My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I hate to say this (because I have invested so much time into reading this series) but I was seriously disappointed by The Land of Painted Caves. The majority of the book dragged on and on (and on and on) and was highly repetitive. (Yes, we KNOW she has an unusual accent. She has been living there for six years – get over it already!!!) The author spent so much time and effort in describing in excruciating detail each sacred cave they visited that she didn’t have much room for a plot and after the first couple of caves, I have to admit that I just got bored.
The high point of the book was when we got to see some visiting characters from The Mammoth Hunters (really the best book in the series) but things quickly went downhill from there as the author decided to recycle old relationship drama from Book 3 and everyone freaked out about where babies come from. (I am still not sure why this was such a shock – Ayla had been obsessing about this for several books and talking about it anyone who would listen but still….)
I am not sure if this is intended to be the last book in the series. I was under the impression that it was but the author left major plot elements unresolved so it is possible that there is another book in the works. I very rarely stop reading book series before they are finished. If I enjoyed earlier installments, I will finish a series if only to find out what happened to characters I liked. But if another installment of the Earth Children series appears in a decade or so, I am not sure I will take the time to read it.