The Land of Painted Caves

The Land of Painted Caves

eBook - 2011
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Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni -- one of the Ninth Cave community's spiritual leaders and healers.
Publisher: New York : Crown Pub., 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307886651
0307886654
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 757 p.)

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shebev
Sep 24, 2019

This book is a disappointment, to put it mildly. The prose is incredibly stilted. Strike that. The prose actually sounds like someone in high school decided to write their first book without any experience or writing skills to lean on. Jean Auel repeats herself by saying things over and over and over. And over again for good measure. For crying out loud, how many times does the author need to say that Ayla has a weird accent? That people notice her weird accent but then get used to it? That Ayla is gorgeous and people notice that fact? The LENGTHY *mother's song* is printed in its entirety (multiple pages long) way too many times. The only good thing about that is that it's indented, italicized, and easy to skip right past.

And the caves. Oh. My. God. The. Caves.

Around 2/3 of the book is devoted to describing - in minute details - cave shapes, cave depths, and cave paintings. There's a horse on this wall. A horse facing left on that wall. A horse facing right NEXT TO the left facing horse on another wall. OMFG, there's a mammoth AND a horse on that wall! There is a skull in a different cave, huh. This cave is cold, be sure to bring something warm to wear! Wait, there's more...caves! Many more caves that Auel writes many more words about in order to fill up most of the book's 700 odd pages.

It is clear Auel meticulously researched cave paintings but she would have been far better off writing a book called, "The Painted Caves" as a cave guide instead of making it the final installment of the Earth's Children series.

Finally, near the end of the book, Auel seems to suddenly remember she's supposed to be continuing (or wrapping up) Ayla's story. Don't get excited! She appears to have considered this for about two nanoseconds, just long enough to come up with an implausible crisis that Ayla will, of course, weather just fine. Implausible because it is nearly word-for-word the identical crisis Ayla and Mamut experienced when they went on their *drug journey* and barely came out alive (in Mammoth Hunters, I think). Sorry Auel, but our sexy, savvy Ayla wouldn't have gone there again. So not only did Auel write a book about caves instead of about Ayla, what she did *write* about Ayla was copied and pasted.

Bottom line: probably shouldn't waste your time and remember Ayla the way she was in the first three books before Auel got tired of writing Ayla's story.

SaraLovesBooks Jan 09, 2017

I despised this book with every fiber of my being. It is by far the worst book in the series. I could handle the endless repetition of the painted caves. What I could not handle was the return of the prehistoric soap opera from "Mammoth Hunters." Ayla seemed to have gone through a serious personality shift in this book. She did not feel like the same character I had spent the previous five books with. In some cases, she felt spiteful and harsh, which made absolutely no sense to me. Jondalar's jealousy issues were something that was incredibly irritating as well. I thought he had learned his lesson in the previous books, but nope! I almost preferred all of the painted cave descriptions because at least it got me away from once-loved characters whose behaviors disgusted me in this book. I was so let down by this book, and by "Shelters of Stone," that as far as I'm concerned, the series ended with "Plains of Passage," so at least it could go out on a high note.

d
diantina
Sep 27, 2016

This book is repetitive to the point of boring. So sad after the first books in the series. I skipped pages at a time, if I had wanted a full on description of caves, I would have borrowed a book on caves. In the end I couldn't handle anymore so went to the end of the book to see if they separated or were reunited. Always happy to see a happy ending although it did seem to leave a lot of unanswered questions.

h
heinrij
Jan 12, 2016

B-o-r-i-n-g. I can't believe I got through the first 5. PG for some sexual content.

d
dogskids
Oct 22, 2014

You people don't understand this book. The point of this book is to get you fascinated about the caves and its artwork. This series is supposed to narrative nonfiction an put a research into it.Why don't you people appreciate the book for what it is?

j
Janice21383
Jun 29, 2014

A long, dull brick of a book, which can be started in the middle without missing anything. There is one interesting part in the second half: Ayla's calling as a shaman, and the difficulties of introducing the idea of men having some role in making children. Until then, it's all Stone Age tourism, and it goes, many times, like this: 1.) Ayla and Co., and a guide enter a sacred cave. 2.) Paintings are examined. 3.) Someone asks what they mean. 4.) No one knows. 5.) Someone sings The Mother's Song, which has an unfortunate resemblance in cadence to A Visit From Saint Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas).

crystal_dark Jan 27, 2014

This book had some great scenes in it but you had to read through a lot of repetition from the previous books to get to the new stuff. You also have to get through a lot of descriptions about the caves and ceremonies. While some of that stuff might be interesting it would have been better to have more new story and less of those details.

Nose_in_book Jan 25, 2014

I was grossly let down with this book. I loved this series, I started reading it when I was 12 years old back in '75. But not only was it repetitive and boring and projects unexpected character flaws in Ayla, but long-hanging questions were left unanswered! What about her dreams of her son and The Clan? Does Ayla meet them again? Why don't we get to know Jonayla better? Do the two peoples learn to respect each other and trade? If Ms. Auel was burnt out on the series she should have left it hanging ... She could have written a separate book about her endless painted caves - if you've read one cave description you've read them all! What a waste.

s
sweetiegirlRKD
Jul 08, 2013

Reading many of the reviews here, I feel the majority of people didn't "get" this book. I loved it. I believe Jean Auel wrote this book from her heart. Its pages transported me to the prehistoric age in a deep and profound way. It stayed with me long after I read it.

a
akasha1626
May 05, 2013

>DO NOT READ THIS BOOK, IF YOU LOVED THE SERIES.<
I loved the first three books of the Earth’s Children series, and the other two seem necessary for the build-up to the conclusion. Yet, there was no closure in the final book of the series, if anything things seem more messed up in the character’s lives by the end than at the start of the book. I had to read Ed Herman’s FanFiction to get the conclusion that the series dearly needed. I have since erased this 700+ page waste of time from my memory and will try to remember the good aspects of the series.

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dogskids
Oct 22, 2014

dogskids thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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