I wasted my money on Jean Auel's latest book

Okay, I’m not an Ayla hater. While recognizing that the Earth’s Children series may not be Pulitzer winners I have, for the most part, liked them and found them interesting. Yes, Ayla was an Ice Age Mary Sue, but I like stories that describe cultures of the past in such detail. You don’t usually find people’s need to “pass waste” included. As a kid I wondered what folks did before TP, or Sear’s catalogs.

So I was actually looking forward to The Land of Painted Caves, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. But the book sucks. I don’t know what happened to Jean Auel’s storytelling, but she lost me with this last tome. At least half of the words are describing past action from earlier books. The plot that was there was dull and predictable, with another Jondalar/Ayla estrangement. The only part I liked was seeing some of the other character’s develop.

But even with all of the above it was Ayla’s vision of the future that was so totally idiotic that I almost threw the book away, but by then I was so close to the end I finished it.

I’m pissed because I’m one of those people who liked the previous stories, and now, knowing how it’s ended has spoiled the chance that re-reading will be enjoyable.

Damn you Jean Auel

Why does it take her so long to finish her books?

I don’t intend to read this one so I will ask for a spoiler: is she reunited with her Neanderthal hybrid child?

I saw this in the bookstores yesterday; I guess it will be a library loan for me, then.

No, she is not. It’s said she knows she’ll never see him again.

I am almost afraid to ask, what is Ayla’s vision? Cave people have visions of the future?? Confused.

Ayla saw our own buildings and roads(although she didn’t recognize them for what they were), and crowds of people pointing at her and saying it was her fault that the Great Earth Mother was forgotten, and “Only the Son remains”. See, she had another revelation from the Mother that men really do start babies in women, and that knowledge would change the world and how we live in it.

Surely there was plenty of sex, though? The last one I read was thin on plot but heavy on the repetitive, mind-blowing nookie.

Hee - I bought the book too, and I’ve much the same opinion of the series as you, Baker. I was going to start a thread, but couldn’t think up a suitably snarky title. Something like “The next installment in Days of our Caves” or “As the Cave Collapses” was the best I could come up with, and that just didn’t cut it.

I’m only up to chapter 12 or something, and I agree. I’m not taken with it at all. But at least there’s bad poetry again, hey?

I read ahead a bit, and had to roll my eyes out of my head at

Jondalar screwing around on Ayla. Really? So unnecessary.

I got it just to finish out the series. Not really worth the money.

Ellen, so far there’s some, but not as much as in previous books (which is rather a nice change).

Oh, and bad poetry again too! Yay!

Crap! I just downloaded the audiobook from iTunes. Don’t tell me I wasted $23.95!!!

Yep, you did. And I honestly liked the previous books.

I’m guessing that with or without Ayla they’d have figured that one out eventually. And didn’t Creb get visions of the modern day way back in Book 1? Plus who gives a damn what the future’s going to look like tens of thousands of years from now- if I were going to see a vision of the future I’d want it to be of something I might could change- or profit from knowing- rather than the world of people who even if they’re my direct descendants are a thousand generations removed.

Yes, either Creb or Ayla did. I can’t remember which one, and I don’t have the first book any more.

I spotted this book at Fred Meyer the other day, and decided to give it a pass despite having read all of the earlier books. The previous book, The Shelters Of Stone, is what really killed the series for me. I was ready to pitch that one after about the 17th repetition of Ayla going through the entire ritual of introducing her wolf to yet another new group of people.

I enjoyed the hell out of those books as a kid, I wasn’t that picky about writing at the time and I really enjoyed reading about the way people might have lived. cough And yes, the sex scenes were a pretty good draw to a middle school-er.

I remember reading The Plains of Passage and getting to the part where Ayla managed to speak S’Arumnai(SP? the tribe that kidnapped Jondalar) and I actually threw the book - apparently that was my Mary Sue tipping point. :slight_smile:

Amen, Mister Rik, the series is repetitive as hell. Which I suppose is realistic given that A&J meet new people all the time but it’s not entertaining to cover the same ground over and over.

Thanks for the warning Baker, I didn’t enjoy Shelters of Stone all that much, by the time they named the kid Jonayla and got her a pony I was ready to puke. I might have to check The Land of Painted Caves out from the library but I won’t go wasting money on it if the dreck got even dreckier.

Been a while since I read it, but I think it was both of them together having the vision while tripping on datura or something…

But S’Armunai is similar to Mamutoi in the same way that Losadunai is similar to Zelandonii! :stuck_out_tongue:

For that matter, I thought that Ayla hypothesized where babies came from back when Durc was born and then pretty much concluded it when she met the Neanderthal woman with the hybrid daughter born after being raped by a CroMag. (I think whether Cros and Neans could actually breed is one of those things that keeps going around in whether best evidence is they could or they couldn’t; for a while experts said they couldn’t then they found those Iberian remains that looked like hybrids.)

Sampiro, DNA evidence shows that non-African modern humans have Neanderthal ancestry, and some non-African modern humans are also descended from Denisovans, an archaic hominid subspecies much more obscure than Neanderthals. When more research is done, I suspect we’ll find out the Africans have archaic hominid admixture of their own. :smiley:

I genuinely enjoyed the first two books in this series (even if the second one was going hardcore into Mary Sue caveman porn towards the end) but the later books were terribly disappointing. It’s just soap opera bullshit and Ayla inventing everything short of the atom bomb. Plus, Jondalar became a massively whiney dick after book 2 (mind you, he was sort of a whiney dick in the second book, but not into irredeemable territory) and I failed to see what Ayla saw in him after awhile.

I knew it was going to be bad but I bought it anyway. In my view, the series has been steadily going downhill and I didn’t enjoy Shelters of Stone at all.

So what kind of idiot am I for forking out $29.99 for a hardcover novel I know I won’t enjoy?