I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Released: Jul 26, 2005
Series: Outlander #1
OUTLANDER completely took me by surprise and robbed me of my breath. A natural born storyteller, Diana Gabaldon’s stories are compulsively readable and deeply romantic. Trust me when I say you want to meet Jamie Fraser. They just don’t make heroes like him anymore. ~ Under the Covers
I was procrastinating on Twitter when I came across this picture from Sam Heughan who will be playing the iconic hero, Jamie Fraser come summer in the new Starz adaptation of Outlander. As a romance junkie, I was immediately struck by the image – the leather jacket and the kilt (yum), the classic cut of her dress and most importantly, the way he is holding and looking down at her. The chemistry was right there for all to see and when I saw it, it sparked something inside of me. I knew I had to read the books now.
The caption along with the image reads: ”Love this photo from yesterday’s event! (Trying to stop Cait touching buttons and levers)”. Right, Sam. We all know you were just copping a feel 😉 Already, I feel like a fan of the show even before I’ve seen the pilot episode.
For those of you who don’t already know, Outlander is a book that transcends many genres, running from Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, and even some sci-fi elements as well. It really has something for everyone. The big reason why I didn’t jump into this series earlier was because of its sheer size. It’s daunting at first and can be a test of patience. However, I found myself completely submerged into the world that Diana Gabaldon has created once I started. I can also tell you, it’s nearly impossible to stop once you do.
Immediately, Gabaldon’s authorial voice wraps you up in a sinful embrace, coaxing you into a world full of vibrant emotion and exquisite attention to detail. While heavy on history and facts, I never once felt that it bogged down the storyline, instead saturating it with its lush imagery and presence.
Claire’s character deserves a mention. As OUTLANDER is written in a first person narrative, readers get a front and center look through Claire’s eyes. Right from the get go, I loved Claire’s character. Anything that is thrown her way, she is up to the challenge, never wavering or doubting her abilities for a second despite the fact that she is thrown back 200 years earlier where everything is different. She might as well be living on an entirely different planet for all the changes she encounters. Her courage and heart are numerously displayed throughout the book and while many things, such as her initial thoughts about the world change, the core attributes that make her such an amazingly strong female character remains the same. I found myself absorbing her emotions like a sponge; when she fears, you fear. When she hurts, you hurt. And when she loves, you do too.
This brings me to the sole reason why I fell in love with this book. Jamie Fraser. Oh Jamie. Is there another hero that I love more? Probably not. Jamie has shot straight to the top of my favourite heroes list. When we first meet him, he’s young and still has a ways to learn about the world, but there’s also this sturdiness about him that draws Claire in. Their romance builds slowly as it’s a very delicate situation they are all put in, but Gabaldon builds on that initial attraction and transforms it into one of the most romantic, timeless love stories I’ve ever read. Jamie is the main reason for that. Some of the things he admits just absolutely break my heart.
“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”
Gabaldon also loves to add layers to her stories through her characters. As they retell past events, this has two purposes: it tells the reader additional information/backstory about the character and it also acts as a bonding experience for the two characters involved. Because readers are experiencing it from Claire’s perspective, her character continuously builds relationships (and enemies) through this way.
Jenny, Jamie’s sister and Ian, her husband were two of my favourite secondary characters. However, the witch comes a close second. Randall has to be one of the best villains I’ve encountered in a long time. I absolutely HATED his guts. Every time he walked onto the page, I cringed, knowing that there would be a drastic turn for the worse.
What surprised me about this book was the level of violence. But upon further consideration, I don’t know why I was so surprised. It was a different time. There is one scene I can think of that may or may not evoke some conflicting emotions. However, I could also understand why it happened and why Gabaldon chose to write it the way she did.
OUTLANDER completely took me by surprise and robbed me of my breath. A natural born storyteller, Diana Gabaldon’s stories are compulsively readable and deeply romantic. Trust me when I say you want to meet Jamie Fraser. They just don’t make heroes like him anymore.
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OUTLANDER ON TV!
Are you ready to experience OUTLANDER?
The epic tale becomes a reality. Welcome to the world of Outlander.
Outlander comes to STARZ Summer 2014
and will be internationally distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
We have a special promotional edition copy of OUTLANDER
up for grabs today to a lucky US maiden!