the first 2/3rds of the book were alternating chapters between ayla (main character in the clan of the cave bear) and a new major character, jondalar. i found all the chapters that focused on jondalar to be more or less extraneous (even though he was obviously a new major focus of the series) and didn't enjoy them. also they seemed less realistic (as if i know anything about this time period) both in terms of the language, banter, relationships between people, and even the advancements these people had over the people ayla was raised with. the ayla chapters were, to me, like the clan of the cave bear and i couldn't get enough. like before, the writing leans more toward poor than great, ayla is ridiculously perfect, the addition of sex that the publishers required is annoying, the dialogue is cheesy, and for some reason it's impossible to put down. strong female character, the origin story of all of us, and something so incredibly compelling. she manages to weave this fabulous story in spite of all the drawbacks. also a great lesson about racism, which i love. i'm still so excited about this series.