Kim Stanley Robinson, the New York Times bestselling author of science fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy and 2312, has, on many occasions, imagined our future. Now, in Shaman, he brings our past to life as never before.
There is Thorn, a shaman himself. He lives to pass down his wisdom and his stories - to teach those who would follow in his footsteps.
There is Heather, the healer who, in many ways, holds the clan together.
There is Elga, an outsider and the bringer of change.
And then there is Loon, the next shaman, who is determined to find his own path. But in a world so treacherous, that journey is never simple - and where it may lead is never certain.
Shaman is a powerful, thrilling and heartbreaking story of one young man's journey into adulthood - and an awe-inspiring vision of how we lived thirty thousand years ago.
Robinson (2312) makes a shift from near-future SF to prehistorical fiction with this entertaining but slight ice-age bildungsroman. Loon, a young man on the verge of adulthood, marks his birthday by surviving alone in the wild for two weeks. Returning to his "pack," he learns various practical and artistic skills. He's often as rebellious as he is studious, and as driven by teen hormones as any contemporary teen hero (using prehistoric safe-sex methods to avoid sowing his wild oats), but he matures when he falls in love with Elga, a girl from another pack. After their love leads to her pregnancy, they encounter complications that could drive them from Loon's pack and his friends. Robinson creates a rich world, but there's not much new (or much at all, really) in the underlying story, which is predictable right down to the final line. Fans of the author's smooth prose and intense research will find enough of both, but the book is far outclassed by both Robinson's earlier works and other prehistory novels.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A ponderous slog
Storytelling at its best
I didn't think I would care for this at first, but I was quickly drawn into an excellent story told by a very accomplished storyteller. Should be required reading for every history major, romantic, and sociologist. BZ.