I didn't like it!
I really can't understand the high ratings for this book. The performance was great, but the story drove me crazy.
A time travel book, by means of a witch-craft and a Henge, but that's where the coolness ends. The Heroine of the book, Claire, travels back in time 200 years in Highland Scotland. But when she arrives, there is much too little history and too much of the story revolving around the Claire's emotional turmoil. The Publisher's summary describes a county war-torn by raiding Clans. The only battles here are in the heads of the characters - not enough action and too much syrupy romance.
Guys won't like it. Women wanting a strong Heroine lead might... except that Claire can hardly do a thing to save herself in the many situations she finds herself, or gets herself into.
I bought this book because several friends/coworkers recommended it, they raved about it. I listened to this book and attempted to read the second so I could skim through it, couldn't do it, stopped less than half way through. I think you either love it or hate. I tried really hard to get into the series and just couldn't do it.
I wish I had read the customer reviews before purchasing this unabridged book. The story started out interestingly enough, from a historical perspective and the time travel aspect. But after the second part of four, I don't think I can listen any more! I keep waiting for something to happen (instead of sex, sex sex, which is becoming annoying). The narration is excellent, so it's a shame that the story line is so repetitive.
Finally! Unabridged Gabladon! I had resorted to getting them at the library and painstakingly downloading the cd's to my computer. Please get all of them!!! I'm up as far as Voyager.
Davina Porter is an excellent narrator accomplishing dialect and gender changes so the characters come to life in a glorious and colorful way.
Not one word left out and beautifully read. A true treat to listen to again and again.
Omit sexually violent titillation from abuse by her "lover."
The whole story: too violent and immature.
The story reeks of male dominance and female helplessness. Sadism should not be sold as "entertainment." I'm sorry I bought this book.
I read so many reviews regarding how great this book is, I do not agree. It is interesting on the historical perspective, but in my opinion, worse than some bodice ripping romance novel....at least they are honest about what they are.
Gratuitous sex (and not in a good way) just made it strange and uncomfortable to listen to. Perhaps, with the book in hand the experience might be different; however, in my opinion, a waste of time.
i have 4 things to say about this book:
1. the narration is excellent
2. the romance is...very romantic
3. the history is...fun
4. the "naughty" stuff is...(see below)
it's common for romance novels, especially ones that appeal to medieval European settings, to bring in sexually charged themes of bondage, whipping, and nonconsensual intercourse. this book goes rather SO far in that direction, though, that it distracts from the otherwise dignified plot.
Below is an abbreviated breakdown of the action, just to let you know just how kinky things get.
MH=Male Hero / MF=Female Heroine / MV=Main Villain / V=Villain
1) MV threatens to force himself onto FH
2) random V's threaten to force themselves onto FH
3) MV whips MH and forces himself onto MH's sister
4) 2 V's force themselves on FH in front of MH
5) MV forces himself on FH in front of MH
6) MH whips FH (gives her a "strapping")
7) MV tortures MH
8) MV forces himself on MH (!!!)
9) FH pretends to be MV in (non-psychologist approved) reenactment of #8 designed to "cure" him of his shame (?!)
and all of this in lurid detail, with a great deal of time spent recalling past whippings and beatings and tortures. not sure how all this made it past the editor, but...
at least now you're warned, and there is a good story and some good writing buried in there!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I should have read more reviews before getting this one... I read the description of the book and was preparing myself for a nice amount of fantasy/sci-fi, a decent amount of history and a whole lot of action. What I got though was a tid-bit of fantasy/sci-fi, a slight mention of history, a dash of action, a whole bunch of BDSM and way too much romance...
Don't get me wrong, the book was written well... actually not just well... it was written extraordinarily well! This is (to date) one of the most nicely written book I have ever come across (and I have read a lot of books) irrespective of the actual story. If you are a fan of excellent writing, just plain good usage of words, beautiful descriptions and a nicely organized sentences you'll enjoy this book. If the story could only follow with the excellent writing, this would have easily gotten 5 stars for me... that being said however the story itself is just one long, convoluted, some might say even over reaching and glorified romance!
I am not a big fan of romance novels... I am even less a fan of romance novels that kinda over do it in the sex scenes... including and not limited to whipping, multiple attempted rapes, biting, scratching, sado-masochism, impotency (due to latent homosexual desires) and probably the biggest disappointment of all... the rather anti-climactic end of the main antagonist (in my opinion). You would think that after the main antagonist would meet a more disastrous end ESPECIALLY after he gets his ultimate desire of forcing the main protagonist (both of whom are guys fyi) into having sex with him because the main protagonist wants to save his wife who, is from the future AND who, in the future, is also married to the great great great great grandson of the main antagonist. Did I mention that this book is convoluted?
One other thing that irks me... For someone who is propelled back a couple hundred years in the past... Claire (who's vantage point we read from) is VERY calm. After being separated from her husband (poor guy) and being propelled back into the past, she chooses to stay with Jaime (the main protagonist and as close to a Fabio impersonator as I have ever read). I also find the idea that Claire (after being propelled into the past by some sort of buzzing stone... and no I do not jest about the buzzing stone) finds it hard to believe in witches....
Here is the thing: you will truly love this book if you like historical romance novels with the emphasis being the 'romance' and also have a penchant for BDSM you will be utterly floored by this book (in a good way of course).
The narration also is an area where this book SHINES. Davina Porter has always been a favourite of mine where narration is concerned and I can say she did not disappoint. She breathed life in the myriad of characters in the book of which there were a lot. She is one of the reasons I got through this book and for that Davina... I say thank you.
Despite this review I MIGHT actually read the other one... Why? Because I already have it in my library and I hate to give up on a series. The writing is great but the actual story is lacking (to me). The description is exceptional but can be too much at times. The narration is extraordinary!
I read this book years ago when it first came out. I remembered liking it, so when it came up for The Daily Deal on Audible, I bought it to re-read (listen) since the series is about to preview on Starz. As I listened, I could not figure out how I made it through the last time! I am 23 years older and my brain must have really matured! It is too long and could have been so much better if she had concentrated more on the mystery of trying to reconnect with the future. The book is 33 hours (!!) on Audible and needs to be 16 hours shorter! I must have skimmed the book for the highlights back in 1991 which made the story move along - I apparently skipped to the parts worth reading because the plot and premise are compelling and I remembered quite vividly some of the parts of the novel that moved the story forward. This is definitely an easy read in terms of quality of writing. It is better than a typical romance novel, just not literary fiction by any means. I did watch the first part of the new series and it did make fun TV watching. I have come to the conclusion I have outgrown this type of fiction.
As all Ms. Gabaldon's books run 30+ hours, some 40+, I have to say No. I have been treated to Ms. Porter in other selections, and am sure to encounter her again. Not a terrible prospect, but not one to which I look much forward, either.
Obviously, the author dedicated all her time and much of her energy to it. Most impressive.
Ms. Porter makes Claire Randall sound as if she might be approaching 50. Another reader would have brought more vitality and sexuality to the part
Only if it were boiled down to @ 2 hours, which is doubtful.