General Information:Year of Publication: 1980 to 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Number of books in series: Six
Series Plot Summery (From Amazon)
A literary phenomenon, Jean M. Auel’s prehistoric odyssey is one of the best-loved sagas of our time. Employing meticulous research and the consummate artistry of a master storyteller, Auel paints a vivid panorama of the dawn of modern humans. Through Ayla, an orphaned girl who grows into a beautiful and courageous young woman, we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world, home to the Clan of the Cave Bear.
To see the individual plot summery of each book, go here: http://www.jeanauel.com/books.php
I have never been so emotionally attached to a set of characters in any book I have ever read. If it was ever possible to actually love a character from a story, then I love Ayla, the main character. This is the ultimate goal for any author, and Jean M. Auel has totally nailed this. I'm not ashamed to say, this series has made me laugh and made me cry. At one point, I almost stopped reading simply because I couldn't bear to see anything bad happen to the main character.
The author has done extensive research into the subject matter and created an amazing fictional story from real life facts. It gives you an insight into the way of life and the people that made us what we are today. What I loved the most was their innocence. The way they interpret the world is almost child-like. It goes into so much depth about the way we used to live, including our beliefs and the beginnings of religion, the way we saw the world, and the differences between cultures of the two species of humans that lived on the earth at that time. In a word, amazing.
The books are written in an omniscient POV (point of view) This isn't really a negative point, but it does take some getting used to. You hop from one head to another, and sometimes you have to stop and think who's head your are in. But I understand why it had to be written in this way as the people of the Clan communicated using hand signals. Not having dialogue meant there really wasn't any other way to do this.
The thing that annoyed me the most was the way the author kept repeating herself. This was done for the benefit of any reader who may not have started reading from the first book, but these are big books! Some have over eight hundred pages. Personally, after I have invested so much time as a reader, I do not want to have to read things over and over again that I have already read or already know. Some back story is okay, but there was way too much.
What makes this book unique
I have never read anything that compares to this story before. It shows how an extinct race of people lived, while telling a story about a little girl who could be one of our own ancestors. It shows us her life in a believable way and gives us an insight into how the world we know today was shaped.
This is a fantastic series of books. I would recommend for anyone to read them. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I had to find out how they would end. It's not surprising that these books are such world wide best sellers.