoride. Oh, right, Ayla and Jondalar already invented brushing their apparently perfectly straight teeth. D'OH!!!" 2 comments
03/31/2012
41.0% "Finished what has to be "The Mother's Song". I timed it: 12 F@#$ing minutes long. And yes, I did this so I can skip future readings!!" 23 comments
04/03/2012
42.0% "Burning question: how does a prehistoric woman get morbidly obese? Why would she not have multitudes of men swarming after her?" 13 comments
04/03/2012
43.0% ""For some reason, all three acolytes suddenly noticed her unfamiliar accent." For some reason, the author suddenly realized that she hadn't mention Ayla's awesomeness in almost 20 minutes and immediately threw in another mention of the "strange, yet beautiful" accent Ayla has *gags*" 1 comment
04/03/2012
44.0% ""I am Ayla of the Mamutoi, member of the Lion Camp, daughter of the Mammoth Hearth, chosen by the spirit of the Cave Lion, protected by the Cave Bear, friend of the horses, Whinney and Racer, and the hunter, Wolf" Was it REALLY necessary to add "friend of horses and Wolf"? Isn't this introduction getting a little...unwieldy?" 6 comments
04/03/2012
45.0% ""By accident or supernatural design, the concretion had naturally formed an exact replica of a woman's sexual organ." O.o If I knew that all I had to do to be famous was to write a book with sexual imagery and no plot, I'd...still have too much dignity to do that." 2 comments
04/03/2012
47.0% ""Maybe [Jondalar] should have asked [Ayla] before he started all this [so Ayla could become Zelandani]" WHAT???!!??!?!?! You mean that Jondalar just ASSUMED Ayla would want to be Zelandani and NEVER bothered to ask her, in the year it took them to get here, if she WANTED to be?!!!?!? Gimme a brick wall! I need to bash my head against it!" 4 comments
04/03/2012
48.0% "Good f@#$ing God. Just when I thought this "story" couldn't get stupider...and then Ayla has to save the town drunk's neglected family. Because we all know that A) the town drunk will hate the Mary Sue, B) the town drunk will have many children that he neglects, and C) the Mary Sue will ignore any grievances she has against town drunk and do whatever she can for the Poor Widdle Children. *vomits*" 14 comments
04/03/2012
48.0% "Mary Sue test for Ayla using: http://www.springhole.net/writing/mar... . Ayla's Score is 161: "50+ Kill it dead. Or make sure you read the instructions properly (some people don't do this, which causes freakishly high scores) and take the test again." Trust me, I understand the rules, and don't need to take the test again." 8 comments
04/03/2012
50.0% ""Ayla...plucked a handful of moss growing on nearby stones, dipped it in the water, and, holding the baby over her arm, used it to wipe her bottom. With a second handful, she did it again. As she was examining her to make sure she was clean, the baby produced a warm stream." F@#$, I'd like to produce a warm stream on this pile of excrement." 15 comments
04/03/2012
50.0% ""Ayla caught comments, both about her unusual accent and the children." Whu...? Why would these women, called together to provide milk for the baby of the town drunk even THINK about how weird Ayla's accent is? Wouldn't they be thinking, "Oh, that busybody outsider, what is she doing pushing her nose into everyone's business?" Or what about "I'm not helping that drunk's family despite what this loud-mouth says!""
04/04/2012
52.0% ""[Soliban's wife? Who the f#$% cares!] also thought [Soliban] was the most handsome of all the men of the cave, even compared to Jondalar." What? What is this? Is this...a diverse character? Must squash STAT!!! (Seriously, if Auel did this more often, maybe I wouldn't want to stake Ayla through the brain stem.)" 1 comment
04/04/2012
52.0% "Solaban, I love you. "Why do they need to bother with an acceptance ceremony for her?" "She just has to open her mouth and everyone knows [that she's a foreigner] anyway." Okay, so the latter one PROBABLY refers to that strange accent that Ayla has, but we NEVER hear about *sarcasm mode off*, but I am pretending he means she won't shut up about her speshul history."
04/04/2012
53.0% ""Though she tried, she couldn't prevent the unusual quality of the way she spoke, and no one who heard her could mistake her foreign origins." I need to go back through and count all the times Ayla's superspeshul accent has been mentioned. It's as if 20 different people wrote parts of the book and threw it together, not realizing someone else brought up the accent thing." 3 comments
04/04/2012
53.0% ""Ayla of the 9th Cave of the Zelandanii, formerly a member of the Lion Camp of the Mamutoi, daughter of the Mammoth Hearth, chosen by the spirit of the Cave Lion, protected by the Cave Bear, friend of the horses, Whinney and Racer, and the four-legged hunter, Wolf and soon to be mated to Jondalar" I LOVE how Jondalar's name is after the HORSES! LOL!!" 1 comment
04/04/2012
56.0% "Same boring sex scene, only this time Jondalar releases his essence too early while Ayla is giving him a BJ. Pretty sad that that is the most "exciting" part of their sex life." 4 comments
04/05/2012
57.0% "Why do the Clan, who supposedly can't understand the concept of adding and time, have a Summer Meeting every 7 years, but the Zelandani and pretty much any other Cro-Magnon tribe have a Summer Meeting every year? Wouldn't that be stupid? They'd miss out on TONS of hunting/foraging/growing (would they even grow foods?)!! And transporting all those people!" 6 comments
04/05/2012
58.0% ""...she lay in her sleeping roll...until she had to pass water. She felt the need even more often lately. She didn't know where the community waste trenches had been dug, so she used the night basket. She wasn't the only one who had used it, she noticed."" 7 comments
04/05/2012
62.0% "God have mercy...all these Zelandani are arguing what to do with the damn firestones that Ayla has and I can't f@#$ing tell them apart. They are all called, "Zelandanii of the First, Second, 29th, etc". I think my brain is about to explode." 2 comments
04/05/2012
63.0% "They sing the Mother's Song again. I skipped most of it, listening every so often to make sure I didn't overshoot too much. What I did hear was astonishingly stupid. Ayla AGAIN commented on how she wanted to learn the Losadunnai version. Pretty sad...Auel is copying Ayla's commentary to pad out the book :\" 2 comments
04/05/2012
65.0% "One Armed Boy: "Why do you talk funny?" Whew! We almost went a whole hour without mentioning her unusual accent!!"
04/05/2012
65.0% "

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! OMG, the audiobook just played a horse whinneying for Ayla saying that damn horse's name!! ROTFLMAO!! How can I possibly take this seriously now??!!?!?

" 30 comments
04/05/2012
65.0% ""[Mardeena] noticed Ayla's strange accent and was slightly put off by it." Ayla's Accent Mention #17"
04/06/2012
67.0% "Just hit on another problem: seems like when Auel sees that there is no plot, she introduces another poor, widdle creature for Ayla to adopt and nurture. Whinney. Baby. Racer. Jondalar. Rydag. Wolf. The Femi-Nazis. The rape victim. The Clan couple. The town drunk's kids. And now poor cripple boy. Just as an FYI: this is NOT a story."
04/06/2012
67.0% "And Zelandani breaks into the Mother's Song. Didn't we just hear this song? I've had MORE than enough of it for a lifetime."
04/06/2012
68.0% "Wait a minute...is this a copy-paste of the scene in Cave Bear where Ayla drinks the forbidden drink and sneaks into the cave to peek in on the Mogurs??" 8 comments
04/06/2012
68.0% ""The opening was feminine...a wondrous evocation of the female organ...it didn't so much put [Ayla] in mind of the vagina, but the upper round part suggested the birth canal, narrowing to the lower extension of the anal region...This was the womb of the Mother." I got no words."
04/06/2012
69.0% "Holy Mother of God. It's not going to fit in here; see comments for full quote." 5 comments
04/06/2012
72.0% "Time out. We had a long tirade about how these people appreciate art and will pay more for a pretty, well-made spear than just a well-made spear. So Laramar makes amazing barma. Shouldn't that mean he gets a huge amount of money, because his barma isn't just serviceable, but REALLY good? And if his barma is so damn good, how the f@#$ is he the lowest ranking clan member?"
04/06/2012
72.0% "

"Few men can couple with a woman more than once or twice a day and less as they get older"...unless his name is "Jondalar", who is the Energizer Bunny. Be wary, because he will ALWAYS want to go at it, so you had better ALWAYS want to be lying on your back.

" 5 comments
04/06/2012
73.0% "Ack...now talking about birth control and prehistoric abortion. Drinking teas and inserting sticks. Not what I wanted to read honestly." 1 comment
04/06/2012
74.0% ""Dalanar was a...consummate lover, in spite of his size and [Jerica] reveled in their pleasures." Oh, but I'll bet he's not as big as his brother, Jondalar! And I'll bet their sex is NOWHERE NEAR as awesome as Ayla and Jondalar's!! [Sidenote: Is Jerica supposed to be Asian? Could she be painted any more stereotypically?]" 8 comments
04/09/2012
75.0% "Ayla stumbles around in a cave for the second time in her life, only this time she doesn't need any "special medicine" to hallucinate. Which makes me wonder how the crap these dreams and visions she sees are explained. Are they REALLY spiritual visions? Has she been hitting the barma too hard? Really sad because this series used to be fairly grounded in reality." 2 comments
04/09/2012
75.0% ""Though [Ayla] may have thought the look of the mixture was attractive, to everyone else, Echozar was extraordinarily ugly." So why isn't Ayla trying to jump his bones? How did not one but TWO Cro-Magnon/Neanderthal mixes get into the Zelandani (Brukaval and Echozar)?" 2 comments
04/09/2012
76.0% ""Though a stigma of shame was placed on those who did not wait until they had their First Rites, some girls inevitably did succumb to the persistent blandishments. But no matter how relentless the pressure, by yielding to it, the girls became ultimately less desirable as mates because it indicated a lack of sufficient self-control." Ah, sexism, your putrescent stench I have missed."
04/09/2012
76.0% ""And Ayla was convinced it was the essences of men's organs that started pregnancy." But it's still probably women's fault for getting pregnant. They also probably ask to be raped. *eye roll*" 2 comments
04/09/2012
77.0% "On why Jondalar isn't going to engage in First Rites: "The reason I declined wasn't because I thought you would object, although I probably wouldn't like it if you decided to become a Dani woman for a season...I've always had more size than many, and I'd be withholding and trying to be careful and gentle, so I wouldn't hurt her, and wishing all the time I was with you instead." Whiny, hypocritical Jondalar!" 9 comments
04/09/2012
77.0% ""Janida was a little shocked. She had never heard anyone speak so differently." That should be #18."
04/09/2012
78.0% ""You have an unusual way of speaking, Ayla." Thank you, Captain Obvious. We need to catch up--we are behind in mentioning Ayla's super speshul accent."
04/09/2012
79.0% ""Nezzie said a Mamutoi woman should proudly display her breasts when she is mated." BWAHAHAHAHAHA, damn, if I didn't know better, I would think a man wrote this!"
04/09/2012
79.0% ""Well, I suspect, if anyone could make a proper First Rites ceremony for you, [Jondalar] could. He's had enough experience at it." Well, duh! It's the Energizer Jondalar after all!" 6 comments
04/09/2012
80.0% "I can't believe it's taken this long to get to the knot-tying ceremony. Of course, wasn't it about 3/4 of the way through "Valley of the Horses" before Jondalar and Ayla even met? And WTF is with talking about all this status shit just before a knot tying ceremony? (No, I am not calling it a "wedding" or a "marriage" anymore; I will no longer desecrate those two institutions!!)" 2 comments
04/09/2012
81.0% "And let's toss in a bunch of titles to pad out the knot tying."
04/09/2012
82.0% "Poor Marona...dumped by Jondalar and not given any compensation (and repeatedly looked down upon by his family), childless, barren and she is stuck watching these fools tie the know. And we are supposed to be shaming her, because she is grumpy at the Power Couple's Knot Tying. It's okay, sweetheart, come here and let's console ourselves." 2 comments
04/09/2012
82.0% ""[Ayla] can't even talk right." #21 Pretty sad that I am siding with each one of Ayla and Jondalar's enemies--okay, not Laramar. But Marona and the dude Jondalar hit ought to get together and destroy Ayla and Jondalar. I would love it."
04/09/2012
83.0% ""The next joining was not of a couple but of a triple. One man was mating identical twin sisters...it was not uncommon for sisters to become co-mates." *jaw drop* Okay, peoples, I need input: fact or fiction? Was this done in history, or is this another wacky Auelism?" 10 comments
04/09/2012
84.0% ""If my name gets much longer, I won't be able to remember it all." Pretty sad when your characters point out your padding." 1 comment
04/09/2012
84.0% "My God, I hate their sex scenes. Their pre-sex conversation is particularly painful ("Is having a baby suckle at your breast like when I do it?" "I'm sorry I raped you back in 'Mammoth Hunters'" "Oh, you didn't rape me, why do you think I was so ready? That was the BEST TIME EVAH!!" "Man, having sex with you is great! I love you!")." 5 comments
04/09/2012
84.0% ""Could Ayla be right? Was a man necessary for life to begin? Is that why there are both men and women?" Jondalar, Jondalar, Jondalar..." 3 comments
04/09/2012
87.0% "How irresponsible and stupid!! Ayla champions for Loraga or Loralda or who the f@#$ cares to keep the baby when the baby could have gone to a good mother that lost hers. And all because the TEN YEAR OLD cried. And then Larandor or who the f@#$ cares declares he is going to marry L-whatever. How stupid!! How cliched!! I want to choke on the sugar!" 2 comments
04/10/2012
88.0% "Marthona and Dalanar broke the knot, but they are still Best Buds. Chums. Pals. Compadres. No hard feelings and they even still luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve each other. Can't we have at least ONE character that acts remotely human? Gets angry for no reason? Refuses to talk to people or change from their wicked ways and AYLA CAN'T FIX THEM????"
04/10/2012
89.0% "Time for Ayla to brag about inventing stitches for sewing wounds. Damn Wolf. I almost wish that thing would die, but not as much as I want Ayla and Jondalar to die horrible deaths. (How long is this book???)" 1 comment
04/10/2012
90.0% ""Instead they sympathized with the Wolf, attributing to him the feelings they would have experienced in a similar situation." "They" are NOT Ayla, who already humanizes Wolf. "They" are the Zelandani. YES, ALL the Zelandani, who just a few days ago, were scared sh!tless of the Wolf, are now SO SAD because he lost his mate. *headdesk*" 2 comments
04/10/2012
91.0% ""She had become Ayla of the Zelandani and Jondalar's mate, and that came first." Because we ALL know, a woman is nothing without a man, even in a supposedly equal rights prehistoric society." 2 comments
04/10/2012
94.0% "What has Marona done that has been cold and undeserving? Supposedly, she learned her EVUL ways from her mom, but nothing Marona has done in this book has been EVUL or wicked. In fact, she's the ONLY character that makes any sense. Oh, and Ayla ought to STFU about Brukaval and his hatred of the Clan, else she is ASKING for him to yell at her."
04/10/2012
96.0% "My God...95% of this novel occurs over like 2 weeks, while the last 5% skips 5 months into the future to the birth of Ayla's hellspawn. I almost wonder why bother?" 1 comment
04/10/2012
97.0% "After Ayla, in labor, analyzes the tea Zelandani gives her: “For just an instance, Zelandani felt a retort come to her mind, a sarcastic, ‘Well, do you approve?’ but she caught herself. And then was surprised she even thought of it.” The characters are positively ACHING to be treated like normal people. They are BEGGING to be released from Mary Sueism."
04/10/2012
97.0% "“I’ve named our daughter, Jonayla, after both you and me, Jondalar, because she came from both of us. She is your daughter too.” As stupid as this name is, it STILL is better than Twilight's "Renesmee"." 1 comment
04/10/2012
97.0% "Truth or bullshit, you be the judge: “She had already forgotten whatever discomfort she had felt giving birth to Jonayla.” Only a couple days after Jonayla's birth???" 4 comments
04/10/2012
98.0% "Hot damn, Auel saved the best quotes for the end: “I have thought about it for a long time…life begins when a man puts his member inside a woman, into the place that a baby comes from and leaves his essence.”"
04/10/2012
99.0% ""Her exotic accent and her uncanny ability to mimic the sounds of animals added an interesting element to her story." We gotta squeeze at least ONE MORE accent mention before the end!!" 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-36)




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message 36: by Amanda (new)

Amanda The Book Slayer I would like your review if I could. lol I am so proud of you for sticking with it. Better you than me.


Crystal Starr Light Mommaseymour wrote: "I would like your review if I could. lol I am so proud of you for sticking with it. Better you than me."

Thank you!! It's been a tough journey, but it has been pretty damn entertaining!


message 34: by Misfit (new)

Misfit One more book. I know you can do it. I have faith :p


message 33: by Jane (new)

Jane Don't fail us now.


Crystal Starr Light Misfit wrote: "One more book. I know you can do it. I have faith :p"

Jane wrote: "Don't fail us now."

I'll start up on the final book tomorrow.

OMG, I can't believe I said that!! "Final" book! YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Dude, I congratulate you and my children's children congratulate you from the future. Look at your status updates! You're a machine. Can't wait for you to read the next book.


message 30: by Ferdy (new)

Ferdy Ayla sounds like the Mary Sue to end all Mary Sue's. You deserve a medal for putting up with her for so long..one more book and then your home free:P


message 29: by Karla (new)

Karla I knew Ayla was a Mary Sue just from all the other ranty reviews and such, but when you lay it all out there....wow. Just...wow. O__o I have no idea how an author could think such lame perfection was OK while writing it.

And that one introduction makes my eyes bleed. I don't know how you managed to sit through it so many times.


message 28: by Iset (last edited Apr 11, 2012 07:19AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Iset :p Where's my medal for reading the entire Earth's Children series?

Final book! I share in your enjoyment at that word. Apart from the rumour that Auel has changed her mind and will write one more book - but I am praying it is not so.

Gone are any attempts to treat the reader with intelligence.


If there is one single thing that about all others is likely to make me blacklist an author, it's books which treat the readers as if they have no intelligence.

Jondalar is still a whining baby. All he wants is for Ayla to remain flat on her back so he could pound into her all day with his massive dong. The only reason he turns down performing First Rites is because his massive dong would scare off the young virgins and NO ONE could take him all. WOW HOW F@#$ING ROMANTIC!!


Laughed out loud at this. Jondalar summed up in three sentences, and totally conveys his self-centred view of the world and sexual dysfunction.

We are reminded TWENTY-TWO TIMES that Ayla has an unusual, exotic accent.


Wow, I was wondering what the final count would be. Boy you are in for a treat with the final book and its 32 mentions of Ayla's accent.

Not surprisingly, they are pretty much the EXACT SAME sex scene we've read since "Valley of the Horses":

Jondalar goes for Ayla's boobs. Jondalar moves to Ayla's "petals". Ayla moans and can't believe how "ready she is". Jondalar wants to take her "right now" and can barely hold back. Insert Tab J into Slot A. Fireworks, explosions, flowers fall from the sky, angels sing, deer dance in the field.


Really?! Well, colour me purple, my experience of sex is nothing like that. Lol, nope, no angels singing or deer dancing in the field (and MUCH better for it, I might add). ROFLMAO, don't you just love the unrealistic, formulaic, insipid depiction of sex in these novels?

Loved the review, just loved it!

Can't believe you're going to start on The Land of Painted Caves tomorrow though! Go get 'em!


Crystal Starr Light Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "I knew Ayla was a Mary Sue just from all the other ranty reviews and such, but when you lay it all out there....wow. Just...wow. O__o I have no idea how an author could think such lame perfection w..."

Ferdy wrote: "Ayla sounds like the Mary Sue to end all Mary Sue's. You deserve a medal for putting up with her for so long..one more book and then your home free:P"

Moss wrote: "Dude, I congratulate you and my children's children congratulate you from the future. Look at your status updates! You're a machine. Can't wait for you to read the next book."

Thank you for all your kind words!

I've written my fair share of Mary Sue fanfics. But I STILL think my Mary Sue fanfics were probably more realistic than this glorified Ayla Sue fanfic. I couldn't believe how bad she was...and how THIS got published! What are editors doing? (Not serious...I know editors work their @sses off.)


Crystal Starr Light Isis wrote: ":p Where's my medal for reading the entire Earth's Children series?

Final book! I share in your enjoyment at that word. Apart from the rumour that Auel has changed her mind and will write one more..."


We should BOTH get a medal for making our way through this series with all our hair intact!

Oh, God, I hope Auel doesn't change her mind!! Or if she does, I hope she writes a book where this is all a dream, and Ayla actually dies.


message 25: by Iset (last edited Apr 11, 2012 08:51AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Iset Everyone should who made it through, I think. Provided they didn't enjoy it that is. Amazingly there are people who 5-starred all six books... I cannot understand how, but, it has happened.

The rumours started flying just before the sixth book was released that Auel was starting to feel maybe it wouldn't be the end after all, and intensified when the book came out and was widely panned by even hardcore fans - maybe she feels that the sixth book didn't wrap things up in the way she wanted and the fan disappointment confirmed for her that she needed two books to finish the saga off? But I hope they're not true.

EDIT: Yikes!

"To be honest, I don't feel like I'm through," the author, 74, said during a recent interview. "I still have some material and I'm going to keep on writing. It's what I do."


Hoo boy...


message 24: by Jane (new)

Jane I kind of hope she chunks that book out really soon. What an awesome buddy read that would make - the snark level would be through the roof.


message 23: by Iset (new) - rated it 1 star

Iset Ooooh, buddy read!


message 22: by Lady Wesley (new)

Lady Wesley I have no interest in this book or this series, but if she coughs up another book, I'd eagerly go along on the buddy read just for the hysterical status updates and reviews.


Crystal Starr Light That would mean we could all suffer together!! HURRY UP, AUEL!!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Followed Moss's comment here and...man, thank you. I read up through PoP but waited for reviews to trickle out for Shelters of Stone & realized it was Not Good, so I didn't read it, but I'm still kind of invested in the story and characters.

Your review is the perfect substitute. Scratches the itch and reminds me why I don't want to do it myself. (Though I admit the scene with the boy's underwear does sound kind of fun).


Crystal Starr Light Mlle. wrote: "Followed Moss's comment here and...man, thank you. I read up through PoP but waited for reviews to trickle out for Shelters of Stone & realized it was Not Good, so I didn't read it, but I'm still ..."

Thank YOU for your kind words! If you go into it expecting the fail and wanting to snark, this is PERFECT. There is so much snarkbait, it's delightful. However, for real fans of the franchise, I feel very sorry; this doesn't do Ayla or the series justice.


message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura LOL I love your negative reviews. They make me laugh. :)


Crystal Starr Light Laura wrote: "LOL I love your negative reviews. They make me laugh. :)"

Thank you!! I am glad you like them; puts a smile on my face :D


message 16: by Carol (new)

Carol Yah, I agree, the book really is too repetitive; but do you really have to be so crass? The sarcasm by itself would be enough. The parts when you mention Jondalar's member are so funny, that I had to "pass water more often," but I am definately not PG! Hahaha


Crystal Starr Light LOL, that is good!

Thank you for reading through my review; I try to refrain from being too crass (i am guessing the initial image is what you mean?) or dropping too many swears in my review, but the image I found perfectly matched how I felt. (If you check out any more of my reviews, you'll see I do a better job of censoring myself.)

Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting!!


April Wow. If you're going to keep going, you're incredible. After reading this one, I don't think I'm capable of continuing. I'm giving up on the series. I love your reviews, though. *thumbs up*


Crystal Starr Light April wrote: "Wow. If you're going to keep going, you're incredible. After reading this one, I don't think I'm capable of continuing. I'm giving up on the series. I love your reviews, though. *thumbs up*"

Thank you for your kind words!

This series was quite disappointing to me. I really liked "Clan of the Cave Bear" and was eager to learn more about Ayla and her world. But each book I read after was just not as good as the first. And "Land of the Painted Caves" is by far the worst of the series.


April The first book was definitely the best. By the time I got to the third book, I felt completely robbed of what I had come to love about Clan of the Cave Bear. No more survival, just drama fest over whom to share Pleasures. :[


message 11: by Willow (new)

Willow I wished so many times that he would fall off a cliff or chop off his hand or break his dong on Ayla's "petals of perfection".

LMAO ROFL!!!! These reviews are so funny. I’m having so much fun reading. And you know what I really love? I will never have to read this book. You’ve given the perfect recap. Perfect characters who can do no wrong drive me up the wall. I just want to reach through the book and slap ‘em. Not to mention they are usually boring is all get out, since you know they will always win. So now I’m wondering if you made it through book six.

Fireworks, explosions, flowers fall from the sky, angels sing, deer dance in the field.

So did the deer really dance? LOLOLOL


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) wait, they had underwear back then?


Crystal Starr Light I guess so - just for people to embarrass themselves with, I'm sure :P


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) Now I have to figure out prehistoric underwear...


message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane Every time these threads start up again I re-read the reviews.


Crystal Starr Light I don't think leather would feel good in the nethers...

Awwwww, that's so sweet of you to say, Jane! Every so often, I reread these reviews and laugh - good times! I have nostalgia for listening to these books :)


Darlene Oh my gosh. I totally lost it reading this. I know Ayla is so damn Mary-Sue like, but I can look past that sometimes when I remember how much better the Clan of the Cave Bear was. This review is so accurate, just started reading the next book today...praying it gets better.


message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo Jean Auel actually admits, when she read her original copy of Clan of the Cave Bear, it was terrible. So she read books on how to be a good writer. Seems to me if you need to read books on how to be a good writer, you should just stop. I mean, I've tried writing fiction before, and I know it sucks. And I don't go out and try to publish what I've written.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) Really? Clan of the Cave Bear is actually the strongest one.


message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane An awful lot of writers start out as not very good, then realize they're not very good and read craft books to get better. Really good writers never stop trying to improve.

I think Auel's biggest mistake was not reading more how-to-be-a-good-writer books after the success of her first three novels. It's very dangerous to start thinking you're good enough.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) Hurm. She should have not done that stupid, omg we can make new sex positions but we can't talk about are FEELINGS thing in the third book that made me scream and never want to read another book in that series ever because I was like OMG HALF THE BOOK WOULD BE GONE IF YOU JUST SAID I LOVE YOU!


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