Auel has proved her storytelling prowess in her prior books about Ayla, queen of the prehistoric people, member of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and friend to all animals and people. Which may be enough to sustain a reader through the first half of her 749-page novel — even if it means slogging through genealogical introductions for every character and endless discourses on spear throwing and healing herbs. Not to give away the second half, but — nothing much happens. Ayla’s still gorgeous, her animals are still groovy, and she still tries to get along with everyone — including Jondalar, her mate (and mate they do — there are excruciating references to his ”manhood,” which is almost always in a state of ”rearing”). For a good adventure, go back to the original.