I am a fan of the Outlander Series. I have stood in lines to get my books autographed. Next time I hope Divina Porter is there, as she is the only reason I continued the audio book of "An Echo in the Bone". I bought the hardback, and couldn't make myself read it past half way. It began slow, stayed slow, and the ending felt like the publishers were pushing Diana to "just get it finished". Too many cliff hangers, and a sloppy ending. As for Lord John, he has had his series, and I am quite sick of him and his lifestyle in the graphic way he is portrayed. I long for the love of Jamie and Clair, and their life. Bring William to life, with a purpose. I give this book (sadly) 2 stars. I would have saved my money and bought the paperback from Amazon, if I had it to do over.
I would give 4-5 stars to the first 5 parts but only 1 to the sixth. It was wonderful to be back in the company of these characters, narrated by the excellent Davina Porter. True there is a lot of battle and history explained, but I was fine with that. I enjoyed the way she expanded on some of the minor characters as well.
However I found the ending downright annoying. The last part felt as if it was written in a rush to meet a deadline, left far too many things hanging, and included utterly unbelievable behavior by Claire. I don't need loose ends to propel me to purchase the next book - she has me hooked on Jamie, Claire and company. I also felt a little manipulated, as if she wants us to read more of her Lord John series (which I don't find very compelling), so she included elements which didn't make sense to the story--or maybe I'm just a bit disgruntled by the bizarre behavior she wrote in for Claire and Lord John.
I wouldn't miss a segment of the remarkable Outlander series, but I hope the author treats her legions of fans with a bit more respect on the next book. Sure we are eager for the next installment, but let's hope she takes as long as she needs to write it.
btw(I was glad to see the publisher's note about the earlier two books - will gladly buy those when they show up on Audible, unabridged with Davina Porter.)
I've been a great fan of the Outlander series but Echo has left me cold. This book served to introduce a number of what could become interesting story lines, but none were adequately explored , much less developed. Let's face it, Ms. Gabaldon, Lord John is just not that interesting! I'm definitely not buying the Lord John-Claire marriage deal. Come on! The Claire I know and love would have chosen prison over marriage to that arrogant jerk any day! An imprisoned Claire would have been infinitely more interesting than the bedroom scene with Lord Milktoast! Ms. Gabaldon has let her readers down with this latest edition of the Jamie-Claire saga. The sudden ending with so many unresolved and unexplained issues left me sad, confused, and frustrated instead of wanting more.
As one who loves history but generally finds historical novels a bit dry and too full of battles, the Outlander series has been a magnificent gift.
Just finished listening, for the 2nd time, the entire seven volume series in anticipation of Gabaldon's 8th addition due out in June. Ha! Seven months absorbed in time traveling back 200 years. Delightful! This second listen/read (always more rich to do both at once with Gabaldon) was far more exciting and rewarding than anticipated. Noticed many more fascinating historical details and the characters were more alive to me than ever. Gabaldon's character development over this 20 year period is intimate and dynamic. Claire is now my age in An Echo in the Bone and quite the avatar of my idealized self. Adore her many flaws, echoing my own, as the wisecracking, irreverent, bull in a china shop. If only to have her sexual prowess!
What I especially love about An Echo in the Bone is the depiction of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of ordinary people, allowing me to finally understand the reality of that war. Her writing gets better and more colorful with each novel, astounding as her first volume, Outlander, was brilliant historical fiction, vividly penned with an impeccably crafted plot, surrounding characters whom you either passionately love or totally abhor. And so much humor and philosophical musing.
Why her books are listed as Romance is infuriatingly baffling. They are definitely the finest of Historical Fiction, if not masterfully scribed Literature.
I love this series of books. I love this narrator. I love that all the books in the series are now available on Audible (there were two in the middle that previously weren't). The Outlander series is what Audible is all about.
The series is the story of a woman who accidentally travels 200 years back in time and meets the love of her life. Whenever I explain this premise to people I get raised eyebrows, but the truth is that the books are more historical fiction than sci fi/fantasy. I read an interview with the author once in which she said she set out to write historical fiction, but just couldn't get into the mindset of an 18th century woman so devised the time travel in order to place a modern woman in the period she wanted to write about. That decision made the books even more interesting. All of the main characters are relatable and fleshed-out. The history is meticulously researched. The conversations, love stories, intrigue, etc feel organic. The descriptions of Scotland - both modern and historical - are amazing and make me love the country even though I've never been. I really have almost no criticisms of the writing.
Meanwhile, Davina Porter is one of the best narrators I've encountered in an audiobook. (Thank you, thank you to the narrator and audiobook producers or whoever arranged for the same narrator to read the whole series so far.) She manages to have a completely different voice for each main character and to my untrained ear moves effortlessly from one accent to another as the story dictates. Her American accent is not perfect, but it's still very good. She has a great cadence, sounds like she's read the book 100 times prior to narrating, and never stumbles over what must be incredibly difficult Gaelic words... (in fact, a friend of mine who is reading the whole series on paper calls me occasionally to have me pronounce the Gaelic words for her).
Clearly, these are some of my favorite all time audiobooks. Despite their length, I'm on my third time through the series. Speaking of length, all the books in the series are pretty long, but still only one credit so if you have an Audible subscription, they are great deals. In short, buy the books, you won't regret it.
I have loved the Outlander series so far, and even got a recorded books account just to listen to the unabridged two books that aren't on audible. I was extremely disappointed in this book. There were way too many characters that should either have their own series or be left out completely (Lord John already has his own series, we don't need to hear from him for half of this book too). And in the end almost nothing was tied up, so we are left completely hanging (unlike the other books, where the story lines were more completed). So now I guess we have to wait a long time for her to write another incredibly long book, where hopefully we wont be left hanging again.
I love this book series and can't wait for the next installment, which I must assume is coming soon since this book stopped so abruptly with many of the main characters in peril, both in modern day and in Revolutionary War era America. Davina Porter's voicing of the various characters and her uncanny ability to do the Scottish and Irish accents are truly engaging and amazing.
I think at this point, anyone that picks of this book is already hooked on Jamie, Claire, et al. (or atleast they should be). This anxiously awaited book did not let me down. My only complaint was the abrupt, multiple cliff hanger ending. Too much for such a ardent fan!
As always with this series, fantastic narrator! Fans of this story will certainly be glad to hear more but this is the first book that I found myself just wishing my way forward. The first half simply limps along. The second half is better but ends with almost all major plot lines up in the air. Cliff-hangers are fine but this book is simply unfinished. Not her best but I will stay with it.