Adult, Reviews

Outlander Review

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander ReviewSeries: Outlander #1
Published by Doubleday Canada on 12/22/2010
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Time Travel
Format: Audiobook, eBook

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Goodreads

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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Wow! Even though I knew how big the books are, I wasn’t ready for this! I actually saw the show before I even knew it was a book, and I loved the show. That made me a bit hesitant to want to reas the books because adaptations tend to disappoint. That’s not the case here. I found that the TV show lines up really well with the flow of the books.

I’m completely in love with Jamie Fraser and as long as he continues to be part of the books, I‘ll forever love the series. This character that Diana created sometimes seems so real. All the hardships he endures makes him an even better man in the end, so far, still got 4 more behemoths to read.

Outlander does a great job introducing the characters and setting the stage for the series. Dragonfly in Amber changes the narrative by introducing other’s experiences and POV but always going back to Claire. In book 2, Jamie & Claire trying to stop the Jacobite rising by sabotaging Bonny Charlie’s plans.

While I like Claire, there were times that I wanted to strangle her. Especially when Jamie had to pay for her mistakes/pigheadedness. I’m totally on board with her trying to enlighten Jamie and keep her values from her time but she was very close minded about how things were in Jamie’s world. He’s just a damn saint! In Dragonfly in Amber, she gets the medical training that she wanted and that makes her even more annoying when it came to healing people. Aside from that, Claire is such a strong person. She also makes a lot of sacrifices and keeps rolling with the punches.

Following the discovery they had in book 2, in the Voyager, Claire continues with their research but now instead of just doing the research for the sake of knowing, she now has motivation to get to the end of Jaime’s historical trail. when she has the opportunity to go to where and to who she wants to be with, she does the appropriate thing and prepares.

Book 3 tugged at my heart strings and is full of adventures. Claire and Jamie are just unbelievably amazing together, even when they’re fighting they always come back to each other. Claire continues to enlighten Jamie of how things are in the future. Eventually all of their adventures lead them to America.

I have to say that I absolutely love the timeline flow. While the books don’t pick up right where the other ended, Diana does a good job of going back and giving us some answers/info to continue the story. Drums of Autumn marks the end of their crazy adventure from the West Indies and the start of their lives in America. The roles are switched up a bit between Jamie & Claire since Claire has the knowledge of what’s to come and the knowledge of how things were in those times. I kept getting Little Women type images when reading book 4.

The story being the behemoth it is, I ended up switching back forth between the book and the audiobook and even then it took me forever to get through Volume 1. By now I’m enjoying the story flow and the character development and can’t wait to see what happens next. I will point out that this series touches a variety of what can be controversial topics and potentially has triggers for some people so I wouldn’t say that this story is for everyone.

About Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck’ comics.”

The adventure began in 1991 with the classic OUTLANDER (“historical fiction with a Moebius twist”), has continued through seven more New York Times-bestselling novels— DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, VOYAGER, DRUMS OF AUTUMN, THE FIERY CROSS, A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, AN ECHO IN THE BONE, and WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, with more than twenty-eight million copies in print worldwide.

The series is published in 26 countries and 23 languages, and includes THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volumes One and Two, which are nonfiction (well, relatively) works which provide details on the settings, background, characters, research, and writing of the first eight novels in the Outlander series of novels. Gabaldon (it’s pronounced “GAA-bull-dohn”—rhymes with “stone”) has also written several books in a sub-series featuring Lord John Grey (a major minor character from the main series): LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER,  LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE, LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS, and THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.

Returning to her comic-book roots, she has also written a graphic novel titled THE EXILE (set within the OUTLANDER universe and featuring the main characters from OUTLANDER), but told from the viewpoint of Jamie Fraser and his godfather, Murtagh. The graphic novel is illustrated by Hoang Nguyen, and published by Del-Rey.

The eighth and most recent major novel in the OUTLANDER series, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, was released on June 10, 2014 in the U.S.A. and Canada. The book made its debut as number one on the New York Times bestseller list in the hardcover category and combined e-book and hardcover category! And the book is also a bestseller in Canada.

Diana is serving as a Co-Producer and advisor for the popular Outlander TV series, produced by the Starz network and Tall Ship Productions and distributed by Sony International, which is based on her novels. She has written a script for an episode of the series, also.

Her main current writing project is the ninth major novel in the OUTLANDER series, GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE.

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