Beneath the hundreds of pages spent describing the main characters running towards each other through the tulips in slow motion, Outlander is a very good story.
Time-travel stories often spend too many pages describing the contrasts between modern and ancient, as experienced by the traveler. In this story, the main character is modern, but not a stranger to sudden adversity. So we are spared some of that.
All characters are drawn fairly well. The novel is mainly a Masterpiece Theater-flavored family drama set in 18th-century Scotland, very few sci-fi or fantasy elements.
Outlander bears none of the clever conundrums of The Time Traveler's Wife, nor the memorable, edge-of-your-seat pacing of Connie Willis' Doomsday Book, two other novels with heroines forced to straddle the centuries. Outlander has too many romantic scenes, too much swooning and fainting and sentences that begin with "My heart was racing..." Beneath all of this is a great story, worth reading or listening to.
Yes, the story is loopy, but it's so much fun. Well worth listening to twice - or even more. Harkaway brings something to Dystopian fiction that it seldom sees: - truly memorable characters, a wild, memorable story, and even worthwhile ponderings. Gone-Away has twists and turns that are well worth the effort it takes to getting your brain around. The narrator is superb.
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