Okay. I know that I skipped over reviewing most of the books in the Outlander series, but I realized how hard it is to review something effectively without giving too much away. Anyways, I finished the latest Outlander novel last night. I have quite a few thoughts about it. I’m going to mention characters a lot – if you’ve read the series, you’ll know who I’m talking about. If not, you’ll have no idea but it won’t really matter )
Overall, I am disappointed with this one. Of course it’s still “a favorite” because I adore the series, but for now, this might be my least favorite. Compared to all of the other novels, it seemed really rushed. Maybe that’s because it takes place during the Revolutionary War, so of course things are hectic… but the storyline itself felt hurried.
The novel starts pretty much immediately where the last one ended. However, this book annoyed me for one very big reason – there are actually 4 story lines to follow throughout the whole book. One is Claire and Jamie’s, one is Brianna and Roger’s, one is Lord John Grey’s / William’s, and another is Young Ian’s. Now normally, I like to read a little through a different character’s perspective – this was just too much. I adore all of the above-mentioned characters, but the reason this series is great is because of Claire and Jamie. And having 4 story lines means that overall, 3/4 of the book didn’t really focus on them. This is also annoying because Lord John Grey already has his own series of mystery-type novels – and his chapters read just like them. I think that Young Ian should have his own series – he’s a fantastic character. But again, Outlander is supposed to be about Claire and Jamie (and, well, I’ve gotten used to Brianna and Roger becoming very strong main characters, and their storyline seemed to actually serve a purpose, so it didn’t bother me quite as much).
The story lines of course all tied together at the end. And I’m not saying the book wasn’t interesting – it definitely held my attention and I read it quick (though it may be shorter than the others, I don’t know yet). Lots of big surprises – some were good, but most were bad. And again, the whole novel felt rushed. You didn’t see as much thought process, so sometimes the characters did or said things that didn’t quite make sense. I didn’t get to enjoy a solid connection with any of them very well, because it jumped around between characters so much.
Also, the ending wasn’t really an ending. All of the other novels tie off neatly, and set the stage for the following. While the stage is certainly set for the next one, I feel like the cliffhangers in every storyline was just too much. You know how tv shows – particularly soaps – have some big suspenseful scene and then cut to the commercial and you’re left dying to know what happened because it’s right in the middle of something big? That’s what the ending was like, except I have to wait around 4 years for the next book.
In a year or so, I’ll re-read this and see if I change my opinion – it’s happened with books in the series before, where I thought one was my least favorite and then decided later it wasn’t so bad. But I am disappointed, and I hope that the whole 4 separate story line thing doesn’t carry over into book # 8.
3.5 out of 5 stars (