One book received, ELOM, and that appears to be enough, as it’s described as Clan of the Cave Bear meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I would describe it, no matter how well written it might be, as probably Not For Me. Press release reads in part “What if alien abductions really do exist. What if they’ve been happening throughout mankind’s entire history? Why did they happen so long ago, and who was responsible?” In describing ELOM, the author, a former politician, says, “My book’s saying, wait a minute, we really don’t know where we came from, why we’re here. I’m not saying that [all the religions] aren’t right, I’m just saying, ‘well, maybe it’s this way. What if?'”
This is why I love press releases. They get writers to say silly things in the service of the book. Raise your hand if you’ve suddenly said to yourself, “Hey, man, wait a minute, what if there were lots of alien abductions during pre-historical times! That would change everything.” Well, you might’ve, but you were probably high at the time.
One reason I say the book isn’t for me, although don’t be surprised if I offer it up in Amazon coverage to those to whom it might be more palatable, has to do with the opening paragraphs:
At first the appearance of the blood had startled Geerna; now she smiled to herself as she thought about it. It had been the number of days spanning the time between the risings of two full moons since the criimson liquid first trickled down the inside of her leg–a signal of the onset of her womanhood. The Earth Mother had Touched her a second time with the Flowing of the Blood a moon cycle later; now, as she huddled in the Quary Hut, she felt the uncomfortable wetness of her third Flowing of the Blood.
Her mother, Zera, had assured her the great Earth Mother, Shetow, would soon give her the blessed sign. Even with her mother’s promise, it still frightened Geerna when she first felt the warm, sticky liquid and lifted her deer-pelt skirt to see the bright red symbol of the Earth Mother’s Touch. To her surprise, her first thought was of pride in being Touched by Shetow before Kara, her closest friend. Geerna smiled and then yelled her good news to Kara before dartinng off to find Zera, who was digging up fresh kasa roots with the other women of the tribe.
I think you can see why I might recommend it to Amazon readers, in that the writing itself is pretty good–descriptive, etc.–even though I personally hate prehistoric novels for the most part.
But my immediate negative reaction–my personal taste indicator flashing orange–is not really that there’s a whole couple of pages about Geerna’s period…Okay, yes it is, but let me assure you, if there was a male equivalent to a woman’s period, and some author spent the first couple of pages talking about it, I would not be happy about that, either. However, it really does go beyond that. First of all, it seems like a lot of these prehistoric novels have to focus on this subject in a way that doesn’t really serve much purpose. I.e., I don’t see it as that important to the plot–or, at least, by this time, it’s a cliche. I also don’t think the paragraphs above reflect a prehistoric point of view. I think that this event would actually be a non-event in a community that would be much more physical and earthy to begin with.
Me, as a male writer, I’d never write a passage like the above one, and I can’t tell you exactly why. It’s kind of a gut feeling. But I’m curious to get some reactions to this and whether I’m either reflecting some male bias in my comments or what. Feel free to pile it on. Today, I’m made of teflon!