2015 Reading Challenge: The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Photo Cred: goodreads.com
Title: The Clan of the Cave Bear
Author: Jean M. Auel
Series: Earth Children (#1)
Release Date: June 10, 2004
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Medium: Audiobook
Voice Actor: Sandra Burr
Fulfills: A book that became a movie, A book by a female author, A book a friend recommended, A book by an author you’ve never read before
Finished Reading: February 14, 2015

About: “Here is the saga of a people who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear; how they lived; the animals they hunted; the great totems they revered. But mostly it is the story of Ayla, the girl they found and raised, who was not like them. To the Clan, her fair looks make her different – ugly. And she has odd ways; she laughs, she cries, she has the ability to speak. But even more, she struggles to be true to herself and, with her advanced intelligence, is curious about the world around her. Although Ayla is clearly a member of the Others, she is nurtured by her adoptive parents, befriended by members of the Clan, and gradually accepted into the family circle. But there are those who would cast her out for her strange, threatening ways.
So the conflict between the ancient Clan, bound by heredity to its traditions, and the girl in its midst, of a newer breed destined to alter the face of earth, could never be resolved. And it is this same struggle that leads Ayla to venture where no Clan woman has ever dared. Driven by destiny and a will to survive, Ayla breaks the forbidden taboo…”

I was in need of an audiobook, so I turned to a coworker and asked which book I should listen to next. She turned a little red and told me about this series that has, like, a million books and she’s read all of them and loved every single one. She then went on to explain that the books take place in caveman days and things that happen explain why things are they way they are today. It sounded pretty cool, so I checked it out.

The voice acting was mediocre. The voice used for Kreb (sorry about the spelling – I’m not 100% on them) was ridiculous, and not in a good way. His voice made me laugh a couple times. It was like a … creature voice. It’s hard to explain. Maybe if a troll and a gremlin had a voice baby, this is what it would sound like.

The names were confusing to me. They were all really similar (again, I apologize for the spelling) Kreb, Ayla, Issa, Goov, Brun, Broud, Vorn, Vorg. These last four were really hard for me to keep straight. Wait, who said that? Wait, who did that?

The story was so slow. The tempo was way too slow for me to be excited about anything. I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened, even by the surprising parts and I attribute this to the slowness. The action was action-y, but there was too much time in between – I was bored.

Ok. We get it. She’s not built like the rest of the Clan and everyone thinks she’s insanely ugly. We get it. She won’t have a mate because she’s ugly. We get it. Her totem is very strong. The repetition in this book only added to the slow tempo and to my antsy-ness. I only need to be told once, maybe twice – but this was too much. At every turn Auel seemed to find a way to squeeze in that Ayla is ugly. Stop.

Overall, this book was pretty meh for me. I could have lived my life happily without having read it. I thought it was going to blow me away because it came highly recommended and has a pretty high average rating on goodreads. I can see the appeal, but I wanted speed. I wanted something that was going to keep my attention a little better.

My rating and why: I gave this book 2.5/3 stars. It was pretty meh for me. I wasn’t excited to get into the car. I wasn’t invested in any of the characters or story lines. I didn’t really care what happened to any of them. I did finish the book, though I’m not sure why. I will not be continuing with this series.

Your turn! Let me know if I’m being too harsh or if I’ve read this completely wrong and it’s the best work of literature ever. Have you read this book? Is there a book you’ve ready that has been recommended highly but fell short? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow bibliophile beasties!

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