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Children of the Dawnland

Children of the Dawnland - Kathleen O'Neal Gear, W. Michael Gear I have yet to read a pre-history book that's not disappointing. That in itself is disappointing. I think they have the potential to be quite interesting. Both this and Clan of the Cave Bear focus heavily on fantastical spirituality. When you live so close to the land and the smallest things can have large effects on whether your clan survives or goes hungry, I can understand why such a group would be more superstitious, look for signs, and put great faith in both natural and drug-induced dreams. However, I have a low tolerance level for a book that seems to focus ENTIRELY on fantastical spirituality in exclusion to everything else. I also have low tolerance for a book that has characters named Twig and Riddle. Yuck.

Children of the Dawnland centers around a girl named Twig that has dreams of impending doom for her clan. The half of the book I was able to force myself to read has her searching for some other girl whose dreams come true in order to ... be taught to dream better? (Sadly, that was never made clear). Unfortunately, the bad guys are also searching for the same girl for some reason. A crazy man is trying to help Twig find the other dreaming girl through doing things that don't make sense like tracking a spruce tree and killing it. Really. The whole book makes that much sense.

Not only is the plot confusing, but the whole book is full of such confusion that I couldn't imagine many children liking this book. New characters are poorly introduced, the storyline doesn't make much sense, I never got a sense of the setting from anywhere except the book's cover and introduction, and the authors never made me care about the plot or the characters. A quick thumb through the rest of the book shows more of the same and I just don't care to waste my time with a book written so poorly.

Note: While I critique both purchased and free books in the same way, I'm legally obligated to tell you I received this book free through the Amazon Vine program in return for my review. Blah blah blah.