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The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, Bk 6)
The Land of Painted Caves - Earth's Children, Bk 6 Author:Jean M. Auel In The Land of Painted Caves, Jean M. Auel brings her ice-age epic series, Earth’s Children®, to an extraordinary conclusion. As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte to a spiritual leader and begins arduous traini... more »ng tasks. Whatever obstacles she faces, Ayla finds inventive ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life, searching for wild edibles to make meals and experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandonii must take while honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And there are the Sacred Caves that Ayla’s mentor takes her to see. They are filled with remarkable paintings of mammoths, lions, and bears, and their mystical aura at times overwhelms Ayla. But all the time Ayala has spent in training rituals has caused Jondalar to drift away from her. The rituals themselves bring her close to death, but through them Ayla gains A Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change her world. « less
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Jen W. (jenzin) reviewed The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, Bk 6) on
Helpful Score: 17
I waited anxiously for this book to come out, as I had been following Ayla from the beginning of her journey. Unfortunately, this book was a letdown to me. I understand that Auel did copious amounts of research and it shows. That was a huge part of what kept me reading the series; I loved the historical aspect. This book, however, just seemed to be one cave description after another. Ayla got overwhelmed with them and so did I! Then there was the repetition...one reviewer already touched upon it; Ayla was so beautiful, her prowess with animals, Jondalar was so handsome, it got tiresome. I felt that so much more could have been done with this, the final book in the series. What a disappointing end to what was up until now, a great series.
3.0 out of 5 stars The epic journey of Ayla from orphan to Zelandoni concludes., March 13, 2011
The front cover of my ARC states, "Three decades in the telling..." Well, fellow readers, it seems as if it took me nearly that long to read this particular book, the conclusion (book #6) to the Earth's Children Series. I eagerly snapped it up when it was offered in the vine newsletter and started it right away. Now, over a month and a half later, I finally finished. I'm a fast reader, usually can read a book within a day or two. I don't know why this one took so long -- perhaps because it was insufficiently edited, tedious, repetitious, and frankly -- sometimes boring. How often did we need to be reminded that Ayla was a foreigner (her accent), that she was beautiful, that she tamed horses and a wolf, that she was an incredible healer and visionary, or that she was a skilled hunter who could take care of herself? Many other reviewers have already remarked on the tendency of author Jean Auel to be redundant and burden her readers with overkill on detail. How many times did we have to read the "Mother Song" to get the point of the song, for instance? Much of that just took up space in a hefty tome that must weigh about 3 pounds at 757 pages!
Regardless, I am finally finished with Ayla, Jondalar and all the rest of the early "Others" who came to life in the thousands of pages I've read over these years. I was a little disappointed that this last book consisted mostly of traveling to and fro and less about human interplay. The novel only really becomes exciting (somewhat) during the last third of the book as Ayla finally reaches her destiny. Without spoilers, I found the ending a bit anticlimactic and the series ends with a whimper rather than with a bang. I had to suppress a small scoff of disbelief considering how Ayla's "discoveries" during her vision definitely will be changing how the people of this early land live and experience family life!
I won't rehash the plot (there really isn't much of one anyway) but will suggest that all fans of this series will likely spend days and perhaps even weeks wading through this final offering and coming to their own conclusions with the end of a series that was introduced with The Clan Of The Cave Bear - Earth's Children over 31 years ago! This is not a stand alone novel and readers who want the full impact of this monumental epic should start with that first book -- which I consider the best of them all.
All told, I am glad I read it; now I can put Ayla and her escapades aside.
I have been a loyal reader of the Earth's Children series for years. To say I am disappointed in this book is an understatement. I wish I had never read it, and let the 5th book be the conclusion, rather than to have read this and have it come to such a disappointing end. 2/3rds of the book is descriptions of cave paintings, and the rest is ridiculously awful. Really really disappointed.
What a completely disappointing end to the "Earth's Children" series. This book consists of 757 pages of never-ending recaps of the previous five novels (what did the author think we hadnt read them all before tackling this enormous doorstop of a book?) and endless (and utterly annoying) repetitions of the "Mother's Song" thrown into every available space and situation. The only redeeming quality of this story is the (THANK YOU) lack of nauseatingly graphic prehistoric sex which was all-pervasive in books 2, 3, 4 and 5. There is no plot whatsoever (if you don't count the obvious "Oh no, Ayla and Jondalar have a misunderstanding and aren't speaking to each other... again" device that Auel used, soap-opera fashion, in books 3 and 5). Seriously, author Jean M. Auel just phoned this one in. Maybe thats too generous its more like she texted it while driving. Thank you, Ms. Auel, for slapping your devoted fans in the face with a dripping, rotting mackerel of a series-ender. Shame on you for wasting our time.
The worst in a steadily deteriorating series. There is no plot, but only a vague series of disconnected scenes that would work better as short stories than parts of a novel. The cave descriptions are tedious, and the earlier loose ends from the series are mostly ignored. Thankfully, this should be the last book in the series.
This series started out absolutely amazing. I loved every book until this one. I don't want to put in any spoilers, but I found it incredibly tedious and predictable. I could guess everything that was going to happen before it did. The characters used to be well written and rounded, but it really felt like Jean M. Auel dropped the ball on this one. Lengthy descriptions of the caves cover about half of the books and seem to drag on endlessly. It felt like I was reading a bad romance novel in many parts. If you're a fan, prepare yourself for disappointment because this one just wasn't as good as the others.