Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

I bought An Echo in the Bone about two years ago at Christmas, right when it first came out. I remember how excited I was...there wasn't supposed to be another Outlander book published, so when I heard that Gabaldon wrote another, I was ecstatic. And now there's another on the horizon!

This installment of what is one of my favorite series EVER follows Jamie and Claire as they attempt to make their way back to Scotland to fetch Jamie's printing press and bring it back to America. It also follows Brianna and Roger and their family, now that they've traveled back to 1980 Scotland and purchased Lallybroch. And a third storyline follows Willie, Jamie's illegitimate son and ward of Lord John Grey. I don't want to go too far into details, since doing so at all would probably lead to me giving away spoilers from both this book and the others. Suffice it to say, it was mostly more of the same - adventure on the high seas, war, espionage, love, love-making, and even a little bit of Scotland in this one!

I have to say, there was a little too much Willie for me in this novel. The previous books didn't really delve into Willie's life or experiences, so I felt like I didn't really know him, and it was a bit difficult to get used to reading about him now. And most of his storyline was about his wartime role in the British army, which alienated me even further. But I got used to it in time, and that plot actually dovetailed with the others eventually, so it made more sense once I saw how it played into the other plots.

While I mostly enjoyed the book, there was one other quibble (which I think really just reflects how much I like Gabaldon's writing). I don't really remember there being cliffhangers in the other books, but the end of this book felt less like an ending and more like the jumping off point for the next book. There were several LARGE loose ends in this book, enough that, with about 40 pages left I was saying to myself, "There is no way she can wrap this all up in the next 40 pages!" And when she didn't, I was kind of annoyed! It's going to be awhile before the next book comes out, and now I can't wait. I want to know what happens to Jem, and Roger, and Ian, and Jamie and Claire, and Claire and Lord John...

Four out of five Whatevers. Fewer Whatevers than I would otherwise give it, due to the slow Willie parts and the damned cliffhangers! Now, I can't wait for Written in My Heart's Own Blood to come out.


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