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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
New Shores by Ciaran J. McLarnon is a gripping survival story set in the prehistoric period. All Li wants is a chance at leadership and to sire some grandsons to create a lasting legacy within his tribe. After failing to make his chief, Mark, listen to his advice, Li's coastal village is torn apart by a devastating storm, leading to the loss of more than half of the inhabitants, including all of Li's family except for his daughter Su. When Li leads the survivors inland, a rival tribe's attack forces them to disband. Taken captive, Li finds himself unexpectedly rescued by Su. Determined to search for the rest of his tribe, Li and Su, along with a couple of the hill-folk, set off toward Confluence, a trading village for all tribes. But they find Confluence far from welcoming.
If you consider yourself a fan of movies like Apocalypto, you're bound to enjoy New Shores. The fast-paced plot and a cast of rich and compelling characters make author Ciaran J. McLarnon's wild rollercoaster novel a thoroughly entertaining reading experience. Li's evolution from a talented hunter and warrior with hard-set patriarchal beliefs to a compassionate man who recognizes others' strengths was captivating to read. The story is set in a very harsh environment, and as such, some scenes insinuate a brutal sequence of events happening to a likable character. Although McLarnon restrains himself from vividly describing them, it still manages to impact the reader evocatively. I would recommend New Shores to anyone who enjoys stories set in prehistoric times.