REMEMBER, THIS IS THE 7TH BOOK! IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST 6 THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD REALLY GO READ THE REST OF THE SERIES AND THEN COME BACK HERE, KAY?
Alright, I’m finally done re-reading the Outlander series! Since I spread it out over the last 2 years, I feel like it was a nice and relaxing. Now all I have to do is wait for the 8th book to come out, hopefully sometime next fall!
I’ve only read An Echo in the Bone once before (I’ve read all of the others in the series like 3 or 4 times at least), so I was really excited to see if my opinion of it has changed. And it has! But in case you’re interested, here’s the link to the review from the last time I read it, about 3 years ago. I was actually kind of nice in that review, because I remember being pretty angry about it. I was actually tempted to THROW the book at one point – but I didn’t of course, because it was a big beautiful hardcover.
ANYWAYS. A Breath of Snow and Ashes ended with Jamie & Claire’s house on Fraser’s Ridge burning down, them planning on going to Scotland to get Jamie’s printing press, and Brianna, Roger, and their kids head back to the present. Lots of upheaval, and right on the brink of the Revolutionary War.
A whole lot of stuff happens in this book, because there are four storylines. This really irritated me back when I first read the book. I love these books because I love Jamie and Claire, and it sucked that there was so much time dedicated to Roger/Brianna, Young Ian, and William/Lord John. Having re-read it, and at a much more leisurely pace than last time, it didn’t bug me quite as much. I think maybe I could have done without so many William/Lord John chapters, but I have a better appreciation for them now and their role in the overall story.
So, stuff that happens… well, Young Ian is finally healing after the disaster of his marriage to Emily, and that made me happy. He’s SUCH an awesome character, I really wish that Diana Gabaldon would write a whole series just for him. Or at least a novella. Jamie and Claire go through hell trying to make it across the sea to Scotland, including two major Revolutionary War battles (Ticonderoga and Saratoga). William is getting his first taste of being a soldier, and Lord John is of course working on some kind of political mystery that involves Fergus.
I liked this book a lot better than last time. I took time to appreciate the writing and just enjoy being with the characters again. These are the only books in which I actually MISS the characters when I’m not reading the books. They’re just so real. I’m already looking forward to my next big re-read in another year or two.
That being said, I have two main issues with this book:
1. That it ends on SO many cliffhangers. Diana doesn’t usually do that – all of the other books end on a solid note, with you looking forward to the next book but things more or less wrapped up for the moment. This one literally ends in the middle of a ton of action, confusion, and a ton of stuff happening. It feels… sloppy.
2. This is a big spoiler, but it’s the thing I dislike most in this book. Highlight if you want to read it… Claire heads back to America from Scotland, and Jamie follows later. Except Claire hears that the ship he was on went down and there were no survivors, so she thinks he’s dead. Soooo… she marries Lord John to protect herself and Fergus and his family, which I can understand. But… then her and Lord John sleep together, out of grief or whatever. WHAT. THE. FUCK. This whole situation makes no sense – Claire’s not stupid, she knows that in this day and age plans change and that even though that the ship he was SUPPOSED to be on, it doesn’t mean that he actually was on it. I guess it just bothers me that she so blindly accepts that he died, and she doesn’t even attempt to find out for sure. And then to go and sleep with Lord John, one of his good friends… just what the hell. This was totally unnecessary. UGH.
So yeah. I still have some complaints, but overall this book wasn’t as bad as I remember it being. With the exception of how rushed the ending was and that other thing that happens, I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait for Written in My Own Heart’s Blood to come out! I’m sure it’ll be the highlight of 2013.
Sarah Says: 4 stars