Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army.
And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.
Epic in scope and featuring a colorful cast that includes many legendary figures - including hero-turned-traitor Benedict Arnold and bawdy statesman Benjamin Franklin - An Echo in the Bone is a thrill from start to finish.
©2009 Diana Gabaldon; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
First off, Davina Porter is hands down my favorite voice ever, no contest. I'm tempted to buy other audio she has done just to listen to a masterful voice actress. As far as Echo goes, I enjoyed it as much as any other Outlander book to date. I have an understanding that this feels like a transitional book (because Jamie and Claire can't live forever) but the character development of Roger, Brianna, Jeremiah and William are comforting for a potential new series. The thing I appreciate the most is an extremely long story that has such vivid detail and picks up and answers questions that may have been left in past outlander books. I actually get a little sad when the book is done because I know it will be some time before another new work is released. Thanks Diana and Davina!!
The design on the book cover is intentional. There are 4 storylines that weave throughout the book: Jamie and Claire's continuing adventures in the midst of the American Revolution; Lord John and his son, who are on the British side; Roger and Brianna and their children; and Ian. The story lines converge and separate, with a lot of cliffhangers at the end, which will obviously be concluded in the next, and possibly last book of the series. I strongly urge new readers to first read both the earlier "Outlander" books and at least the "Brotherhood of the Blade" about Lord John Grey. Most are in unabridged audiobook form -- only "The Fiery Cross" and "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" have yet to be released [contract reasons] "Echo" is less a stand-alone than the other books, although Gabaldon does provide backstory.
Davina Porter does her usual wonderful job with the narration and the voices. She really gets Jamie and Claire perfectly, along with the subsidiary characters. "Echo" has been long awaited, and lives up to the expectations.
I have read every book in the "Outlander" series. Each book does reach back to the previous book but could stand on it's own because it does have a beginning middle and end. I felt that this book was disjointed and introduced characters and just left them hanging.(for the next book, I can only hope).Also situations were just left up in the air. It's not like an old time movie matinee, where you would come back the following week to find out what happens. This may take a year or two, and had I known this I would have waited for the next book to come out before reading this one. (this is just my opinion) If you truly love the Clare & Jamie saga nothing will hold you back. But for me I needed more of a solid conclusion at least to "the book at hand".
I've listened to all the books in this series and love them all! I'm anxious for the unabridged versions of "The Fiery Cross" and "A Breadth of Snow and Ashes" to become available on Audible. You might think that 45 hours of listening is daunting, but this book includes many new characters and their integral roles with the main characters. I'm curious to see if D.G. is going to flesh out Ian's character in her next book since I felt like she teased us with his role in this book. I was however, disappointed with the ending, it just seemed to stop. D.G. is such a wonderful writer that I expected a better ending than she delivered. Don't let this stop you from purchasing the book, it is well worth it.
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
It has been five years since "An Echo in the Bone" was published, and the long awaited Volume 8 is finally imminent (June 2014). Although readers are now five years older, the forthcoming "Written in My Own Heart's Blood" will apparently pick up the story on the same day (well at least one of the same days) "Echo" ended.
I started listening to this series four years ago and listened to them all in sequence (along with the Lord John Grey books--and a lot other books in between). I just recently finished "Echo," so I guess I timed it right. I can't imagine how frustrating it's been for fans of the series who read "Echo" when it came out to have had all those cliffhangers hanging all this time. You've probably re-read the book in anticipation of the new one; it's certainly a good idea to do so.
After three books set claustrophobically in frontier North Carolina and stories centered almost exclusively on Jamie, Claire, Roger, and Brianna, in "Echo" we *finally* get off of Fraser's Ridge--with a vengeance! If almost nothing happened in "Fiery Cross" and the action was slow (and mostly depressing) in "Snow and Ashes," then "An Echo in the Bone" seems determined to make up for it. Not only do characters from previous books (notably Ian, Lord John, and William) now take center stage right along with J,C,R&B, we are suddenly world and time travelers again. The action covers much of the American east coast, has great scenes in Scotland (in TWO story lines, 200 years apart!), and for kicks throws in several scenes in London and France. We meet historical characters, including Benedict Arnold and a naked Ben Franklin. Even Rollo the Wolfhound gets featured actor status.
The mind reels and the plot jumps can be hard to follow, but I enjoyed "An Echo in the Bone." I'm especially grateful for the action-packed pace after the previous two snoozers. I think you do need to have read "The Brotherhood of the Blade" in the Lord John series to fully appreciate "Echo," but that should not be a hardship; in my opinion, "Brotherhood" is, all things considered, Diana Gabaldon's best novel to date. And I'm glad I won't have to wait five years to find out what happened in Philadelphia that day.
I'm hearing teacher voices
At this point, 6-7,000 pages into the epic series, Diana can take me wherever she wants to go. What's so great about this audio version of Book 7 is that it continues to feature voice actor Davina Porter, who must have performed nearly 300 hours in the Outlander series by now. Porter is magnificent, in part because she's able to create a variety of convincing male (as well as female) voices. This is a rare gift among audio artists. May she and DG live long and continue this partnership.
Really puzzled at the 1-star reviews - except for that of the first-time Gabaldon reader - no wonder you didn't like it, my dear! You MUST start with "Outlander"! One of the deep pleasures of this wonderful series is developing a depth of knowledge both of the individual characters and their complex relationships to each other. Do note that each book is 30-40 hours - there's a HUGE amount of background to the 6th book. 30 full and eventful years have passed since Claire and Jamie first met! It could not possibly make any sense to you. These are not meant as independent reads, and you simply cannot start with the 6th book. As for the ending - yes, a lot happened quickly, but it didn't feel a bit manipulated to me - quite legitimately thrilling cliffhangers IMHO. Left me wanting to start over with Outlander so I can spend more time with the characters until the next book in the series comes out. I am SO glad I was not put off by the negative reviews. This was a delicious read!
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.
At this point, we aren't reading these books for the historical battles. Unfortunately, that is what you get in spades in Echo. While the plot line for our beloved characters in interesting and shocking, you have to drag yourself through all the war intrigue and battles to get to it. The last 100 pages are filled with things we need to know but it feels like the publishing date rushed her to throw down the end story so what we get is a very abbreviated telling of these important and exciting events. This book SHOULD be wonderful. This story SHOULD be a payoff. Maybe the next book will give us what we all want. Jamie, Jamie, Jamie and surprising resolutions for all our favorite characters.
As for the narration, Davina is perfection like always.
D.G. introduced me to the extreme novel...and I love them now because you get so involved with the characters.
Diana's books are always lengthy and so vividly detailed, her characters are three dimensional because she gives such lavish and loving attention introducing them to you....Echo is a let down as she spent more time on the battles that she did on the people.
I realize that Jamie & Claire cannot live forever and Echo is obviously a transitional book, moving us toward their ending and more into the lives of others that come after.
I believe Diana tried to convince us that William has the warrior instincts of Jamie, but not the boldness or passions as he was raised by John. The nature vs. nuture thing.
I believe she tried to inspire in us the fear of father vs son on the battlefield....but it came across as so much of a history lesson that the drama we crave got buried. I was very bored with the amount of time spent developing battles.... There were so many other things brought to the story in the end that could have been fleshed out during the meat of the story. We were hurried thru so much of the stuff that D.G. normally makes us see and feel deeply.
One personal pet peeve...In an interview about Echo, D.G. promised that she would reveal why Jamie could dream the future, how/why he saw Claire in the future, and resolve the Jamie GHOST from Outlander....where he stares up at Claire and Frank's room BEFORE Claire falls thru time. Nope. Not in this book.
If you love Jamie and Claire, buy the book because it is the next stepping stone in the saga and you need it to build your bridge to the end. Just don't expect it to leave you breathless like the others.
"Another spellbinding tale, but unfinished!"
Having read this latest rendering in the saga, I am left bereft! It seemed to finish in the middle of the book. I can't believe the author has left so many story lines only just started. Only one of the main characters has any closure. All the rest are left in some life threatening pickle. She has never done this before. Usually, although there are lots of loose ends, she at least leaves her main characters in some relative safety. This time all 6 are left suspended in mortal danger. I really feel cheated. Especially as most of the predicaments they are left in are only created in the last few chapters.
"Wait for book 8 before buying this one"
Four stars rather than five. Why?
Simply because we are left with too many lose ends. The characters have a LOT going on and then the book just ends.
What makes this worse is that book 8 isn't out until 2013 and I have no clue as to when the audiobook will be launched. It's a long wait. These books are so rich in characters that my concern is that now I run the risk of forgetting who's who during the wait for book 8.
The Outlander series is absolutely amazing and Davina Porter is frankly the best narrator I've ever listened to. She was thee perfect choice for these books.
Again, wait for book 8 before immersing yourself in book 7.
I love this series, and this is certainly not the best. However, I do think it is better than firey Cross. Way too much of Willy and Lord John in this for my liking, and Willy is a pretty poor character if you ask me. A lot of the William stuff is pretty boring, and quite disjointed. Saying that, the Jamie and Clare stuff was really high quality as ever!
"Give us more!"
It was DG at her best and DP at her usual excellent narration. I have followed all seven books now and am completely absorbed in this saga.
It is so varied and the research is superb.
All of them
Definitely, but I have to sleep sometime!
The ending has left so many balls in the air and situations unresolved. Please hurry with the next book.
"Read it first"
Davina Porters narration is brilliant, as always. The let down is the book itself. Not enough Jamie and Claire or Brianna and Roger. Way too much Lord John and Willie. Its easier to skip those parts when reading a paper back than forwarding a recording. I know its fiction, which is why the story didnt need so many unnecessary disturbing scenes. Burning the prostitute for example. The book would have been just as good at half the size (and I like big books).
"an echo in the bone"
i found this book as good as the rest considering how long the unabridged version is its a really good story unfortunatley book 6 a breath of snow and ashes has not been available to download although i have read it i would like it on audible.
I love these Outlander sagas but felt very frustrated when the tale ended with a cliff hanger. This was too much with Jem in peril, Roger lost through the stones again, Bryanna threatened and Claire married to Lrd John. Too many untied ends for a complete novel
"Another great listen"
Yes, because I absolutely love Davina Porter and I couldn't imagine any other these books without her voice behind them!
When Jamie, Claire and young Ian went back to Lallybroch
There are too many to choose, but one of my favourites is when Jamie and William are both at the bedside of General Fraser but don't see each other.
No, but I do love the characters like old friends
again , with the excellent discriptive and well researched writing, coupled with the most clever and unigue voice and performance from Devena Porter, this book is brilliantly delivered and a 'must read' !!
"The Standard of Narration for ALL Audible Books!"
This book ranks about the highest I've douwnloaded. Not just the story - but the narrator makes it SUCH a joy to listen to!
Claire and Jamie are my favourite characters of course, the book is about them after all. But next comes Brianne (yikes, the American accent isn't great but you CAN differentiate and it isn't dire) and Roger is fantastic - but the children are just so cute when she does their voices! You can tell each and every different character with out fail - and tell whether they are good or bad.
Davina Porter is the very best narrator of any book I have listened to. I have listened to many, many books from Steven King to Alan Carr and I could listen to her all night! Her reading is appropriate, passionate, temperate and even - and the accents she does are so good!
I have read the hardback books by Diana Gabaldon - but Davina porter made them come alive for me. And the ultimate praise - my partner also loves listening to the books! He is just not a romantic fiction man lol - but she makes it in to an epic tale. Brilliant.
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