Monday, May 20, 2013

|Review| Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Title: Outlander
First published January 1st, 1991
Genre: historical romance, time travel
Rating: B
Goodreads summary: 
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Outlander is not a book I would have picked up on my own but it's obvious that it's a romance must so I trusted the romance community and picked up this mammoth-870-pages-long book and yeah, it's long. It definitely doesn't use big font and minimum sentences per page to fool you into thinking it's long because it really is just simply long. Can we get a work count, anyone? 2 million words, perhaps? It took me 4 days to read this and I was constantly reading everyday. Usually it takes me one day or two days if I'm lazy to finish a book. Outlander is one book that is the size of 3 normal books and now that I've articulated to you that this book is long!!! I'll get on to my review because I actually really enjoyed Outlander.

Outlander really surprised me when it came to the main characters and I think that definitely made me love the book more. Claire was smart, "quick" and definitely wore the pants. She really impressed me! But as the book goes on, the 1700's civilization she's transformed to does break her and she has to adapt to the ways of that time period and she does. She lost some of her female power that I looooved so much at the beginning but it's understandable. She was transformed to a whole new CENTURY. She has to take in the customs of the time period or else it's death so I guess I can live with her character growth especially since she did stay as the Claire I love. Mostly.

Now for Jamie, for some reason, I assumed he was an alpha, laird of all of Scotland, the head of the army, the warrior of the high and low landers, the hero of all heroes and etc. because I'm used to heroes being the alphas to all things but I was shocked when I realized that Jamie is not really the alpha of anything. I had to go read a few reviews to confirm that YES, Jamie is the hero! that's how surprised I was. But I love love loveeed how the book begins with this sorta-beta-hero Jamie. Claire is even older than Jamie by a few years and this makes for a lovely, sweet romance that made me grin like an idiot and go "awww" a few times.

Outlander is set in ugly times of a brewing war and okay, I have a ridiculously high tolerance for everything. Nothing really shocks me or makes me cringe but there were a lot of ugly aspects in Outlander due to the time period that Diana Gabaldon doesn't sugarcoat and I, Racquel, cringed plenty of times during this book. This NEVER EVER happens and it's so so awesome.

This is a time travel novel but then again it's not. Besides the initial time travel that takes place in the beginning, the paranormal behind that isn't really mentioned again which is not a bad thing because this book was all about the politics and life of the time period that Claire is transformed to, the romance and Claire's personal struggles and that really worked!

The book has 7 different parts and I definitely liked some way more than the others. Sure, I was confused about some of the political things and was frustrated with certain parts (anything concerning the character Geillis was frustrating!) and at first I didn't appreciate the harsh portrayal of the world, but I grew to appreciate that for it's honesty so overall, I really, really liked this book.

If you're a romance reader, I definitely recommend that you read Outlander. Don't let the 870 pages scare you because they're an enjoyable 870 pages and no joke, by the time I finished this book, I wanted even more. 870 pages weren't enough! This series has 7 books in it and an 8th on way, all books over 800 pages long and I think the 8th book is not even the last of the series. Wowzers. Will I be continuing this series? Definitely! Sometime in the future I will. I can't see myself reading the next books one after the other because that will probably take me a full month of only reading this series to get through them so I'm going to take it slow and read the next book when the mood strikes.

Rating: [B] A One of a kind romance novel!
It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.
“There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I'll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye---when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I'll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save---respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?”
“No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I’d let him ride me anywhere.”  *snicker*

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