HOKAY SO. I have now made it through seven books of this series, which is basically like twenty-one normal-sized books, or fourteen above average-sized ones. By the time she finally finishes this series, we might be talking Wheel of Time-level word counts here. All this to say I HAVE DONE HARD WORK, NOW GIVE ME TACOS. I was going to type “cookies”, but dammit I really want some tacos right now. Also, on the last Jane the Virgin episode, I was introduced to the concept of the Venezuelan miracle food, the arepa, and I am now obsessed with trying one, except there’s only one Venezuelan eatery in my city, and it’s a food truck and FOOD TRUCKS MOVE YOU GUYS. This will be my project for 2017. Tracking down an arepa and eating it so hard. Quite possibly trying all the arepas they have. Unless I hate arepas and then I will stop after one. (This is not likely.)
So this book was good! It still took me about two months to read, but that’s because I read the first 300-ish pages and then put it down for two months because I got distracted by shiny things like a damn raccoon. I finished the last 800 pages in about three days when I finally picked it back up. We still haven’t reached the level of interest and engagement I had when reading books 1-3, but this was at least Drums of Autumn-level engagement. I think I just have to come to terms with the fact that DG will never again write a book with as much narrative tension as she did with Voyager (still my favorite of the series so far).
There’s still some bloat here, which accounts for why I was able to put it down for so long without feeling a real need to pick it back up again. I appreciate that she wants Jamie’s illegitimate son William to be a more fleshed out character, but what he gets up to in this book isn’t really super engaging. His most interesting moments come when he’s interacting with characters we already know and love (Bree, Ian, Lord John). The first third of this was somewhat interesting, but really a lot of it could have been cut out, especially since I thought the last hundred pages (full of some really important happenings) was rushed. I would have liked more lingering on some of that stuff, which was really emotional.
The stage is set for an interesting eighth book, though, and my interest in this series has definitely been re-engaged. I’d been told this would happen if I could just get through books five and six, but it’s a relief to have it confirmed. I like liking this series. I don’t like thinking it’s a slog. So yes, people, if you’re reading this and wondering if there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is Outlander, I will say to you, yes. Keep going!
Not sure when I’ll get to the next one. I’m tempted to save it for closer to either the release of season three of the show or closer to the release date of the ninth book. Guess we’ll see!
(I realize this review was a third about arepas and tacos, and I don’t care. PUT THEM IN MY MOUTH.)