Today I am happy to participate in my friend
Jacqui Murray's Virtual Book Blast
for her new book Laws of Nature.
A boy blinded by fire.
A woman raised by wolves.
An avowed enemy offers help ...
I've been a fan of Jacqui's excellent prehistoric fiction since I read
Survival of the Fittest, the first novel in her Crossroads Trilogy.
It featured Xhosa, a female Homo erectus, who lived 850,000 years ago.
The novel was a great story filled with unforgettable characters in a wonderfully
recreated Pleistocene world grounded in careful research and scientific fact.
So I was very excited to delve into Jacqui's Dawn of Humanity Trilogy
with the release of the second book in the series: Laws of Nature.
This novel is set deeper in time, 1.8 million years ago at the dawn of the Pleistocene.
It features another strong and determined female protagonist, Lucy, a Homo habilis.
She and her kind were the first of our own genus Homo.
Jacqui masterfully brings Lucy and her African world alive.
Everything is based on thorough research,
but it is the storyteller in Jacqui that makes this novel compelling.
Lucy, her fellow hominids, and the incredible animals of this time
will stay with you long after you finish the book.
As a host, I had the opportunity to ask Jacqui a couple of questions about her book:
1. What is Lucy’s relationship with animals?
Lucy and her kind considered animals the alpha in their environs. They believed them like themselves—able to plan, make tools, and evaluate circumstances—and treated as respected equals, maybe even superior because of their strength and dominance. Because of this attitude, animals and man thrived together.
2. Prehistoric fiction sounds boring.
(Said Louise never, but I was curious to see what Jacqui would say.)
Not at all. I used to call the Man vs. Nature trilogies “prehistoric thrillers” because the stories share many traits found in that genre—flawed super-heroes, death-defying events, a small group entrusted to save the world despite impossible circumstances. If you like thrillers, you’ll like these prehistoric fiction trilogies. The stories aren’t about grunting cavemen who beat their enemies with clubs. It’s about the evolution of what makes us human—culture, art, body adornments, religion, decision-making, problem-solving, and more. The trilogy, Dawn of Humanity, and this story specifically deal with the nascence of those characteristics. Without claws, sharp teeth, and thick skin, we relied on our developing big brains to outsmart enemies. That’s what I focus on.
And, unless you define “boring” as spending most of their daylight searching for food, fighting for their lives, and sleeping, their lives weren’t boring either. Those “needs”—the lowest in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs—consumed most of their time but not all. They possessed curious minds (which arguably, Boah’s pre-Homo genus and Ump’s proto-wolf kind lacked), asked questions, wondered why, and made decisions based on thoughtful consideration rather than instinct. Both Lucy’s and Xha’s kinds are hundreds of thousands of years from discovering the beauty of art, music, poetry, and abstract concepts but because their brains were evolving the ability to handle those advanced concepts, I show how some of them might have begun.
In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can't stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy's unique group--which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack--but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn't trust.
Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.
A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!
springer.com See Citation Below
Title and author: Laws of Nature
Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase
Available print or digital) at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU Kindle India
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time.
She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.
Social Media contacts:
Amazon Author Page:
Book trailer on You Tube:
If you're looking for a great summer read,
you can't go wrong with any of Jacqui Murray's books!
1. For an excellent article on Wonderwerk Cave go to springer.com: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10437-015-9208-5#rightslink
Citation for photo:
Horwitz, L.K., Chazan, M. Past and Present at Wonderwerk Cave (Northern Cape Province, South Africa). Afr Archaeol Rev 32, 595–612 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-015-9208-5
2. I recommend that you read Born in a Treacherous Time first, followed by Laws of Nature.
3. The Man vs Nature Series: Jacqui Murray's Man vs Nature Series consists of three trilogies
that deal with pivotal points in the evolution of our species Homo sapiens. At each of these points the human line could have gone extinct.
The first trilogy (1.8 million years ago), Dawn of Humanity, features Lucy in these books:
Book 1, Born in a Treacherous Time, is published.
Book 2, Laws of Nature, is published.
Book 3, Natural Selection, is coming in Winter 2022.
The second trilogy (850,000 years ago), Crossroads, features Xhosa in these books:
Book 1, Survival of the Fittest is published.
Book 2, The Quest for Home is published.
Book 3, Against All Odds is published.
The third trilogy (75,000 years ago), with the working title Savage Land, will feature Cro Magnon man,
and I'm waiting to see what develops! Jacqui can't write fast enough for me!