Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: "The Mammoth Hunters"

The Mammoth Hunters
Earth's Children Series
By Jean M. Auel
Copyright 1985
Crown Publishers
Adult Fiction/ PaleoFiction

And again we are on to the next book in my favorite book series, Earth's Children, by Jean M. Auel. The Mammoth Hunters, book three of the series, is my least favorite (at least, so far.....I still haven't read book six, but I'm working my way that direction!) The entire storyline of this book always causes me great anxiety and nail-biting suspense whenever I read it (even though I already know how it ends).

In The Mammoth Hunters, the main characters Jondalar and Ayla finally leave their magical valley and go exploring. Lo and behold! They run into other Others, a tribe (or cave or clan or whatever you'd like to call it) of mammoth-hunting humans. They invite the pair to stay with them for the upcoming winter and they agree.

There's a problem, though. Jondalar and Ayla still have a little trouble communicating (in that her first language is the language of The Clan and his first language is of a people who live more than a year away), which leads to problems actually quite typical of those in a relationship defined by poor communication. One thing leads to another, and soon both Jondalar and Ayla think the other one doesn't love them anymore. Of course, this is exacerbated by a handsome member of the mammoth hunters tribe named Ranec who does everything he can to rip the lovers apart so he can have Alya himself.

And so as this yo-yo of Alya being tugged between Jondalar and Ranec continues for page after page after page.....after page......I always get to a point when reading this book where I just want to skip to the end! But not really. Because it is very well-written. And entertaining. And enjoyable. And I do love the full story. And, really, would they have truly known that they loved each other without having this tormented episode right in the middle of the series? Perhaps not. *sigh*

Just a little warning again, though. It does still have some of those "adult-ish" scenes with words like "his manhood" and "her supple flesh", so no, I would not recommend reading this one aloud to the kiddos.

And I can only give it four bookmarks instead of five, just simply because of the torment I felt the entire time I was reading it! (Seriously. I do not do well with suspense novels. I've read this book five times, obviously I know how it ends and yet it still causes me grief!)

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