Moctu and the Mammoth People

Moctu and the Mammoth People

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About the Book

Set in Paleolithic Italy 45,000 years ago, Moctu and the Mammoth People is a compelling thriller about a strong, young Cro-Magnon boy who must fight his rival for leadership of his tribe and the right to mate the beautiful and talented Nuri.

Moctu and his people have confrontations with the “Pale Ones,” a fierce group of Neanderthals that some call the People Eaters. On a hunting trip, he observes them from afar and wonders about their nature.  Will they always be a threat to his tribe? Finding out may get Moctu killed and eaten.

Besides having dangerous encounters with mammoths, wolves and saber-tooth cats, Moctu has to deal with his older rival, Jabil, who fights and undermines him at every opportunity. After Jabil secretly murders several elder tribesmen who go against him, he deftly shifts blame onto the Pale Ones. He takes over as the tribe’s leader and proceeds to make Moctu’s life miserable.

Meanwhile, Nuri is coming of age and finds herself challenging the strict constraints of tribal customs as she tries to avoid being mated to Jabil – a man she despises.

While out on his own, Moctu is captured and enslaved by the Pale Ones. During his time with them, he is shocked to discover that, although these primitive people know little about spear-throwers or making clothes, they can make fire – a skill he comes to learn. He meets the blonde and fair-skinned Effie and, over time, comes to recognize that his hate for the Pale Ones was misplaced.

Realizing that Nuri by now has been mated to Jabil, Moctu falls in love with Effie and has a child. But when he uncovers evidence that Jabil murdered his tribesmen, Moctu knows he must return home and mount a challenge.

When Moctu returns can he overcome Jabil, and how will Nuri react? Will the interspecies conflict get Moctu or Effie killed?  Will Moctu rise to lead his people?

What Readers Are Saying...

“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…”

Diane Donovan
Editor of California Bookwatch


“PHENOMENAL!!! Holy smoke signals was this an AWESOME AWESOME book!!! Absolutely BRILLIANT!! Mammoth hunts, Sabertooth Tiger attacks, cannibalism (???), murder and treachery, rites of passage into manhood. You get to experience all of it as you experience life with Moctu, a young chro magnom boy as he grows into his own as a great hunter and father and leader of his people. This story puts you right there and right then and it is such an adventure of epic proportions. The excitement, the danger, the pain and the sorrow, you will witness it all, you will feel it ALL!! The anger from the treachery, it will become your anger as though it is you, personally, who is being wronged. What an incredible story, told so beautifully, and with such impeccable, authentic detail. I hope this book is only just the beginning. Thank you Neil Bockoven for this absolutely spectacular journey!! Well done.”

Elizabeth B.
Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer


“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


“You really feel the adrenaline, and it’s very suspenseful. It’s just freaking breathtaking…”

Kimberly Shelton, MBA
Virginia Tech University


“The best book of this genre since Clan of the Cave Bear! I enjoyed it thoroughly and look forward to the sequel.””

Jeffrey C Eckert
MS Geosciences


“Fascinating and dramatic; a truly moving story with compelling characters. And I learned so much, too! You can see how well researched and authentic the whole story is which is filled with so many interesting details. And the ending is quite satisfying. Well done!”

Marlene Adelstein
Author and Freelance Editor at


“I’m loving your book! I am a big fan of Clan of the Cave Bear and the series and find your manuscript to be extremely interesting. You’ve done a beautiful job with everything! I cannot even imagine all the research you’ve put into it and am simply astounded with how in-depth it is.”

Carol McCrow
Professional Editor


“Overall the writing was impressive. I thought the characters were well developed and the sense of time and place vivid.”

Bill Contardi
Literary Agent


“Great book. Suspenseful and exciting Neanderthal thriller. Honestly, the last thing I thought I would be engrossed in.”

T. Maloney-Rames
Professional Editor


“Incredible book. You need to teach a class on this…”

Doug Beveridge
VP Land, King Ranch


“I have really enjoyed reading your book! It is not my genre at all, so it’s all the more surprising that I found myself drawn into the story so much that I couldn’t wait to see how the threads were resolved…and you did a fantastic job of weaving everything together, with unexpected plot twists along the way. Very sensitive to women’s issues here too, and I know women reading it will appreciate that.”

Debbie Burke
Author, Glissando, A Story of Love, Lust and Jazz