HTBR: Outlander

Throwing another Halfway Through Book review out there.  This time it’s a door-stopper. Seriously, I’ve seen smaller phone books. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, was a book I’ve heard about for a while now. The most I knew about it was that it involved time travel. That and the author is local to me.

So finally I came around to picking it up and made the commitment to tackle the tomb. I don’t think I was prepared for what I got.

I thought I was on board for an epic fantasy. What I got was a romance novel. I’m not saying it’s bad, just not what I expected. It’s starts with Clair in 1946. She’s an ex combat nurse and is currently traveling the Scottish Highlands with her husband. Clair goes for a walk, finds a standing stone circle —Wham-O!— she’s in 1743.

I’m actually pretty caught up by this point. Once in the past, she’s on the run from her husband’s ancient relative who would like nothing but to rape her. Fleeing, she gets farther and farther away from the standing stones that brought her there. Then it happens.

It gets bogged down in romance. She’s forced to get married to a strapping young buck and the bucking never stops. I like a good steamy sex scene, but dammit, get back to the story. I’m halfway through the book and there has been absolutely NO PROGRESS on getting back to the stones. But there’s been plenty of sex, near rape, sex that reads as rape (in my opinion), and I would be alright if it had something to do with the plot.

It doesn’t.

The sex is over-the-top and completely unnecessary to the plot. Unlike the books in Kushiel’s Legacy by Jacqueline Carey where the sex is integral to the plot, the sex here does not offer anything to the story.

Don’t get me wrong. Gabaldon can spin a good yarn. I’ll definitely finish the book. I just hope it gets on with it soon. At this rate, nothing will be solved and I’ll be debating with myself on whether I want to commit more time to seeing the story through. I love sagas, but I need each installment to have a clear ending, its own story arc.

The Update to this review might be a while. As I said, it’s like a half a forest worth of paper.

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4 thoughts on “HTBR: Outlander

  1. Just so you know, I felt the same way about the endless sex in the first one. I have read all seven books (I’m an avid late-night reader and was going to get my $7.99 per book worth of reading) and I feel that the best of the series, by far, start with book 3. Less sex, more action and history.

    1. I’ll keep that in mind. Although I’m not sure I want to wade through another full book just to get to the better stuff. Maybe in a year or two when I forget why I didn’t care for the first.

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