Book Reviews

The Many Faces of Natural Selection, Big Dogs and Humans

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and our late Leonberger Bronco as well as the book I wrote about him and his dog friends. However, sometimes I review other Leonberger books here as well as books that I love and want to promote. This time I am reviewing Natural Selection, the third and last  book in the Dawn of Humanity series – October 18, 2022, by Jacqui Murray. This paperback is 283 pages, 978-1942101628, item weight 1.09 pounds, dimensions 6 x 0.64 x 9 inches. You can buy it from Amazon, as a paperback or e-Book. The paperback version is currently $15.99 on Amazon. The Kindle version is $4.99 or free if you are part of Kindle Unlimited.

This book is truly great historical fiction, and it features a pre-historic canine called Ump who reminds me of our late Leonberger Bronco. So, I feel there is a special connection. Reading this book was a great joy. I wrote a review on Amazon, which can be found here (The Many Faces of Natural Selection), as well as on my social media.

Photo of the Front cover of the book Natural Selection, book 3 in the dawn of humanity trilogy by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon location for Natural Selection.
Front cover of the book Natural Selection, book 3 in the dawn of humanity trilogy by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon location for Natural Selection.

Below I am posting my Amazon review for Natural Selection.

The Many Faces of Natural Selection

The survival of the fittest is an important theme in this book. Keen senses, intelligence, strength, speed, cooperation, and health all help you survive, but as the sixth paragraph on page 240 clearly shows, so does empathy. Read what Vex says. Empathy and caring for others, is not a weakness, even in brutal and treacherous times. It encourages loyalty and cooperation that in turn create strong groups. Strong groups have a better chance of surviving and that is natural selection. Natural selection seems to be a cold and cruel process, and maybe it is, but it created humans with compassion and the ability to empathize and care for others.

The main character is a pre-historic homo habilis woman who lived 1.8 million years ago. She is brave, a great hunter, a healer (using various herbs), and she cares about others. She is the wonder woman of the early Paleolithic age. The premise of the story is that Lucy’s group of homo habilis is enslaved by a cruel but strong group of Homo Erectus, the man-who-preys. Lucy and a few others are able to flee and so begins their long and perilous journey through Africa. Along the way Lucy assembles a very diverse group around herself. However, it turns out that even though diversity can create challenges, especially with respect to communication, it also creates strength.

Other important characters include Xha, an initially cruel Homo Erectus leader whose character develop in interesting ways, and Ump, Lucy’s canine companion. Ump is a large pre-historic canine who is friendly, brave, and very protective of his group. Ump is able to communicate with the hominids using body language in a manner that is similar to how dogs do it today. Ump reminded me of my late Leonberger dog. He was smart, strong, had a keen sense of smell and hearing, he was fierce, yet compassionate, and loving and above all very protective. He saved the members of the group on several occasions, just like our Leonberger protected us and his fellow dogs on a number of occasions.

This book, like the previous two in the series, is filled with action-packed adventure and interesting subplots. You never know what is going to happen next and you have to find out. In other words, it is a real page turner. Without giving anything else away I can say that the book ends on a quite satisfying note but with some twists and turns that you may not expect.

I loved this book, just like I loved the previous two books in the series. It is enjoyable, fun, action packed, the stories are creative and fascinating, and the book is very well written. It is possible to read this book on its own, but I recommend reading the other two books first. Reading the entire series will give you a more complete sense of why the plots are evolving the way they do. I highly recommend this book as well as the whole series.

Photo of the back cover of the book Natural Selection, book 3 in the dawn of humanity trilogy by Jacqui Murray
Back cover of the book Natural Selection, book 3 in the dawn of humanity trilogy by Jacqui Murray










Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from Amazon.

The image shows the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger. The cover is beige and brown and it has the face of an old Leonberger in the middle. Author is Thomas Wikman. Click on the image to go to the Amazon location for the book.
This is the front cover of my book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the location for the book.

By thomasstigwikman

My name is Thomas Wikman. I am a software/robotics engineer with a background in physics, but I am currently retired. I took early retirement. I am a dog lover, and especially a Leonberger lover, a home brewer, craft beer enthusiast, an amateur astronomer, I’m learning French, and I am an avid reader. I live in Dallas, Texas, but I am originally from Sweden. I am married to Claudia, and we have three children Jacob, David and Rachel. My blog feature the crazy adventures of our Leonberger e Bronco von der Löwenhöhle as well as information on Leonbergers

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