Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George

DEATH
Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George
A People of the Wind Mystery
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Historical, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (159 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Enga Dancing Flower knows her Neanderthal tribe is in trouble. The dark seasons are becoming longer and the mammoth herds are fleeing south. When the tribal leader is found stabbed to death, the new leader thinks Enga did it. Expulsion and certain death loom. Enga must find the murderer to save her tribe — and herself.

How do you solve a murder when you’re the prime suspect, your tribe is on the brink of starvation, and time is running out almost as quickly as the list of people you can trust?

Enga Dancing Flower has struggled to fit in with her adoptive family for years. Her desire to be fully accepted is evident early on in this story, and her refusal to give up on this dream made my heart ache. I was surprised to see how quickly Enga and her twin sister reveal themselves to be well-rounded individuals whose emotional bond surpasses their strikingly different habits and traits. Ms. George clearly invested a lot of time into developing her main characters, and her hard work pays off when Enga’s sensitive, intelligent, and kind personality shines through the very first paragraph.

It was difficult to remember the names, histories, and family ties of the nearly 30 men, women, and children of Enga’s tribe, many of whom were briefly introduced early on and then not mentioned again for several chapters. I would have preferred to see a detailed family tree included after the acknowledgements so that I could quickly refresh my memory about how certain individuals were related to one another.

Despite my occasional confusion, I wished this book would never end. Ms. George described Enga’s world in such vivid detail I felt like I’d travelled back through time and was experiencing the triumphs and tragedies of Hamapa people alongside them. The beginning of each chapter includes a short quote about what the scientific community thinks life was like for the various hominid species back then, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how this information was incorporated into her story in sometimes unexpected ways. While I was satisfied with the ending, I’m hoping that the author’s decision to leave a few key questions unanswered was a subtle hint that we will hear from these characters again soon.

Death in the Time of Ice is a gripping mystery, and it’s the best example of prehistoric fiction I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves either genre.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a fascinating and unique story and one I would enjoy reading.

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