I despised this book with every fiber of my being. It is by far the worst book in the series. I could handle the endless repetition of the painted caves. What I could not handle was the return of the prehistoric soap opera from "Mammoth Hunters." Ayla seemed to have gone through a serious personality shift in this book. She did not feel like the same character I had spent the previous five books with. In some cases, she felt spiteful and harsh, which made absolutely no sense to me. Jondalar's jealousy issues were something that was incredibly irritating as well. I thought he had learned his lesson in the previous books, but nope! I almost preferred all of the painted cave descriptions because at least it got me away from once-loved characters whose behaviors disgusted me in this book. I was so let down by this book, and by "Shelters of Stone," that as far as I'm concerned, the series ended with "Plains of Passage," so at least it could go out on a high note.