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5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Book.
That's pretty much all I have to say.I HATE when people fell the need to be big shots and pick apart a book down to every sentence, then complain about it.Not in all the reviews does anyone mention the great characters, richly described.I thought it was sad when Rydag died.And another thing that bugs me is why do people hate that Ayla invented stuff?Somebody had to do it,...
Published on May 19 2002 by C.Joy

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive and Unbelievable
I read the third book in spite of how much I disliked the second one. I figured if the third one was ok I would take the average of the three and move forward. Mammoth Hunters was a little more interesting than Valley of Horses simply because there are more characters to focus on. But overall I can't say I really enjoyed this book either. While I like the idea of...
Published on June 7 2004 by Jenni


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive and Unbelievable, June 7 2004
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
I read the third book in spite of how much I disliked the second one. I figured if the third one was ok I would take the average of the three and move forward. Mammoth Hunters was a little more interesting than Valley of Horses simply because there are more characters to focus on. But overall I can't say I really enjoyed this book either. While I like the idea of anything out of the ordinary, I am also a realist. The more realistic elements a story has-in spite of its oddities-the more memorable and enjoyable, in my humble opinion. I think it takes great ability to craft believable stories from out-of-the-ordinary ideas. With that said...
This series definitely shows that Auel has a great mind for researching and remembering facts and information, she is obviously quite a scholar. The idea of writing a novel series about this particular period in time is a great idea and some of the minor details of the world she has created are very clever, however, her ability to craft a believable, stimulating story with deep, believable and multifaceted characters, around the information she presents is highly questionable. Honestly, I cannot believe these books were bestsellers.
My main gripes:
First, the whole relational struggle between Jondalar and Ayla is just plain stupid. They are living with the Mamutoi who are supposedly very open and frank, often times asking terribly personal questions to satisfy curiosities, and yet NO ONE in this unbelievably open society was willing to say anything about a misunderstanding that was so blatant??? Totally inconsistent and annoying. The way Auel resolves relational conflict of any kind is extremely evasive. The relational struggles of the Mamutoi before the summer meeting and then during are always resolved by Ayla displaying some sort of superiority to the others and they are simply marveled into quiet idolatry. Voila! Conflict resolved. Not exactly what I would call realistic. And the lion shows up at just the right time. How convenient. Not only that, but the way she eventually resolves the ultimate conflict between Ayla and Jondalar is so anticlimactic that you wonder why she spent 600 pages building up to it. While it's true that individuals outside of a collective are often times more creative and innovative in some ways out of necessity, and quick to break cultural molds that may inspire awe in those more ingrained in a strict social structure, Auel takes this concept to an unbelievable extreme.
Second, the animal behavior is just ridiculous and probably the most fictitious part of the story. Wolves and dogs are as different behaviorally as dogs and cats are. While it *may* be true that dogs evolved from domesticated wolves, Auel takes thousands of years of evolutionary leaps in one fell swoop and suddenly our "Wolf" is wriggling and waging his tail, drooling no doubt, and playing fetch with the children. Ayla must have special powers indeed! What an amazing woman! Granted, not everyone has had the opportunity to raise a wolf pup to adulthood, but I can tell you from experience that Auel's Wolf doesn't act like a wolf. Especially in his interactions with Ayla-particularly when scolded-who is the alpha female.
Lastly...
Pedantry. Ugh. The thing that made this book most unbearable is the fact that Auel underestimates her readers in the extreme. Instead of making a point A and then moving, at a later time in the story, to a logical point B and letting the reader fill in the blanks, she presents all of the background information with the new point, again and again and again to make sure you get it. Every time she introduces a new part of the logical progression she gives you A, B, and then C. Next time, it's A, B, C and then D. No jumping just to D. No, we must first endure paragraph after paragraph (and some times page after page) of the same material, with almost identical phrasings to the previous diatribe, before she gets to the next point. For example (only one of many), we are all acutely aware of the issues with clan women hunting and how Ayla felt about that. It was THE issue in the first book. It was discussed thoroughly in the second book. Why must we hear it again and again and again every time a new hunting situation comes up???? Surely a person of average intelligence can connect the dots! This quality of her storytelling gets really, really, really old after a very short time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enough is enough!, Feb. 4 2003
By 
Francisco "fchavez" (Mexico City, Mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters (Hardcover)
That is what I felt after finishing this book. The quality
and interest of the series has been continuously declining
since the first book. The idea behind the series is extraordinary and the first book is excellent. I could not wait to see what will happen to Ayla... But then, Ayla's character becomes
so disproportionately strong that shadows the other elements
of the story and undermines its credibility. I suspect Ayla is a projection of the author's
inner heroine, with everything he wants to be. A nice job in
destroying an initially lovable character. After this book I do not care about Ayla anymore! And it's a pitty because I think that the idea
and the first book deserved a much better follow-up.
Two more books to go: I do not think I can stand more
super-Ayla!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too tedious for words, Oct. 3 1997
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
If Ayla was really as smart as she's supposed to be, she wouldn't be appearing in any more sequels.
The love triangle is straight out of daytime TV: "he acts one way, but for some reason I'll just assume he feels completely the opposite". Ayla's accent is continuously described as too small to notice...but everyone does the instant she opens her mouth. Everyone in the book is just great, except for the token one-dimensional bad-guy who turns good in the end.
These savages are so elegant, we expect to see a pre-historic Martha Stewart behind the next mammoth hide. Ayla is already Amelia Earhardt, Joan of Arc and Mother Teresa rolled into one. Read it if it's the only book in the house (this includes the dictionary and the phonebook).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars series progressively getting worse, Aug. 6 2004
I read the Clan of the Cave Bear for a project in school and thoroughly enjoyed the entire book. I decided that I would read the entire series. The Valley of Horses was a good book but the chapters I enjoyed dealt mainly with Jondalar and his brother Thonolan, not Ayla. I pushed on to The Mammoth Hunters and decided to stop reading the series here. This book basically bored me to death. As in the other mostly negative reviews I have the same beefs: too much sex, Ayla can do no wrong, and things are repeated far too often. Props go out to anyone who finishes this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I almost threw this book out of the window.., Aug. 26 2002
By 
Rajat Suri (Cambridge, MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
What a terrible book. I thought I had read some bad books before, but this takes the cake.
Auel tried to create a love triangle with Ayla, Jon and Ranec. And it was so stupid. If the characters just had the sense to talk to each other, it would have been over in a couple of seconds. But noooo, Auel has to save that moment for the very end as her "climax". She draws out the story forEVER and repeats herself so many times that I was mentally beating myself up for reading such an "abomination" of a book. (pardon my pun)
Ayla becomes God in this novel. Sorry, but its true. Everyone else in the clan all but prays to her might and you get a sense of deja-vu when she adopts yet another animal after killing its mother. She invents all this stuff and the Spiritual Dude of the Mammoth Hunters tells her she has every Gift in the book. It's just too unrealistic.
A waste of three good hours (I skim-read all the boring parts). If I hadnt borrowed it from the library, I would have asked for my money back. A sad thing to happen to what was otherwise a good series. Skip this book and go on is my humble advice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy, Feminism, and Science Fiction, Jan. 11 2002
By 
Judith A. Morey (Elwood, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
Jean Auel's first book was excellent, beautifully written and well researched. Her second book was interesting and entertaining, but a bit far-fetched as Ayla became Supergirl. In her third book, The Mammoth Hunters, Jean Auel serves up a pathetic mix of fantasy, feminism, and science fiction.
If it weren't for the love scenes, which are nothing less than pornographic, this book could be classified as children's fantasy. Ayla is transformed into Wonderwoman, a medical genius able to cure any sickness or ailment with her holistic herbal approach. A convenient plant is always available for Ayla to use in her magic potions. She avoids pregnancy by taking some herbal remedy used by the Neanderthal women.
The author cares more about feminism here than history. In the summer camp, the ultimate tribunal is the Council of Sisters. There is a council of brothers, but that apparently is more like a petit court trying only misdemeanors. Only women can be trusted with the really important stuff. Each tribe is jointly ruled by a headwoman and a headman. The headwoman being just as, if not more, important in the hierarchy. Their god is a woman--Mut, The Great Earth Mother. At the mammoth hunt, which finally occurs in the last few chapters, the first killing spear is thrown by a woman. This is Jean Auel's perfect feminist utopia, but it is not history, not even pre-history.
Chapters 19 through 30 could be condensed into one. They spend the winter in the earth lodge doing nothing. Jondalar and Ayla stop talking but they really love each other, they just can't seem to get it together. Meanwhile, Ranec courts Ayla and Ayla submits, having been trained by the Clan always to submit to men sexually. The book grinds down to an excruciatingly slow pace for no good reason. We know Ayla's going to dump Ranec in the end for Jondalar, who Auel has changed from the brave, spear-making hunter in Valley of the Horses to a lovesick weakling who can't seem to put togther a sentence as simple as, "Ayla, I love you." Auel's frequent and puerile references to sex as "Pleasures" are most annoying.
Jondalar leaves the Mamutoi after summer camp, not wanting to see Ayla wed to Ranec. Ayla realizes she must have Jondalar and sends Wolf the Wonderdog to fetch him back. Wolf does his job, and our lovers find themselves as the formerly communicationally-challenged Jondalar starts using language of love worthy of Shakespeare.
I can only recommend this book to high-school girls looking for a teenage romance with a twist. It is not serious literature, and Jean Auel should not be trusted with history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A HUGE disappointment..., Nov. 27 2000
By 
Adi Adler (Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
I've really enjoyed the first two books in the series. 'The Clan of the Cave Bear' was pretty good - it's idea was original, it was very well written, and the main character was very easy to identify with. I've read 'The Valley of the Horses' mainly because I was wondering how Ayla was doing after being banned from the Clan... I think that this book was trying to show the "Others'" reaction to Ayla - some would like her instantly, some would grow to like her... Jean Auel just doesn't manage to give this story a life of its own, and it remains flat and 2 dimensional - all the people's reactions were to be expected from what I gathered about the others in 'The Valley of Horses'.
Some other reader described the love triangle of this book as 'soap opera-ish'. I couldn't agree more - this part of the story is as bad as the rest...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Drawn Out, June 16 2002
By 
Nicole Laflamme (Rittman, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought Clan of the Cave Bear was great; it was an interesting and unique story. The characters were like-able and well constructed. The second book was fine, but predictable and romance novel-ish. The plot drowns in descriptions. The Mammoth Hunters however, was downright painful. Pages and pages of angst, all of it contrived and repetitive. I was practically grinding my teeth in agony over the never-ending Ayla/Jondalar/Ranec love triangle. Nothing in this book is new, and all of it is predictable. Only until the last few chapters did the story finally pick up and move on (literally). If you want to know the plot, read the book jacket, and it will tell you everything you need to know. Then move on to the next book and hope it is better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Immaturity, Nov. 16 2012
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm reading it now .. and if I could climb into the story and kill any one of the three combatants in this on and on and ongoing love triangle, I would. I would bring an iron hammer and beat any one or two of the triangle into a mush of hide tanning brain mucus. I'm soooooo sick of hearing over and over again how the hero and heroine keep misreading each others body language but how everyone else in the community can. I wanna kill something... a mammoth in a WWE wrestling competition would be good .. or a rogue bison that runs naked through the lodge .. almost anything would allow me to suspend my disbelief again. This is an Emo book with repeated repetition of the repetitive infantile courting emotions. I'm a grown guy so I'm overly predjudiced against romance novels to start with but I love a good story. The Clan of the Cave Bear and the Valley of the Horses were very interesting stories. I could take the romance. The Mammoth Hunters belongs under a Harlequin publishing title so I and people like me who enjoy a very good adventure read with lots of educational thought would not walk into this wall of stupidity unawares.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Prehistory as Studio 54, Nov. 29 1999
By 
Merope (New Mexico, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a silly book. Nothing like a series to expose the banality of the writer's soul, I guess. But it is fun to see Paleolithic society portrayed as an evening at Studio 54. Both social systems are defunct. Coincidence? I think not.
Ayla will no doubt invent the wheel in the next book. I'm sorry she ever started. Someone invented written language and Auel is threatening to finish the series. Oh, I hope not.
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The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three
The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three by Jean M. Auel (Mass Market Paperback - Nov. 1 1986)
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