9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
We deserved so much more than this,
This review is from: The Land of Painted Caves (Earths Children 6) (Hardcover)
I came upon the Earth Children series only a few years ago and absolutely loved the first 3 books and have read them time and again (with The Valley of Horses being my absolute favourite) - however, I really struggled with books 4 and 5 due to the repetition and a somewhat far too perfect Ayla. Even so, I really wanted to know what happens to Ice Age Barbie and Ken and so ordered book 6.
Before I read book 6 I re-read all of the series to ensure everything was fresh in my mind, then settled down with a nice cup of tea and a packet of jaffa cakes.
I am so disappointed with this book! I didn't want to read pages and pages about cave paintings, flora and fauna etc. I wanted a real honest to goodness story with a decent plot and character development. I wanted to see more domesticated horses and wolves (come on people, you know it can be done now), I wanted to know about Ayla and Jondalar's daughter, her thoughts, abilities. I wanted to understand the important things Ayla had to learn - I didn't want repeat after repeat of what we already knew.
Why was there no meeting with the Clan? This is a major issue for me. I was desperate for Ayla to be reunited with the Clan and maybe even her son - what a story that could have been!
Instead we learn that Ice Age Barbie is now Ice Age Career Barbie with child care issues and a husband that decides to have an on-going affair whilst she is away business trips. The whole affair and the does she/doesn't she love me thing was covered in Book 3 - Ayla and Jondalar should have moved on from all of that and should have grown as characters - this was a weak and lazy plot.
I also have to agree with other reviewers who state that the Ayla and Jondalar characters are not true to themselves - they indeed behave in ways we do not expect, and after 5 previous books, we should have a rather good understanding of their ingrained natures. Why did Jondalar have to nearly beat that man to death (history repeating itself). Yeah gods - we deserved an original story not a repeat of things done previously!!!
Further, when Ayla does receive her calling the major 'reveal' is that men father children!!! OMG, no, no, no - I cannot believe that a people who have such an intimate understanding of nature and their environment did not put 2+2 together and realise that 'sharing pleasures' created new life.
This book is plot weak and has left me feeling cheated, and from the other reviews on this site it has left others feeling just as cheated. We have been loyal fans of this series - our hard earned money has helped fund Jean's travel adventures, and whilst research is important and is needed to produce a good quality, well written and well thought through book, The Land of Painted Caves just does not deliver. We deserved more. We deserved the Clan, and we deserved a proper story line and a decent, well thought through ending. What an absolute shame that such an excellent and fresh series stuttered and stalled in such a way.
I will continue to re-read the first 3 books, which were, in my opinion, the best of the bunch.
Very disappointed indeed.