Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review: Voyager (Outlander Series) by Diana Galbadon

And then there were three. . . 

The binge reading continue. I've already reviewed Book 1, Outlander, and Book 2, Dragonfly in Amber. From what I understand, this third book may have been at one point the culmination in a trilogy but perhaps because this series was so wildly successful, Galbadon continues on. Right now there are 8 books in this series, with an anticipated 9th on its way. Additionally there are novellas and a Lord John Grey series that have also been published.

Voyager focuses on Claire's return to Jamie and the past. They are reunited and have to become reacquainted while they also have the typical trials and tribulations that continue to plague them. After all, Claire and Jamie can't live happily ever after. Twenty years have gone by and there's a lot that has happened to both of them in that time.

This book is about rescuing Iain who has been kidnapped by pirates, and they travel to the Caribbean to find him. Most of this book takes place on ships rather than land, and there is a host of new characters to deal with as the adventure continues.

I have to say that there are part of this book that are rather slow. I can only stay interested in life on a ship for so long, and reading about Jamie's sea sickness. I also think that sometimes characters reappear in the story that are beyond what you would call an "unrealistic coincidence" but ultimately I really did love the story and have already started #4, Drums of Autumn.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Binge Reading at its Best

The second in the Outlander series

I think anyone that has a DVR, or Netflixx, has binged watched a series at some point in their lives. I have saved up episodes of Sons of Anarchy, and have watched multiple episodes of Orange is the New Black and Weeds.

With books it's a little more difficult because of the time it will take an author to write subsequent installments. I have found that often when I have to wait between books, I have a hard time falling back in line and am confused as the passage of time has faded the necessary details to keep up with the twists in the plot. I felt this way after trying to read the second book by Deborah Harkness in the All Souls Trilogy (Shadow of the Night) and more recently with Hollow City, the second part of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Once you have read the first book, you crave more but then you have to wait for it to be created.

I didn't have that same issue with Harry Potter, initially. When I "discovered" Harry Potter, I was able to buy a hardcover set of the first five books and the sixth one was on the way. By the time I finished the set, I was able to transition seamlessly into the sixth book. However, there was a span of time between that and the final book which lead to me having to go back and look up a couple of details that would be lost.

I bring this up because I read the first book of this series years ago, Outlander, I probably in the early 90's soon after it came out, but did not read the second book immediately afterwards. These were the days before we had Amazon to recommend subsequent books and I'm not sure I knew that several others existed. Therefore this time, I am going to try to read all 8 books in rapid succession. As I write this blog, I'm knee deep in Voyager already.

In terms of this actual installment, it's a really great book but it just can't live up to the first one even if it's a continuation. So much of this book is about Claire's life in the present with flashbacks to her return in the 40's, pregnant with Brianna and her adjustment back into modern life and with her relationship with Frank. The parts of the story that focus on Jamie in the 1700's are interesting but you lose something without the two of them together.

This is a necessary portion of the story and by no means is boring, it's just different. As a fan of the series, you want Claire and Jamie together but we have to have the history of twenty years, both in the 1700's and 1900's, explained so that when we do reunite them we understand what has changed.

Okay, review done, I'm going back to reading.