Book Review: Outlander

outlanderIt’s here as promised, and long awaited I’m sure. I finished Outlander last week but this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write about it. Between schoolwork and NaNoWriMo, my blog has kind of fallen through the cracks, so my apologies.

Outlander follows the story of the adventurous and bull-headed Claire Randall as she is thrown back in time from 1943 to 1743 in Scotland. Ending up in the Highlands and not having a clue who to trust, she quickly falls into a bad way with an English soldier and subsequently with a clan of Scotsmen.

There is sword-fighting, historical accuracies, twisted love, and heartache in this long (very long) novel. Claire is trying to live the new life of Scotland while still trying to find a way back to her own time and it results in several circumstances that are unlikely to end well. Follow the adventure and Claire’s heart and desires on a journey that is rather unique in both its writing style and path.

Let me just say first of all that the chapters in this book are excessively long. I would tell myself “oh, just one more” as I am wont to do and then suddenly find myself still reading twenty minutes later and not have finished a chapter. That’s not to say that they aren’t worth staying up for but they rather cut into sleep that I’m sure I could have used. Other than that, I really enjoyed Gabaldon’s writing style. She blends fiction and fact into near seamless story prose that is captivating even if the book isn’t filled with action points.

If you want a book that is Fifty Shades of Grey or a James Patterson murder mystery, then you’re looking in the wrong place. I would put this book more in line with The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. There are high and low points punctuated by love scenes, death threats, and mundane daily live on the Scottish moors. That’s not to say it isn’t good, because it is, but rather to emphasize that it’s a marathon type book, not a sprint.

Claire isn’t as flippity-floppity as characters like Bella Swan, which is probably helped along by the fact that she is a twenty-something instead of a teenager which means she can rationally think out her decisions and not be such a wimp about it. She has her own inner strength that doesn’t rely on a man, which is fantastic, creating Jamie as a supporting character to her life instead of her entire world. Although she is quite stubborn and proud, a combination which serve to make her rather pig-headed at times but rarely dull.

The sex scenes are well written and you can really feel yourself being caught up in the lifestyle and emotions of the entire novel. The so-called controversial scene wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. There was another that I found to be more disturbing than that. I can’t go into much detail without giving things away but if you read it, you will understand. Overall, if you don’t mind a long story with a cast almost as big as Game of Thrones that is well written and thought out, then take some time (like a week) and dive into this one.

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

My personal rating: 83

  • Writing style – 8
  • Plot – 8
  • Dialogue – 10
  • Personality of Main Character(s) – 9
  • Love story – 9
  • Invokes emotion – 7
  • Synopsis accuracy – 7
  • Consistent level of interest – 8
  • Stays on topic – 8
  • Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 9
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One comment

  1. I read this complete series years ago, as they were published. I couldn’t wait for the next to come out and was extremely sad when they ended. I am a historical fiction lover and this series is very well written and accurate in all ways to time period. Although it is a fantasy, the story is written very believable. I loved it.

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