I am so pleased to have been given the opportunity to read this new book from Jacqui Murray. I have read and enjoyed her work before but this is a very different read, something new to me and fascinating. I loved her approach, her telling of the human and emotional side of the story rather than simply the (very real) physical struggle of the era. It’s not sensational in any way, but the times are brutal and unforgiving of the slightest mistake. Murray shows this admirably.
Here is the author’s short description:-
Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive in the harsh reality of a world where nature rules, survival is a daily challenge, and a violent band threatens to destroy everything Lucy thinks she understands.
If you like Man vs. Wild, you’ll love this book. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. It will bring that world to life in a way never seen before.
My Review of Born in a Treacherous Time
Born in a Treacherous time explores the world of Lucy, one of a group of Homo Habilis, tool-maker scavengers who follow the fierce carnivores of the day in their bid to keep themselves fed.
Of course, this is a brutal world. Not only must the group protect themselves from the very carnivores they rely on, they have to deal with the prospect of injury and sickness and the violent actions of the earth through the turmoil of volcanoes and earthquakes. Then there are the terrifying glimpses of other groups whose specialisms are different. Clashes can be a fatal. Almost everything can be fatal.
The character of Lucy was cleverly introduced through an earlier novel, a thriller, by the same author. In To Hunt a Sub, (click to see my review) which really couldn’t be more different, with the hi-jacking of a nuclear submarine as the storyline, Kali Delemagente, a brilliant student, has developed a programme to track early man, namely Lucy and her group, as they progress beyond their African origins. This programme is recognised as a potentially powerful tool for reasons both good and bad and it’s very existence puts Kali in danger. ( a very good read). To Hunt a Sub is followed by 24 Days
However, in Born in a Treacherous Time we are taken away from technology and intrigue and back to the primitive world where our ancestors began to make their mark.
What I liked about Born in a Treacherous Time was the way the author portrayed the many aspects of that early life. Sure, there was the fight to the death with sabre toothed cat, the danger of the mammoth herds, not to mention the geological mayhem, however, the story was finely balanced with the other concerns of an intelligent species. Lucy is a healer, she collects plants along the way and has learned which will help with various ailments. She has foresight and understanding of the pain of others. She feels kinship and responsibility and has fears and flaws just like all the members of the group.
When a member of another group is observed using a spear to attack rather than waiting to scavenge, Lucy is fascinated by this newly observed skill and eager to learn.
By exploring human failings and qualities the author very ably told a tale of long -ago characters that were recognisable and relatable and so my first foray into early-man fiction (should I call it early-person?) was an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience.
Many thanks to the author for an advanced copy of this book. I was not obliged to review or comment.
About the Author
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Wild series. She is also the author of over a hundred books on integrating technology into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.
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