Review: Daughter of Kura

I picked this up the last time I was in the library, and I only noticed it because of the name of the author (Austin- F AUSTIN is right near F AUEL).  It looked interesting, and (all of you know my major) after reading that it was about H. erectus, I added it to my check out pile…Only two books!

A half-million years ago in southeast Africa, Snap, granddaughter of the head-woman, is in line to become Mother of the matriarchal Kura, a Homo erectus clan.

One fall, a newcomer to the tribe, Bapoto, brings some extraordinary new ideas to the Kura: the soul, life after death, and a powerful spirit he calls the Great One. When Snap falls ill, Bapoto leads a ritual invoking the power of the Great One and apparently causes her recovery. As his ideas take hold among the Kura, he mates with Snap’s mother, helps defend the Kura from attack by strangers, and eventually seems poised to become the clan’s first male leader.

Snap sees his ideas and increasing power as threats to their traditions and is labeled an unbeliever. As she clashes with her mother and her clan, she begins to suspect that Bapoto is not what he seems.

(Taken from Debra Austin’s website.)

The first thing I noticed was the style of writing.  It was very easy to read (almost too easy, actually), and it was more Young Adult than Adult fiction.

The second thing I noticed, is this little comment on the back, “In the tradition of Clan of the Cave Bear…“.  I actually think that comparing this book and The Clan of the Cave Bear is insulting to all of Mrs. Auel’s hard work and superb research.

They broke apart and both began to gesture simultaneously.  Two sets of hands flew as they formed words with their fingers, with an occasional sound to convey emotion.  (Page 8, “Daughter of Kura”.)

Pretty much everything from this book was copied from “The Clan of the Cave Bear”.  If you have been reading me for very long, you will know my love for that series.  The way they talk (with signs) is obviously taken from Mrs. Auel’s series.

I don’t know.  I enjoyed the book and the storyline (which is the main character, Snap, pretty much growing up), but I just kept thinking how I was wasting my time with a copycat of the books I already love so much.  The names (all of the women had names of sounds; “Chirp”, “Snap”, “Whistle”, while the guys had more varied names; “Meerkat”, “Ash”, “Thump”, “Falcon”) were creative, and brought the characters more firmly alive.  There were sad parts (such as the baby getting stolen by a lion) that almost brought me to tears, but other parts made me mad, because the clear way to handle a situation (or deal with an evil newcomer) was overlooked.

If you haven’t read “The Clan of the Cave Bear” series, this book may be a tad more satisfying for you, but for me, it was a disappointment with an okay storyline.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s