Sunday, May 1, 2011

REVIEW: The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel

For my birthday my mum took me to K-Mart to buy the new Pokemon and I discovered a plethora of extremely cheap books (as well as other things such as socks and deodorant). I am now addicted to K-Mart. With my birthday money (how cute) I bought two of the Earth's Children books for $10 each, Torment ($8) and Darkness at Sethanon (FIVE DOLLARS!!!). Following on from this discovery I decided to check out Target back home in Melbourne and found The Valley of Horses, which was next on my list to read having just finished Clan of the Cave Bear. $15 ... bargain! Other purchases this week include The Shelters of Stone and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun from the Borders closing down sale. It's funny ... I will now only buy things if they are cheaper than

Anyway ... I really enjoyed The Valley of Horses, although not as much as book one I think. CotCB was so rich with facts and customs of the Clan and all of that came to an end at the end of the book, with Ayla's departure. The introduction of Jondalar and the humans provided for an almost equally interesting setting, but I suddenly felt it lacked the uniqueness from the first book. It was one of the only books I've read where humans were not the protagonists and it was so well researched and written that I was really drawn into the ways of the Clan. Then in VoH I felt suddenly dumped back into the monotony of human land.

Nevertheless, both Ayla's and Jondalar's story arcs were equally interesting. It was one of those books that you finish and think ... how did that take up this whole book? It felt like it should have been half as thick - in a good way. Really, it was only about Ayla walking to a valley and living by herself in a cave, any only meeting Jondalar near the end.

An interesting addition to this book was the exorbitant amount of descriptive sex scenes. While I thought two or three were appropriate, fit well and were well written, the no less than three occasions in the last twenty pages was a bit much. I felt like I was suddenly reading a Mills and Boon.

I've started reading The Mammoth Hunters which has already introduced an unfollowable amount of new characters and potential for a fresh plot. Although like VOH, Im questioning how MH will take up this large book. That said, I think the blurb doesn't give away anything, so I'm sure I'll be surprised.

If I finish this series before Land of the Painted Caves comes out in paperback I will be very annoyed. I also don't like that the cover is scarlet while the others are a white/pastel colour. Is that weird?