NABC: Reviews for Outlander

September/October: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlander coffee cover

Back Cover Teaser:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she walks through a standing stone 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 Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Readers:

Lady Dynamo, Lady Foxcraft, Lady Scarlett

Why we chose it:

Somehow this book had escaped the notice of the Lady Nerds until Starz announced that it was going to be made into a show. Lady Dynamo promptly watched the first episode which was provided for free and needed more. When the topic of what book to read next came up, Outlander seemed an obvious choice. Men in Kilts, need we say more?

What we think so far:

Lady Scarlett has already finished the book so we will save her input for the final update. Ladies Foxcraft and Dynamo are chugging along and enjoying what they’ve read so far. The biggest complaint so far is the length of chapters which makes it difficult to read during shorter stolen moments. Still, we love Claire and are swooning over Jamie. Lady Hawkeye reports that she is bringing up the rear but will do her best to catch back up. If you’re reading along with us, leave a comment to let us know what you’re thinking so far!

Final Thoughts and Reviews:

Lady Scarlett says:

With a soft spot for historical fiction, romance, and science fiction, Outlander had my heart from page one. It took me little to no time to connect with Claire, our heroine, and join her on her journey from 1945 war nurse to 1745 Sassenach. Far from the shy, polite English characteristics, Claire is honest, opinionated, and brazen. Each character is vibrant and unique, and the character development is nicely paced throughout the novel. The romance is well paced and realistic, historical points are blended in well with the main story, and the overarching theme of time travel starts to seem more and more tangible. I loved, loved, loved Outlander… so much so that I went out and bought the second book in the series right away (and am now on book 4!).

 

Word to the wise: Go into this series ready to invest yourself. Each and every novel is a heavy tome filled with excitement and intrigue, but if you’re not prepared to dive in full force, you might be let down. Each character, detail, and event from the first novel comes to play in subsequent volumes; it’s all important. However, if you’re wanting a one-off read, you’ll be bogged down with seemingly unimportant details.

Lady Foxcraft says:

This series really surprised me. I knew that there would be a romantic element in the story, which can easily overpower the main plot, but Gabaldon did a beautiful job balancing the romance with the journey of our protagonist. I loved how Claire was a strong, independent character, and I equally loved Jamie’s acceptance of her (to the degree that he would not have her any other way). Each character has an individual voice, and it’s easy to discern one from another based on Gabaldon staying true to each and every one. I would not hesitate to continue with this series. Definitely four stars (or five, if your scale goes that high).

Lady Dynamo says:

WARNING! This book is likely to consume your every spare moment. This book may make it difficult for you to do anything other than read or think about reading.

 

It wasn’t until a few chapters in that the story grabbed me and kept me wanting more and there were some moments that seemed to drag here and there, but for the most part I just couldn’t stop reading. I lost many, many hours of sleep. I stopped watching any TV or movies altogether until I was done reading. Normal day-to-day tasks became too mundane because Scotland awaited me in Outlander.

 

For me, the thing that makes me love a book is always the characters and Gabaldon has created some truly wonderful characters. Claire is intelligent, strong and fierce but far from perfect; she’s conflicted–torn between two men–and makes some foolish decisions along the way. Jamie is a strong warrior but he’s also kind and intelligent. The book is full of characters–too may to name them all–who you will love even when you hate them. It’s quite a time investment, but well worth it.

Have suggestions for future books? Share them in the comments below or by visiting our contact page.

Leave a Comment