“A marvelous blend of fact and fiction. Much more could be said of this excellent piece of historical fiction, but suffice to say, it roundly deserves five stars for its unique ability to entertain as well as inform. You will never look upon the cavemen in museum dioramas in quite the same way again. Indeed, Burgauer’s vivid portrayal of day-to-day life back then — complete with bouts of anxiety, somnambulism, and even eroticism — make this novel breathe with an uncannily contemporary touch of reality.”
— Publishers Daily Reviews, December 15, 2016
“ . . . the author has quite cleverly interweaved his narrative with a science lens to help us make sense of the Neanderthal’s actions . . . so the tag of science fiction/fantasy stands in this enjoyable tale.” 4 stars out of 5
— December 9, 2016, “The Book Reviewers” Full Media Ltd.
Imagine yourself 40,000 years ago. The last of the Neanderthals encounter the first humans as early man spreads west into the last outreaches of Iberia. What will be the outcome?
The fossil record is unclear.
Did Neanderthal speak?
Did he laugh, have music, feel love?
Did he interact with Homo sapiens or get killed by him in mortal combat or get pushed to extinction on less marginal lands?
This book answers some of those questions in a carefully researched fictional setting.
Now meet Strong Arms, leader of the clan.
Predator species have spite hardwired into their behavior.
Killing the competition before it grows up is always a good genetic strategy for any meat-eater.
Now, take one that’s smart, adaptive, and a consummate tool-user, and you have the makings for a conflict of monumental proportions.
It’s man versus Neanderthal in the mountains of Iberia. Only one will survive.
You may be surprised by which.
“Refreshingly thought-provoking . . . Burgauer’s ability to portray the thoughts and feelings of Neanderthal man is excellent . . . Delicately and intricately wrought . . . an engrossing read . . . ”
— D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review, February 2017
Fans of Jean Aul and other writers who provide stories about early humans on Earth will find The Night of the Eleventh Sun to be refreshingly thought-provoking as it focuses on a Neanderthal man’s world and his interactions with the incoming Homo sapiens species.
Strong Arms is well adapted to his environment and is a hunter who has achieved much; but when he spies another clan coming toward him one morning — one whose members aren’t quite as he is — it is the beginning of a series of strange, wonderful, and frightening encounters with those who seem to be related to him in some way, but who are different.
These new humans don’t just move differently; they have a different way of interacting with the world around them — and Strong Arms discovers that all his survival skills cannot prepare him for the invading forces that soon take over his clan, his life, and his world.
Steven Burgauer’s ability to portray the thoughts and feelings of Neanderthal man is excellent. Strong Arms faces the problems he created when he exiled a young man and other clan members from his group, experiences feelings and drives that portend well for survival even if he doesn’t quite understand the reasons behind them, and moves through a world created and determined by the Nature God to explore how magic operates in conjunction with natural law. As he does so, readers gain insights into the possible explorations and thoughts of Neanderthal man and his changing place in the world.
From the desperate — even forbidden — attempts of a maturing girl to find a mate to the forces of natural selection and clan economics, Burgauer explores all facets of clan makeup, interactions, and psychology within a fictional story that creates involving characters fully immersed in their environment and its many changes and challenges.
As Strong Arms faces the elimination of everything he’s built and known about his world, he tries to reason out life’s purpose even as he becomes one of the last remaining eight hundred Neanderthals on the planet. In this changing world, even uncommon intelligence still has few options for survival.
Delicately and intricately wrought with a heavy focus on the thoughts and perceptions of one who walks through a world both familiar and increasingly alien, The Night of the Eleventh Sun is an engrossing read especially recommended for readers who would consider the transitional changes and choices experienced by one species being replaced by another during the process of evolution.
Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review, February 2017
“A powerful, entertaining and thought-provoking novel, The Night of the Eleventh Sun, is a clear indication of Burgauer’s ability to bring a distinctive voice to multiple genres. Deserving of a broad readership it is highly recommended.”
— BookViral, January 6, 2017
A powerful and imaginary re-creation of our past which uses history for its inspiration, The Night of the Eleventh Sun proves a gripping read from start to finish. Few authors could have pulled this off so well, but Burgauer has an undeniable passion for accuracy and an enviable knack for capturing pivotal moments. Without representing primitive man as being unduly savage he creates characters with whom his readers are able to feel a sense of kinship by exploring the baser traits that make us truly human and in particular our overriding need to survive and protect the ones we love. The question for many readers will be whether they can make their own leap of imagination whilst Burgauer’s story is at its most affecting when it demonstrates bursts of ingenuity from his beetle-browed characters. Deftly rendered, it’s through them that he poignantly reminds us of our primaeval past and our long trek towards civilisation with the focus on emotional and tactical evolution which is the subtext to his narrative. On this level it’s a unique achievement and whilst being something of a step change for Burgauer should none the less be well received by his readers.
A powerful, entertaining and thought-provoking novel, The Night of the Eleventh Sun, is a clear indication of Burgauer’s ability to bring a distinctive voice to multiple genres. Deserving of a broad readership it is highly recommended.