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review 2019-07-08 18:52
The X Files: Earth Children Are Weird
The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird: A Picture Book (Pop Classics) - Kim Smith
There is nothing like a sleepover outside to get your imagination going and that is exactly what happens in this book, which is a classic on The X Files: Earth Children Are Weird. All outdoor noises can be explained by everyday events, right?
This is an enjoyable and lively story which begins with two young children (Dana and Fox) camping outside, in the backyard, inside a tent. Fox definitely looks scared after hearing Dana read to him the book, The X Files. Fox begins to question all the noises that he hears outside their tent. Dana tries to reason with Fox, explaining that aliens aren’t real and as they venture out into the yard, she tells him that things look different outside because its dark. It sounds like a great explanation but when Dana gets spooked too, they all take off running into the house where they think they’re going to be safe.
I enjoyed looking at the illustrations for they felt like they’d pop right off the page. Bright colors, crisp details and the facial expressions were fantastic. The story is told by using speech balloons as each character talks and by using various onomatopoeia's throughout the book. It really is a fun book to look at and the language is easy to read so children will be able to read it on their own in no time. The ending is super cute.


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text 2018-05-07 14:08
The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children #6) by Jean M. Auel
The Land of Painted Caves: Earth's Children Series - Jean M Auel,Rowena Cooper,Hodder Headline Limited
This is the final book in the Earth's Children series and it follows the journey of Ayla, as she attempts to become a Zelandonia (read: medicine woman) of her adopted tribe the Zelandonii. Ayla must survive in a prehistoric world in which danger lurks at every corner and life is dependent upon gathering from the land, while going through rigorous training which will test all of the skills that she has developed to date. Most people who train for the Zelandonii are not mated, let alone have children and so this journey will test Ayla's  relationship with Jondalar - the first human she met after being expelled from the Clan.  Will Ayla finally come full circle and be welcomed and cherished by the others from whom she was seperated from so many years ago?
I know that normally when we a review a series, we start with book one and follow through until the end but because I first read clan of the Cave Bear when I was a pre-teen and didn't know until recently that Auel had finally gotten around to finishing the series, starting at the beginning just felt like too much. Including a review of The Land of Painted Caves is a bit of a stretch on Fangs for the Fantasy given that it's not exactly paranormal; however, it does fall clearly into the realm of historical fantasy.  Auel has clearly done a lot of research into the tools used in prehistoric times and created a world which includes a creation myth and a religion that we can only imagine because not much survives from this time.  
The Land of Painted Caves is seven hundred and fifty-seven pages long and could easily have been cut down by a minimum of three hundred pages.  It was only my determination to see this story through to the end because of the fact that I started this series so young which caused me to  persevere to the end. It's quite possible to skip entire pages at a time and not miss a single thread of the story. The Land of Painted Caves is absolutely the definition of over written and pointless. 
It's not surprising that given the fact that modern science as we understand it is thousands of years away in The Land of Painted Caves that Auel had her characters worship natural spirits.  It makes sense to me that Auel had the Zelandonii practice a form of earth based religion; however, said worship quickly became tedious. Because the Zelandonii are in a pre written word stage of development, they practice an oral tradition of passing on information.  Auel took this oral tradition too far because she insisted on writing "The Mother's Song" repeatedly throughout the novel.  
Out of the darkness, the chaos of time,
the whirlwind gave birth to the Mother sublime.
She woke to Herself knowing life had great worth,
the dark empty void grieved the Great Mother Earth.
The Mother was lonely. She was the only.
From the dust of Her birth she created the other,
A pale shining friend, a companion, a brother.
They grew up together, learned to love and to care,
And when She was ready, they decided to pair.
Around Her he'd hover. Her pale shining lover.
She was happy at first with her one counterpart.
Then the Mother grew restless, unsure in Her heart.
She loved Her fair friend, Her dear complement,
But something was missing, Her love was unspent.
She was the Mother. She needed another.
She dared the great void, the chaos, the dark,
To find the cold home of the life-giving spark.
The whirlwind was fearsome, the darkness complete.
Chaos was freezing, and reached for Her heat. 
The mother was brave. the danger was grave.
She drew from cold chaos the creative source,
Then conceiving within, She fled with life force.
She grew with life that She carried inside.
And gave of Herself with love and with pride.
The Mother was hearing. her life She was sharing.
With a thunderous roar Her stones split asunder,
And from the great cave that opened deep under,
She birthed once again from her cavernous heart,
Bringing forth all the creatures of Earth from the start,
From the Mother forlorn, more children were born.
Each child was different, some were large and some small, 
Some could walk and some fly, some could swim and some crawl.
But each form was perfect, each spirit complete,
Each one was a model whose shape could repeat.
The Mother was willing. The green earth was filling,
All the birds an the fish and the animals born,
Would not leave the Mother, this time, to mourn.
Each kind would live near the place of its birth,
And share the expanse of the Great Mother Earth.
Close to Her they would stay. They could not run away.
They all were her children, they filled her with pride
But they used up the life force she carried inside.
She had enough left for a last innovation,
A child who'd remember Who made the creation,
A child who'd respect. And learn to protect. 
First Woman was born full frown and alive,
And given the Gifts she would need to survive.
Life was the First Gift, and like Mother Earth,
She woke to herself knowing life had great worth.
First Woman defined. The first of her kind.
Next was the Gift of Perception, of learning,
The desire to know, the Gift of Discovering,
First Woman was given the knowledge within,
That would help her to live, then impart to her kin.
First Woman would know. How to learn, how to grow. 
Her life force near gone, the Mother was spent,
To pass on Life's Spirit had been Her intent.
She caused all of Her children to create life anew,
And Woman was blessed to bring forth life, too.
But Woman was lonely. She was the only.
The Mother remembered Her own loneliness
The love of Her friend and his hovering caress,
With the last spark remaining, Her labor began,
To share life with Woman, She created First Man.
Again She was giving, One more was living.
To Woman and Man the Mother gave birth,
And then for their home, She gave them the Earth,
The water, the land, and all Her creation.
To use them with care was their obligation. 
It was their home to use, But never abuse.
For the Children of Earth the Mother provided,
The Gifts to survive, and then She decided,
To give them the Gift of Pleasure and caring,
That honors the Mother with the joy of their sharing.
The Gifts are well earned, When honor's returned.
The Mother was pleased with the pair she created,
She taught them to love and to care when they mated.
She mad them desire to join with each other,
The Gift of their Pleasures came from the Mother.
Before She was through, Her children loved too.
Her last Gift, the Knowledge that man has his part.
His need must be spent before new life can start.
It honors the Mother when the couple is paired,
Because woman conceived when Pleasures are shared.
Earth's Children were blessed. The could rest. 
Reading this horrendous poem one time in an over seven hundred word tome, is not necessarily a bad thing but reading it repeatedly because for some bizarre reason, Auel was determined that readers be beat over the head with her creation myth is just not forgivable. I perhaps could have gotten over the poem that just wouldn't end if Auel didn't decide to send Ayla on a tour of supposed sacred caves. On Ayla's first trip in, I read through the speculation as to why there were paintings on the cave walls, as well as justifications as to why said cave was supposedly sacred (note: because of echos apparently) and I really was fine with it but by about the tenth cave I was done. I found myself begging for mercy. How many times does one have to read about how amazing the long forgotten artist was or how important it was to create an echo to prove sacredness? Give it a rest already.  By the half way point, anytime they entered a cave I started skimming for the sake of my own sanity. 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/05/the-land-of-painted-caves-earths.html
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review 2016-10-24 15:03
The Implausibility of Happenstance: "Children of Earth and Sky" by Guy Gavriel Kay
Children of Earth and Sky - Guy Gavriel Kay

Rick in Casablanca notices the vast implausibility of happenstance: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Is serendipity a good thing in fiction ever? For me, one of the precepts of good writing has always been that coincidences are only permissible when the writer is setting up the narrative. Indeed, they’re often necessary: Circumstances have to come together in some way to launch an extended action. A sudden hailstorm brings man and woman together under the same awning, creating the necessary meet, and things can build from there, as it happened with Rick and Ilse. But, in my Tomus Primus of Good Writing wisdom says: “don’t use a coincidence to develop or resolve the plot.” It seems Kay forgot this cardinal rule.



If you're into SF, read on.


SF = Speculative Fiction.

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review 2016-07-23 14:55
Not New But Fun
The Ark: Children of a Dead Earth Book One - Patrick S Tomlinson,Larry Rostant

The detective, his tough female lover & fellow cop, his sidekick, an art historian, and a waif by & large try to solve the mystery of a missing technician. The clues & misfires lead us through a maze of eye-opening truths about The Ark, a spaceship extraordinaire that they and all of humanity live on. Overall, the Ark had nothing new to offer as a story concerning the end of the human race that's trying to find a new home since Earth, was destroyed but it was fun. Yup, if you kick logic to the curb and get on board it's an entertaining romp watching our detective, a retired athlete realize law & order is something you have to fight and stand up for.

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review 2016-07-18 03:56
Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay - My Thoughts
Children of Earth and Sky - Guy Gavriel Kay

This man writes the most beautiful books.  I can totally immerse myself in the worlds he creates, worlds that are almost ours but just a step to the left.  :)  He does things with words and sentences that should be so completely wrong, but they work!  THEY WORK!  


Along with amazingly real worlds, GGK creates the most real and intriguing characters, be they rulers or workers, priests or artists, they're all so complete and authentic.  If I stop to think about it, it boggles my mind.  In a good way of course!


I wish I was clever enough to write coherently about how I feel about this book, but I just want to stand up and shake my hands while jumping up and down.  *LOL*  


Here's a link to a review by someone who says things far more eloquently than I ever could.





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