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Great Sky Woman (Great Sky Woman #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  215 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Thirty thousand years ago, in the heart of the African continent and in the shadow of the largest freestanding mountain in the world, lived the Ibandi. For countless generations they nurtured their ancient tradition, and met survival’s daily struggle with quiet faith in their gods. But when brutal intruders arrived from the south, a few brave souls dared the ultimate quest ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by One World/Ballantine (first published 2006)
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Monica **can't read fast enough**
I enjoyed this story that slowly but steadily unfolded. I'm so glad that I assumed that I would enjoy this one enough that I would want to continue and ordered the second book after only reading a few chapters. Now I can go straight into book two, which is good because although this one didn't end on what would be a true cliff hanger, it ended in a way that I want to see where the store moves. Full review to come.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
**edited 12/08/13

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

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

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

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

One of the high points has to be Barnes’ description of the environment in which the characters are moving.
This book was amazing. Wonderfully unpredictable and engrossing, It had a little bit of everything: love, tribal conflict, coming of age, ancient spirituality, betrayal, ambition, joy, strife. I found myself not wanting to put it down at bedtime, and that's always a good sign.

The author did a wonderful job of taking me deep into the fantasy of a lifetime so long ago. I found myself completely vested in the experience, egging on certain characters while screaming (inside) at others. There was so
Jessica Snyder
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
(My review)

"If you like Auel, you'll love Barnes"
I found this book mentioned in a review of one of the books from Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series. I can't remember which book, or which reviewer, but I wish I could, to send a hearty "Thank You!" If you like the prehistoric genre that Auel basically started, but you'd like to read something less mind-numbingly repetitive, with more attention paid to plot and character than to textbook descriptions of flora, fauna, and geological
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adult Fiction Readers
Shelves: brain-candy, scifi
I've gone through this book like a hot knife through butter. It's an excellent, fast read with well drawn characters. I'm really enjoying it! The fact that the author is an African American scifi writer is also a plus--there are very few of them. This is one of the best and most entertaining books I have read in a very long time.
Tananarive Due
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Set 30,000 years ago, this is a magical coming-of-age journey set at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Jul 31, 2010 rated it liked it
What I liked most were the details of the physical environment, the appropriateness of the names and how each one had a place in the story, the use of the herbs and plants, and the growth and development of the main characters.
Deby Fredericks
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Steven Barnes explores African tribal life through the mechanism of an alternate history where two young people struggle to understand their rare spiritual gifts amid an ancient and unchanging society that is about to face great upheaval. I liked it and hope to find the next volume soon.
Mary DeMauro
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book, and an Own Voices novel, so I highly recommend you check it out.

This book takes place thirty thousand years ago in prehistoric Africa, exploring a tribe that lives near Mount Kilimanjaro: the Ibandi. There are two main characters, T’Cori and Frog Hopping, and when invaders threaten their homeland, they must climb Mount Kilimanjaro to seek advice from a god.

I loved this story’s depiction of an ancient African culture, especially the coming-of-age rituals. This is also a
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Pilouetta by: elisa
i enjoyed barnes' exploration of a culture more primitive, though it is clear that he is using the practices of actual and extinct tribal peoples. he sets this type of culture in a narrative of superstition, mystical power, and fantasy. barnes is an acute historian, wonderful storyteller, but most importantly, he writes interesting characters, so that even though fantasy writing isn't my main read, i can help but read it voraciously when the author is staven barnes.
Erin M.
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This I found very entertaining. I chewed through this book over two days, and just couldn't put it down!

The author had an excellent understanding of his setting and characters, and must have done an admirable amount of research to create a story this convincing. I particularly enjoyed his portrayal of the spiritual aspects of the people and the meanderings of their daily lives.
MeiLin Miranda
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely believable and written in a crisp, immediate style that places the reader in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and the footsteps of all our ancestors, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Terrific. Simply terrific.
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Variation on Clan of the Cave bear. I wasn't riveted, but I don't need that when I'm doing repetitive work.
Sep 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Nusaybah by: I have read this author's work before.
Reasonably paced, excellent brain candy in the realm of alternative, historical fiction. I put the other two books I am reading on hold until I finish this much lighter read.
Karen Cowgill
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good book, a little sad in spots.
Ken Graham
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I feel like Steven Barnes was at the height of his storytelling powers with this one.
Alex Akira
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I love Steven's books, for the most part,but for some reason I could not get into this one.
Sorry Steven.
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: only-o-k
It was a little slow for my taste, but not bad. Relaxing read.
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Read from 5/17 to 5/20.
Shirley Port
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Found the book very interesting. An easy read
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Tried listening to the audio book and didn't get too far. It started out slowly and I had a hard time staying engaged.
Jul 04, 2016 added it
Dec 18, 2007 marked it as to-read
A friend just added this to her list and the description totally got me!
Mocha Girl
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2009
rated it liked it
Nov 05, 2011
rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2015
 Maritheresa Um
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2014
D. Yarborough
rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2014
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Steven Barnes (born March 1, 1952, Los Angeles, California) is an African American science fiction writer, lecturer, creative consultant, and human performance technician. He has written several episodes of The Outer Limits and Baywatch, as well as the Stargate SG-1 episode "Brief Candle" and the Andromeda episode "The Sum of its Parts". Barnes' first published piece of fiction, the novelette The ...more
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