Title: The Final Days of Doggerland
Author: Mike Meier
Publisher: Palmetto Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Publication: 2022
Book Summary: The Final Days of Doggerland by Mike Meier
Did you know that until about 8,000 years ago, England was connected by land to Northern Europe? We now call that connecting land “Doggerland.”
“The Final Days of Doggerland” is a Stone Age story, written by Mike Meier, the award-winning author of “JoinWith.Me” and “The Love Hex or Nicest Flings in Mexico.” It is beautifully illustrated by the Uruguayan artist Guarazú, and contains 5 songs that the author wrote for the story. Many aspects of the story are based on archeological facts, such as the migration of the Yamnaya people, the disappearance of Doggerland, the use of garlic mustard to spice food, and the arrival of blue-eyed people in Northern Europe from the area of the Black Sea.
If such historical facts interest you, then this book is for you.
Book Review: The Final Days of Doggerland by Mike Meier
Author Mike Meier’s novel The Final Days of Doggerland takes place in the Stone Age and is inspired by real-life archaeological discoveries. The story follows Oane, a hunter-gatherer girl with blue eyes who is proficient in the art of poison-making. Doggerland’s rising water level threatens the existence of many indigenous tribes, pushing them to scramble about in search of new habitation grounds. A tired band of nomads finally makes it to the remnants of Doggerland in Northwestern Europe, where they make an effort at settling down. As soon as Oane and the rest of the little Taifali tribe have found a suitable location, they go about the laborious job of constructing a village, which they can refer to as home.
To make matters worse, the Bollebarg, a tribe of pirates commanded by the ruthless Viggo, lurks in the area, waiting to loot any migratory tribes who dare to enter their territory. The violent Bollebarg tribe with their vicious leader, Viggo, ambushed Oane’s peaceful tribe as they travelled from the area surrounding the Black Sea. Despite their supremacy in terms of technology, the Taifali are outnumbered by Bollebarg and defeated. Following the massacre of the band’s male members, the remaining females and children, including Oane, are enslaved. Now that she is a hostage of the Bollebarg, Oane must learn to adapt to her new way of life. Her ability to concoct poisons has been her only means of survival while she tries to find the ways by which she may reach solid ground in the west. However, her carefully laid plans to flee may not be without consequence.
The Final Days of Doggerland will transport you back to a time before automobiles and computers, before women’s rights and civil rights, and into a fascinating realm of what the world may have been like before the modern age. It was vibrant and meticulously detailed. What I truly liked about this story was the poise and clarity that Mr. Meier gave these characters. There’s evidently a lot of research that went into these characters, and they do feel like highly plausible beings who may once have walked our very same Earth.
Besides the vibrant setting, the characters were detailed and intricate. Oane was a warm, loving, kind-hearted, strong girl. She grows so much throughout the book. Oane endures an incredible amount of adversity, yet she never gives up and she consistently battles to stay alive. She is a quiet heroine; she is not a warrior princess and doesn’t possess any special powers; she is just a strong young woman who adapts to her difficult circumstances and not only survives but thrives, growing from a girl to a woman.
The amount of research it must have taken to complete this book is impressive. Mike Meier’s descriptions of the prehistoric setting really transport the reader right back into that time period. And what we don’t know from history, he manages to expertly fill in the gaps with his imagination, creating a fascinating story and believable cast of characters. I think Mike Meier should be commended for even attempting to write about this time period. Apart from a basic overview, very little is known about human culture in this period. Particularly, aspirations, values, and spiritual belief systems are the hardest to deduce from the material archaeological record.
How else can I describe a book that not only transports the readers back in time to a period in history when there were no books, writing, or graphic documentation to record early life forms, but also makes the tale so plausible that you believe it may have really taken place? What an extraordinary imagination author Mike Meier tapped into by forming a pre-historical fiction around the fossils we’ve all seen in museums and the numerous pieces of scientific hypothetical information. It is wonderful how the author was able to illustrate the flora, fauna, and geography of the ancient earth in such a manner that the reader is actually left with the sense that this novel was part story, part history lesson.