Hey everyone, guess who finally got caught up with this series? My epic re-read is done and I can now join the ever-increasing (I’m just taking for granted that more people will be reading the books as the TV show makes them curious and/or desperate for more Jamie and Claire) ranks of people languishing in wait for the next book.
When it’s been a while since I’ve read one of her books, I keep forgetting how very funny Gabaldon can be. I frequently laugh out loud when reading the books, as well as occasionally curse the characters for their poor decisions or roll my eyes at the preposterous situations they find themselves in. Unlike in several of the previous books, I didn’t think there were huge sections where nothing much at all happened, most of the plot strands felt purposeful and drove the story and the characterisation onward. The exception to this, to a certain extent, was Roger’s jump back to the past. While I understand why Gabaldon probably found them fun to write, these chapters with all the mention of time travel back and forth and all over the place, all got a bit too wibbily wobbly timey wimey for my tastes. While it gave the readers a chance to see certain familiar characters from earlier in the series again and in a slightly new light, I was mainly just bored and wanting to get back to other characters in other times when reading these bits.
If you’ve made it through the previous seven books in the series, I don’t entirely see why you wouldn’t read this as well. I agree with most of the other reviews I’ve read of this book that it’s probably the best since Voyager. It’s got its fair share of historical cameos (George Washington. Benedict Arnold. Benjamin Franklin, you get the gist). There are weddings, funerals, babies being born, people dying, people being taken prisoner, people escaping, Claire performing some truly grisly medical procedures, time travel, battles and wonderful quiet family moments. We reconnect with the characters we already know and get to know several new ones. Whatever you do, do not choose this as their first Gabaldon book. If you want to experience these massive books and get to know its huge cast of fasciating characters, start at the beginning with Outlander.