Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help indie and self-published authors share their books. Indie authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to marketing. If I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do it. Below we have Survival of the Fittest, the first book in Jacqui Murray’s prehistoric trilogy, The Crossroads Trilogy.
Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home. Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, Survival of the Fittest is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict, and passion.
Chased by a ruthless enemy, Xhosa leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands following a path laid out decades before by her father, to be followed only as a last resort. She is joined by other fleeing tribes from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant, all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, tragedy, secrets, and Nature itself, Xhosa is forced to face the reality that her enemy doesn’t want to ruin her People. It wants to ruin her.
The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia, where “survival of the fittest” was not a slogan. It was destiny. Xhosa’s People were from a violent species, one fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened their lives except for one: future man, a smarter version of themselves, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.
This is an interesting fictionalized look at the evolution of man. In this book, a more evolved version of man is driving out the ones before. In the vein of the novels of Jean Auel, Survival of the Fittest follows Xhosa, who finds herself the leader of her people as they try and escape a vicious new group that has fire, more advanced language, and weapons. They are violent and will not hesitate to kill Xhosa and her people. The author’s note at the beginning of this book is very helpful as she explains the setting of 850,000 years ago and what early humans were like. The author also explains her choice of language for the tribes who used more gestures than sounds, and the reason for that. I had very little knowledge of that period, so I appreciated this information, and it prepared me for the novel. This is Book 1 in The Crossroads Trilogy.
The characters and their battle for survival are fascinating and compelling. The plot is engaging and well-paced. The triangle of Xhosa, Nightshade, and Hawk brings in a romance of sorts, albeit as close as you could get to such a thing at that time. The rich cast of supporting characters goes on and on, Zvi, Seeker, and Lyta might be my favorites, but as the journey goes on and separate groups join together, each individual learns from and teaches the other. I loved the fact that a wolf is part of the group and one of the characters. I felt transported as far back in time as I’ve ever been, and the dynamic of a more evolved and stronger group trying to wipe out everyone else is convincing and strong. Full of prehistoric danger and endless adventure, this book will not let you go until the end, and only with the promise of more in book two.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, and a contributor to NEA Today. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days on Amazon Kindle. Also read Man vs. Nature, starting with Born in a Treacherous Time–also on Kindle. She is also the author of The Crossroads Trilogy, which is an adventure saga about prehistoric mankind.
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