Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

I was super excited to read this book, not only because it was next in a series that I enjoy, but also because it was my very first Kindle library book! I couldn't believe how easy it was. We were at my parents' house in Ohio and I had wanted to check the book out (since it came out not too long ago, it was just too expensive to buy), but I didn't have time to do it before we left Florida, so I went online to our local library and got the Kindle version. So easy! Sadly, though, the book didn't live up to my high expectations. The first two-thirds were, quite honestly, a slog. The last third was great, and I wish the whole book were more like it. It seemed like Auel felt it necessary to regurgitate not only the whole five-book back story, but also all of the biology and cultural history of prehistoric times which she already covered, exhaustively, in the other books of the series. In my opinion, it is probably highly unlikely that someone who hasn't read the other five books would just randomly pick this one up, so it felt rather unnecessary to go over all that again. For those of us who HAVE read the other five books, it was needlessly repetitive, which was a complaint of mine in the last book, as well. There was too much slogging through caves, looking at cave paintings and not enough actual STUFF happening. I kept going through the rough patches because...well, I'd read the last five and I felt like I owed it to myself to read the next one. And the last part of the book, when Ayla went to the Summer Meeting and was called to be a Zelandoni...that part was great. But it just seemed as if nothing really happened in the book up till then. It was boring.

So, sadly, two out of five Whatevers. Not an auspicious start to the new reading year. But into every life a couple of bad books must fall. Just can't recommend this one except for those very committed to the series.