Literary Reviews

Literary Reviews

 “Bockoven’s achievement is masterful…urgent, timely and fascinating… After reading this novel, you may never think the same way about the human species…”

-Joseph Di Prisco 
Author and Founding Board Chair of The New Literary Project


“Every bit as involving and educational as Jean Auel’s celebrated Clan of the Cave Bear series, and deserves the same degree of acclaim and recognition for its blend of science-based insights and strong characterization and drama.

Diane Donovan
Editor, California Bookwatch


The People Eaters…A well-researched and exciting story based on recent revelations about Neanderthal and early modern anthropology.”

Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear
New York Times bestselling authors of 60 books with over seventeen million copies in print worldwide


“Bockoven takes readers to the crossroads of paleo-human evolution here and, in this unique and powerful series, raises the bar for historical fiction.”

Andrew Cotto
Award-winning author of Pasta Mike and a regular contributor to The New York Times


“Neil Bockoven has done it again with The People Eaters — a bracing tale of our ancient ancestors. Vivid, smart and surprising.”

–Mark McDonald,
Award-winning New York Times foreign correspondent, author of the Iraq war novel, Off the X


“Very rarely does a novelist bother to keep up with the latest scientific research, but Neil Bockoven is an exception who cares as much about telling a good story as a true one about the past.”

–Pat Shipman,
Professor and Author of The Invaders – How Humans and their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction


“Fans of Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear and other stories of prehistoric peoples’ lives and adventures will relish Moctu and the Mammoth People: An Ice Age Story of Love, Life and Survival, the story of a Cro-Magnon boy who not only battles a tribal rival for leadership and love, but also encounters and is captured by a fearsome group of Neanderthals.

This is no casual story. Award-winning geologist and author Neil Bockoven took two years to review all the current genetic and archeological research about these primitive peoples (our earliest ancestors), and this attention to detail is reflected in a story line that captures not only Moctu’s experiences, but the nature of the physical and tribal world in which he operates. Solid science drives this story and – uniquely for a novel – it is annotated in an addendum to the book.

The result is an intriguing, exciting and moving saga that takes the time to build early history and psychological tension alike. More than a light read about Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal confrontations, Moctu and the Mammoth People does an outstanding job of considering the evolutionary process of learning and change by focusing on a primitive soul whose very existence and entire belief system are challenged by outsiders and new ideas.

Jean Auel’s fans, in particular, will find Bockoven’s approach delightfully well detailed, backed by scientific and archaeological facts.”

Diane Donovan
Editor of California Bookwatch


“Neil Bockoven shows us that technology has been crucial to the survival of every human society, beginning with revolutionary innovations like fire-starting and a mastery of the spear. His new novel is nearly revolutionary as well, cleverly melding anthropology with the techniques of historical fiction. Moctu and the Mammoth People is unique, fascinating and deeply-sourced.

Mark McDonald
Former Award-Winning New York Times Foreign Correspondent and Author of the novel Off the X



“Most of us, if we think of Neanderthals and early humans at all, picture primitive, grunting savages. The reality, we are coming to realize, was vastly different. Neil Bockoven takes a scientific base and adds inspiration and imagination to create an epic tale of struggle and survival, of passion, betrayal and vengeance. It’s a tale that highlights our ancestors’ lives and loves, their fears and feelings – and, yes, their very humanity.”

Kieran Mulvaney
Author of The Great White Bear, At the Ends of the Earth, The Whaling Season and Witness