Ayla, the independent heroine of the Earth's Children series, sets out from the valley on Whinney, the horse she tamed. With her is Jondalar, the tall, handsome, yellow-haired man she nursed back to health and came to love. Together they meet Mamutoi - the Mammoth Hunters - people like Ayla. But to Ayla, who was raised by the Clan of the Cave Bear, they are the "Others". She approaches them with a mixture of fear and curiosity.
It is the Mamutoi master carver of ivory - dark-skinned Ranec, flirtatious, artistic, magnetic - who Ayla finds herself drawn to the most. Because of her uncanny control over animals, her healing skills, and the magic firestone she discovers, Ayla is adopted into the Mammoth Hearth by Mamut, the ancient shaman of the Great Earth Mother.
Ayla finds herself torn between her strong feelings for Ranec and her powerful love for the wildly jealous and unsure Jondalar. It is not until after the great mammoth hunt, when Ayla's life is threatened, that a fateful decision is made.
Listen to more in the Earth's Children series.
©2004 Jean M. Auel; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
I read these novels when they were first published, when I was working towards a BS in Biology. My faculty adviser recommended Book 1. I was young when I first picked up the books in this series, and loved the whole series. I had never read romance novels, so I guess I was naive. Revisiting the series 20 years later, I realize the constant sex scenes are repetitious in the phrases, settings, circumstances, and dialog to the point of being boring, akin to romance novels that fill voids with prurient content. The effort to make each novel "free-standing" is distracting and boring, and shows that the editors think that the reader is so stupid as to not remember, and hope they can make additional profits when the bookstore browser picks up a book in the middle of the series.
Ms. Auel has produced a great work of historical fiction for an era rarely tackled, except in approximation in fantasy novels. I'm sorry she chose to switch genres from historical fiction to romance novel with gratuitous sex and endless reprise.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
At over 30 hours, this listen will last you a lot of commuting drives! I enjoyed it a great deal and just can't figure out why all the negative reviews. Yes, there is oral sex..not much and it really isn't 'bad', but loving. Much better than the brutal attack on our heroine by the mean guy whyo rapes her. The sex in this book is very loving and simply part of the story. AND, I don't think a bit of sex turns a historical novel int 'chick lit'..really guys...get over yourself. Also, many people seem to resent the author repeating significant points from the first 2 books. I have read that Auel wanted each to be a 'stand alone' book, and thur the need for repetition of the information on material already covered in Books 1 and 2. I didn't fine it at all annoying..iy is just part of the story line.
I was most impressed with the extrapolation writer Auel has done to flesh out her characters, their society and rules and mores. We can't really know what the Clan or the Others were really like, but Auel has made their society into one that sounds much like any large family group. I especially enjoyed the summer gathering, where there is always and nasty uncle Ned and a bitchy aunt Bertha. The ritual around making young girls into women is well written and very believable, IMO.
I'm glad I purchased the 4th book of the series, even though, again, there are a bunch of negative reviews. I agree that the first 2 books were hard acts to follow, but I'm also glad Auel has done some changing up of the directions of the story.
If you've enjoyed 'Clan of the Cave Bear and the 'Valley of the Horses" I'm guessing you'll also enjoy 'The Mammoth Hunters".
This book has alot of fasanating historic information and some fun and entertaining adventures. Unfortunately it is hard to stay focused with all of the explanations of oral sex and giant memberss that only one chosen by the cave lion could fully handle. The charactors become riduiculouslsy stupid in the ways of the heart and communication, and the author uses this to write endlessly of inter-racial sex, general bone-headed main charactors, and rexplaning everything from books 1 & 2. This is where I stop listening to these books. I have an internet full of porn if I want sex, sex, sex. I was really enjoying the first books, but this is just silly.
This is the worse book I have ever listened to from Audible. I don't know how any one can give this 4 stars. The narrater is without a doubt the poorest I've ever listened to. If I could return it I would, total waste of my credit. I listen to 2 to 3 books a month and have for years.
I love this series and had listened to books 1-3 several times. Recently when Audible offered them at a great price, I purchased books 4 and 5. As I always do, I started at the beginning and listened to the first 3. I was so excited to hear book 4, which I had not heard before. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! (I returned the books so I can't review them but wanted to get the word out through review of this book if possible.) For some unknown reason the narrator decided to change to some strange accent for the main female character. It's like fingernails on a chalk board. I couldn't get past the first 30 minutes. So I'll buy paper copies and read them. Through 3 books the narrator did an awesome job....EVERYONE in the book has an accent but she didn't try to create accents....she would just read, as it says in the book, that the character had a strange accent. ARGH!!!! Then she tries to create and accent -- not knowing how someone would sound, may I say, It's truly awful and a great, great disappointment. I'm still angry, even though Audible has such a great return policy and I'm no out any money. I was SOOOOOOOOOOO looking forward to listening to them. Ah well. I'm off to buy the books now, which should at least please Diana Gabaldon.
Very frustrating and unnecessarily long. Could have been much better. But the series has a strange fascination with all the Ice Age cultural detail.
I should have payed attention to the other reviews.
This one is a return.
Yes, this one was a bomb.
Yes, I like her work.
A waste of time
The first two books were good, Clan of the Cave Bear being the strongest of the books so far. This book was horrible. The sex scenes are ridiculous and I kept trying to skip over them. The he said/she said complicated romance and star crossed lovers plot line was just horrible. Without spoilers, it took forever for the main characters to decide what to do next. If I hadn't bought this so long ago, I would want a refund. It is worth reading if you are bored with all of your other audible books, and want something long to listen to. That is the only reason I listened to it again.
Disappointment. The first two books were enjoyable. This book was a total rehash of the first two, and a ton of boring love scenes thrown in.
This book seriously needed a good editor. The constant repetition of the same storyline over and over gets ridiculous!
I can understand a reminder or two from previous books, lots of authors do that, but this author spends a third of the book repeating the same details. I also really dislike that the storyline has spiraled downward from prehistorical fiction to poorly crafted romance novel. I hope this trend doesn't continue.
The narrator is horrible, she sounds like she is reading a child's fairytale book. (Think of a nursery school reading of Momma, Poppa, and Baby Bear's lines.) Her depiction of the voices of nearly everyone in the Lion camp is exactly the same, and all are overenthusiastic caricatures.
I liked Clan of the Cave Bear, and thought The Valley of the Horses had some good parts. This book, however, holds virtually no appeal. I gave it two out of five stars because you might get two hours of entertainment out of each five hours of listening.
I will give the fourth book a try because I'm stubborn about finishing things, but if it reads like this one I am done with this series.
Though this is a very good book to have digitally, the narration leaves something to be desired. The pacing is too fast, without adequate pauses between sentences, and you can often hear the changes in pitch when certain sections are sped up or slowed down. It makes it a little stressful to listen. Also, there are several words that the narrator consistently mispronounces. Still, all in all, the content is interesting enough to keep me on the treadmill.
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