An Echo in the Bone: A Novel (Outlander) Info

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Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated
millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga.
In An Echo in the Bone, the seventh volume, Gabaldon continues
the extraordinary story of the eighteenth-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser
and his twentieth-century time-traveling wife, Claire
Randall.

Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel,
is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The
Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of
survival, and he’d rather die than have to face his illegitimate
son—a young lieutenant in the British army—across the barrel
of a gun.
Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win,
too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won’t
include Jamie’s life or his happiness, though—not if she has
anything to say about it.
Meanwhile, in the relative safety of
the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna, and
her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home
where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of
Brianna’s parents’ story comes to life through
Claire’s letters. The fragile pages reveal Claire’s love for
battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the
high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles—as
Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire’s fate but
to their own. Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the
Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with
life and death in war-torn colonial America.
With stunning
cameos of historical characters from Benedict Arnold to Benjamin
Franklin, An Echo in the Bone is a soaring masterpiece of
imagination, insight, character, and adventure—a novel that echoes
in the mind long after the last page is turned.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for An Echo in the Bone: A Novel (Outlander):

2

Jun 21, 2009

TOP TEN REASONS WHY THE OUTLANDER SERIES IS BETTER THAN THE TWILIGHT SERIES

10. Heroine is not complimented on how delicious her blood smells. Instead, she is told that her ass looks like two ripe melons. Just what every woman wants.

9. When the hero has to rescue the heroine, he doesn't merely have to run at lightning speed across the parking lot. He actually has to travel halfway across the world, kill a few dozen villains, and blow up a few buildings.

8. But that doesn't matter because just as TOP TEN REASONS WHY THE OUTLANDER SERIES IS BETTER THAN THE TWILIGHT SERIES

10. Heroine is not complimented on how delicious her blood smells. Instead, she is told that her ass looks like two ripe melons. Just what every woman wants.

9. When the hero has to rescue the heroine, he doesn't merely have to run at lightning speed across the parking lot. He actually has to travel halfway across the world, kill a few dozen villains, and blow up a few buildings.

8. But that doesn't matter because just as often the heroine can rescue her own damn self.

7. Pirates are WAY better than vampires.

6. The creepy, obsessive dude is an actual villain and not the hero of the story.

5. The denouement involves actual danger, as opposed to what essentially amounts to a Rainbow Gathering gone awry.

4. The doctor doesn't come off as a pedophile.

3. Not one single Renesmee in the entire series.

2. Nobody is sparkly.

1. People actually have sex, and lots of it.


...more
0

Sep 29, 2009

I am a devout DG/Outlander fan, so of course I read Echo in the Bone as fast as I could get my mitts on it...and it left me sorely disappointed!
I actually skipped pages! She said that there were four story lines (hence the four points on the Caltrop on the cover) and I was excited at first. But when I got into the story, I got bored with the overlong passages about William and John's intrigues. Where were Jamie and Claire?? (And why the hell can't they manage a sea voyage without trouble??) I I am a devout DG/Outlander fan, so of course I read Echo in the Bone as fast as I could get my mitts on it...and it left me sorely disappointed!
I actually skipped pages! She said that there were four story lines (hence the four points on the Caltrop on the cover) and I was excited at first. But when I got into the story, I got bored with the overlong passages about William and John's intrigues. Where were Jamie and Claire?? (And why the hell can't they manage a sea voyage without trouble??) I actually started to wish I could read about Brianna (one of my least favorite people...)

I heard her say there was going to be another book after this one (the ongoing belief was that this book was going to be the last one) which is very apparent after this book that there has to be one more. But I feel like if she had cut half of the story out and finished the cliffhanging story lines, she could be done by now, and I could have peace of mind knowing the story is over! I mean I really don't appreciate being led on for 2/3 of a book and then have four different surprise endings.

Some other smaller points:
-felt choppy
-dragged at points and then skipped over more interesting points
-not enough Jamie and Claire!!!


I'm going to read it again more slowly to see if my opinion changes, but first I need to let the dust settle on my disappointment.


**EDIT**
OK, So I've had some time to sit and ruminate on the experience of this book and why I couldn't pinpoint the niggling reason (like bothering a sore tooth with your tongue) why I was so disappointed. There were the shallow obvious reasons of course, like four surprise endings, but deeper still ran something vague and unnameable until now. See, as silly as it sounds, I became emotionally invested in the characters and stories of Jamie and Claire, and rightly so, a good book should make you care about its characters.
Being a typical DG fangirl, I've read all the Outlander novels without much complaint, and re-read, and re-read, and re-read. I don't think I can do that with this book. I think there are about 100 pages I'd be willing to go through again. So yeah, I'm angry that I don't have another book to keep re-reading, as psycho as it sounds.
I'm not really sure if I should be angry at Diana Gabaldon, her editor, her publisher, or anyone else who read this book before it went to press and didn't tell her she needed to get a pair of proverbial scissors. Of course I'll be getting the next and hopefully last book, but with a lesser amount of trust and a greater wariness. ...more
4

May 31, 2017

Bloody hell, I'm freaking tired!





So here's the deal. Most of my friends here on Goodreads know that I have been listening to these cd's from the library. Well, I just happened to check the status of their return because I should have had one more month for them to be renewed. Noooooooooooooooooo, on this book someone placed a hold and it's due soon so luckily I started listening to it a few days ago, but now I'm freaking tired because I have had to listen almost non stop while reading another Bloody hell, I'm freaking tired!





So here's the deal. Most of my friends here on Goodreads know that I have been listening to these cd's from the library. Well, I just happened to check the status of their return because I should have had one more month for them to be renewed. Noooooooooooooooooo, on this book someone placed a hold and it's due soon so luckily I started listening to it a few days ago, but now I'm freaking tired because I have had to listen almost non stop while reading another book. Not much sleep. I do not like to listen to audio books for that long even if I LOVE the narrator!

Anyhoo, I'm done and I can take my time with the next audio =)

I didn't like this book as much as the other ones and it didn't even make my favorites list! =( All the other books are 5 star favorites. Oh well =(

I don't like that the family is all broken up and in different places and of course Bree, Roger and the kids are back in the real time world. I must have missed the explanation at the beginning because Bree and Roger are able to read letters from Claire and Jamie. I don't get it and I'm not going to look for it. Oh, there was a book though that was written by Jamie, gave me a little tear in my eye when Roger read it.

Grandfather Tales, the book was titled, with the subtitle, "Stories from the Highlands of Scotland and the Backcountry of the Carolinas," by James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. Again, printed by A. Bell, Edinburgh, in the same year. The dedication said simply, For my grandchildren.

Claire's portrait had made him laugh; this one moved him almost to tears, and he closed the book gently.

That was Roger that read that and he had seen a picture of Claire.

Bree and Roger live in Lallybroch. I reckon they fixed it up all nice. It just breaks my heart.

William (Jamie's son) is in the book more, what with him in the war and all.

Jamie and Claire go back to Scotland after awhile and we get to meet up with some of the old characters, Jenny, Ian and the kids, who are grown up. And there is a death. And of course, on their way back to Scotland they get attacked by pirates and such again. Just stay off the freaking waters!

Fergus and the gang are in the book a little bit.

But, there is some crap that goes down at the end that I hated! It makes me sick and I want to drop kick Lord John Grey!!! Just grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I'm hoping the next book is better than this one and I can get back to loving them or I'm going to kick something! I'm not listening to it right away though because, uh, I'm done listening for a little while after this one! I need a break!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List ...more
5

Jun 26, 2014


”God, your arse looks fine, wi’ the wet linen of your shift clinging to it, it goes all transparent, and I can see the weight of your buttocks, like great smooth round melons ..."


I sort of wondered when I started this book if I was going into Outlander overload and that I might tire of it seeing as I have read 6 of the books in the space of 2 months or so.


No, this book was wonderful, for the most part. I must admit there were some parts with Lord John and William that my eyes sort of glazed
”God, your arse looks fine, wi’ the wet linen of your shift clinging to it, it goes all transparent, and I can see the weight of your buttocks, like great smooth round melons ..."


I sort of wondered when I started this book if I was going into Outlander overload and that I might tire of it seeing as I have read 6 of the books in the space of 2 months or so.


No, this book was wonderful, for the most part. I must admit there were some parts with Lord John and William that my eyes sort of glazed over and I lost interest a bit. Only so much I want to read about a boot and foot stuck in a boggy hole!

“This is the thin time, when the beloved dead draw near. The world turns inward, and the chilling air grows thick with dreams and mystery.”

We meet the characters from the previous books. Of course, Jamie and Claire are still my favourites. Bloody “autocorrect”, I spell favourite with a fecking “u”!!! It got it eventually.

Roger and Brianna - wonderful. I love them. Wee Jemmy, what a sweetie.


”Have ye ever in the slightest doubt that I need ye?”, he demanded.
“No, to the best of my knowledge, you needed me urgently the moment I saw you and I haven’t had reason to think you’ve got any more self-sufficient since."


I have read some reviews that say the last part of the book is somewhat rushed and ended abruptly. I did not find that. It was a rushed in such a way that a LOT happens, my mind was spinning. Of course, its easy for me to say that as I can dive straight into Book 8. I would have died if I had to wait a year or so to find out what happens next.

He would make her a new garden one day, God willing.


There were pathways in the dark. I knew; I had seen people die. despite physical decay, there was no dying until the pathway was found. I couldn’t - yet - find mine.


Ian, love him too. We catch up with most of the characters. Fergus, Marsali. Jenny and Ian. Lallybroch. Rollo! I did shed a tear during one part of the book.

”I canna thank of ye dead, Claire. Anything else - but not that. I can’t."

...more
5

Sep 21, 2009

The five stars are an expression of my Outlander fangirl enthusiasm, since I'm incapable of objectively judging the quality of these books. I'd probably have given five stars to anything that wasn't a huge disappointment. Which this wasn't, of course; I thought it was quite good.

The first couple hundred pages are admittedly a little slow. We get a lot of POV from Lord John and 19-yr-old William, and there is some crossover from the LJ spin-off series, which I think may be confusing for people The five stars are an expression of my Outlander fangirl enthusiasm, since I'm incapable of objectively judging the quality of these books. I'd probably have given five stars to anything that wasn't a huge disappointment. Which this wasn't, of course; I thought it was quite good.

The first couple hundred pages are admittedly a little slow. We get a lot of POV from Lord John and 19-yr-old William, and there is some crossover from the LJ spin-off series, which I think may be confusing for people who haven't read those books. I like John and William very much, but in this series I really want to read about Jamie and Claire and fortunately the book soon begins to focus more on them.

The last hundred pages are riveting and really quite shocking. But after the earlier slow pacing they felt a little rushed, and the ending is abrupt. It was made worse because I didn't realize that there is an author's note at the end, so the story stopped suddenly when I thought there were still a few pages to go! If I weren't such a fangirl I would probably dock the book a star for concluding with multiple dramatic cliffhangers, which I in general dislike. I don't remember the other books in this series leaving us hanging in mid-scene! There are also some storylines left unresolved, so even at 800+ pages this felt like the first half of an extremely long novel.

But *dreamy sigh* the book thrilled me anyway. Gabaldon claims to write in scenes, and when I re-read these books I do tend to skim some of the connecting narrative and focus on my favorite scenes, and there are plenty of new favorites in this one. Claire's medical work is as fascinating as always, particularly a long sequence which I had already read as an excerpt in The Outlandish Companion. ...more
3

Mar 01, 2009

DG’s still a PHENOMENAL writer, her talent has never been in question, but I do question her sanity after reading the last word of this hefty 814-page HC. These are just my random thoughts & somewhat-friendly reminders to myself as future reference, in case I need to refresh my poor memory. This is 1 helluva busy book, jammed w/ innumerable constantly-shifting plots & POVs but the resulting end wasn’t a thrilling ride as the previous ones. I really hope to hell this was simply a failed DG’s still a PHENOMENAL writer, her talent has never been in question, but I do question her sanity after reading the last word of this hefty 814-page HC. These are just my random thoughts & somewhat-friendly reminders to myself as future reference, in case I need to refresh my poor memory. This is 1 helluva busy book, jammed w/ innumerable constantly-shifting plots & POVs but the resulting end wasn’t a thrilling ride as the previous ones. I really hope to hell this was simply a failed experiment & that the next 1 will unfold more smoothly than this. I was left dazed & confused @ times in trying to follow the zig-zag tracks, or perhaps it was due to lack of sleep & long hours of OT hahahaa…. I wish I’d read this during my Dec staycation. I’ve read 21 books in-between AEITB so it wasn’t a v. good sign ‘cuz I used to devour DG’s books as if there’s no tomorrow. I’ll prolly not gonna reread =^2

> ~*~/*\~*~ SPOILERS ~*~/*\~*~ SPOILERS ~*~/*\~*~ SPOILERS ~*~/*\~*~ <

WTF moments :

- The noticeable imbalance in pacing throughout the book. The stop-and-start, going-into-multiple-directions formula could only go so far.
- Claire boinked Lord John after Jamie’s death & the subsequent MOC. < Scratches wig > For real ? Why not just have her commit suicide as she tried to but didn’t ? Or have Claire take a mental vacay from reality for as long as she believed Jamie was 6-FT under ? Good grief. What’s the purpose of this plot device aka her momentary insanity ? Just to add more dwamatic flavor into the BOILING cauldron ? Jamie’s not even cold in his grave yet. Ick. How could she even think, let alone do Lord John ? Is this a potentially awkward luv triangle since he has feelings for Jamie too ? What a tangled web.
- What’s up w/ Jamie’s mild reaction when Lord John fessed up that he had carnal knowledge of Claire ? Oh wait, I forgot, this book only serves as a stepping stone for the next installment
- Was DG sprinting to meet the deadline ? Was she watching Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2 when she wrote this epic saga ? As if we’re not poor enough w/ the econ in the dumpster as it is. If I’d forked over big bucks outta my own negative piggy bank, I’d have demanded a half-refund. Good thing I used a library card, not a CC.
- Buccleigh = Another TT victim. So the portals have become a revolving door now. Who’s next ?
- The mystery of Roger’s dad. As if we didn’t have enough intrigue. Maybe he’ll meet his da in another time, amidst his search for Jem ?
- Li’l Jem got kidnapped & took a train to “destination : unknown.” Roger left Bree & Mandy behind, taking Buccleigh w/ him. Will they succeed ? Buck’s supposed to die @ 38 y/o, his current age. Yikes.
- Do we really need another lesson in human disease, anatomy & physiology ? Haven’t I seen Claire stitch up Jamie before ? Ok so this time she’s severing a full digit & trying to leave him w/ a working hand. I don’t think my poor fragile heart can take any more abuse than this. How many more lives does Jamie have left ? Have mercy.
- When Willie met Jamie. If that’s all there is to it, I don’t think it’s worth waiting for. It’s supposed to build up like a crescendo ‘till the moment of truth hits him in the face. It got swallowed up by the impending troops. I expected a so much more electrifying reunion.
- Can Lord John & Willie’s storylines be any more boring ? Wish their tedious episodes coulda been condensed into merely 1 – 2 chapters. Or @ least, keep them in separate sections instead of sneaking them in-between Jamie, Ian, Claire, Rog & Bree’s perilous adventures. It’s too crowded. If U wanna include ‘em, @ least give us more substance to root for. My head’s still spinning from the subplot overload. Wonder why my short-span attention drifted to other books. I thought I could recharge my interest but it didn’t work =^B
- I didn’t care much for Rog & Bree’s modern life in the 1980’s either, hence the 2 stars I dinged on. Just get over it. Their kids were way more riveting & if it weren’t for Mandy’s acute sense of loss, Rog & Bree wouldn’t have known Jem was missing. No wonder they say kids have a 6th sense. For a moment there I felt like in a twilight zone.
- The letters that Bree & Roger read, actually made my eyes kinda glaze over. They’re small & in italics, plus my eyesight is failing, the letters made me drowsy. I was torn between skipping them & not wanting to miss anything pertaining to Jaime & Claire’s adventures.
- Lotsa v. dull sea voyage scenes. Here I am, a fan of swashbuckling pirate romance, I wanted them to get off the ship & land somewhere.
- The diminishing # of Jamie-ism. @ my rapidly-advancing age, I need more to sustain me thru’ the next 4 yrs. He still said the most luvly, aaawww-worthy lines to Claire but they’re too far & few between =^D

Fav (some gut-wrenching) moments :

- Claire, like a loose cannon, gave Jamie a delish dressing-down after seeing his injury-decorated self. Almost had a cardiac arrest when the scavenger duo were gonna kill him. @$$-kicking heroine that she is, Claire got the biggest b@ll$ when it comes to protecting Jamie.
- Jamie’s death-defying, gritty battle scenes. I prayed – and this is coming from an unbeliever – that Jamie would not get blown away to splinters like his comrades. In the scene where Claire found him later on, he bared his soul to her ‘bout his motives & principles in joining the revolution. Fell in luv w/ him all over again, what an amazing guy.
- Ian’s bloody slow death of consumption was heart-breaking. Luved that poignant scene where Jamie offered his severed finger to Ian. He’ll always keep a part of Jamie w/ him to next life. Now that’s what U’d call a true BFF.
- Young Ian got to see his da & family. He spent quality time w/ da & revealed that he’s in luv. Ian can go peacefully, knowing that his son got another shot @ HEA.
- Jenny & Claire butted heads again, as expected. Their volatile relationship might keep things interesting in the next 1.
- Jamie & Claire took matters in their own hands, literally. His sweaty, outraged reaction to Claire’s request to “luv thyself” was comical =P Why didn’t we get more lovey-dovey scenes ? The freakin-hawt chemistry was still alive & kicking. Instead, we’re treated to various symptoms of fatigue, exhaustion, vomiting, thirst, starvation etc. Granted, it’s wartime & they gotta conserve their energy, but the romance dept woulda benefited w/ more J & C’s inspiring luv scenes.
- Jamie & Laoghaire’s long-overdue explosive reunion. @ least they got to settle it once & for all. Laoghaire found happiness in an unlikely man, who needed her more than Jamie ever did. Li’l Joanie was all grown-up now & made an overture to Jamie to pave her way to the convent. Claire had the upper hand when she made a bargain w/ Laoghaire, who needed her medical skills for Marsali’s kid. 1 dilemma’s solved.
- Young Ian had a secret son, fell head over heels in luv w/ a Quaker. It’s kinda confusing reading Rachel & Denny Hunters’ weird lingo.
- Denny & Dottie, Ian & Rachel = I liked their sweet 2ndary romance.
- Ian’s devotion to his mutt, Rollo. I’m a sucka for heroes who adore dogs. Ian has become my 2nd fav character in the ginormous clan. He felt so anguished over the accidental killing of Arch Bug’s wife. @ last he showed fine mettle, esp when Jamie’s being blackmailed by a scumbag & also in the final confrontation to save Rachel. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of their conflicts in the next installment. It’ll be fascinating to see the adjustments on both ends.
- Jamie saw Simon, his 2nd cousin, from the opposing end. Didn’t wanna kill his kinsman but ended up almost shooting his own son Willie in the head. Jamie met his other cousin, Hamish, it’s a small world indeed. I wonder how many more cousins Jamie’ll encounter.
- Liked Fergus & his mysterious lineage plot. I wouldn’t have minded @ all if DG had included more of his scenes w/ Jamie than the dull Lord John & Willie’s encounters.
- Tom Christie returned, much to Claire’s discomfort ‘cuz he still carried a flaming torch for her.
- DG’s wonderful dialogues. Just can’t get enuff of ‘em.

If her editor hadn’t fallen asleep, methinks the book coulda been more condensed into 500 pages. Get rid of the yawn-inducing segments like LJ & Willie, they should be relegated to the farthest corner of the storyboard. Same w/ Rog & Bree, they should be placed in the back burner, tho’ I still wanna know whatever happened to li’l Jem & how Cameron will succeed in making Bree show him the much-coveted treasure, I’m more keen on reading J & C, plus young Ian & Rachel. I want more crunchy moments between Jamie & Willie, as everyone w/ eyes can see their striking resemblance. I still luved her characters’ dynamics but I preferred a tighter pacing & more resolutions to dangling threads than just the daily occurrences. 4 years is helluva long time to wait.
...more
3

Jan 08, 2010

First Sentence: The pirate's head had disappeared.

In this 7th book to the Outlander series, Jamie, Claire and Ian are leaving the Ridge headed for Scotland to take Ian back to his family and bring Jamie's printing press back to the Colonies. Roger and Brianna have returned to the present and have settled at Lallybroch, but they've not completely left the past behind. William is anxious to prove himself in battle and Lord John is dealing with his family, both in England and in Pennsylvania.

I was First Sentence: The pirate's head had disappeared.

In this 7th book to the Outlander series, Jamie, Claire and Ian are leaving the Ridge headed for Scotland to take Ian back to his family and bring Jamie's printing press back to the Colonies. Roger and Brianna have returned to the present and have settled at Lallybroch, but they've not completely left the past behind. William is anxious to prove himself in battle and Lord John is dealing with his family, both in England and in Pennsylvania.

I was both delighted and disgusted with this book. Either way, it is clear Ms. Gabaldon (1) rushed the ending and (2) does not have a continuity editor. The story was so rife with coincidence as to almost be humorous. There were so many characters with significant stories it diluted each of the stories. However, there were also historical characters whose presence may have added a veracity to the period but added little to the story.

Jamie and Claire are the focal point of the series. You'd never know that from this book where we jump between Jamie and Claire, Roger and Brianna, Lord John, William, and Denny and Rachael Hunter. The continual jumps in time and focus felt more as though it was bad episodic television than reading what should have been a wonderfully engrossing novel. In addition, there were inaccuracies and terrible inconsistencies that should have been caught.

What makes it difficult is that, in essence I did like the book. There were scenes which touched my heart and even brought tears to my eyes. Gabaldon is very good at tugging the heartstrings. There were scenes of suspense and humor. However, there were also scenes where critically important information was being conveyed among the characters, but the reader was exited from the scene. All the scenes were so scattered throughout the story, it caused the pacing to be very uneven.

...and the ending; I am loathe to even mention the ending. To say it felt rushed would be kind. To say there were more story threads left dangling than a cat playing in a yarn basket would be an understatement. To say it was frustrating and extremely disappointing does not strongly enough express my feelings toward the ending.

Were Ms. Gabaldon a poor writer, I could dismiss all this and walk away, but she is not. I have absolutely loved all the previous books in this series; yes, even Fiery Cross. She has created characters about whom I care and have taken to my hearts. She has created a story in which I am invested both in time--both in reading time alone and in the number of years this series has been part of my life--and in money--I own the books in hardcover, trade paperback and the audio books.

Ms. Gabaldon is, apparently, going to fix some of the mistakes found in the hardcover edition of this book prior to the trade paperback edition being released. That's all well and good, but it still leaves those of us with the hardcover edition, particularly where I bought 6 signed copies at full price, with error-laden books. I should have much preferred the errors be caught and corrected in the first place.

I shall continue with the series as these characters are now part of my life and I really want to know where the story goes. However, I do feel Ms. Gabaldon has a responsibility, both to herself and to her very faithful legion of fans, to spend more time and do a better job on Book 8. ...more
3

Oct 14, 2009

So I love Diana Gabaldon. I wish she would write faster than one new book every four years in the Outlander series, but whatcha gonna do. So Of course I've been waiting with bated breath for this one.
Writing: still draws you into the characters' lives. They are so human, so loving, so flawed yet continuously striving.
Characters: this book has four main plots (yes, four). We get Jamie and Claire, but we also get Ian (who I like to read about), Roger and Brianna (who I found annoying earlier in So I love Diana Gabaldon. I wish she would write faster than one new book every four years in the Outlander series, but whatcha gonna do. So Of course I've been waiting with bated breath for this one.
Writing: still draws you into the characters' lives. They are so human, so loving, so flawed yet continuously striving.
Characters: this book has four main plots (yes, four). We get Jamie and Claire, but we also get Ian (who I like to read about), Roger and Brianna (who I found annoying earlier in the series but now really am enjoying), and William and Lord John. That last plot thread really plods. I don't get the sense of empathy with these two characters that I can get with the others. There's lots of plotting and intrigue that really doesn't amount to much. I think the author is a frustrated mystery writer, but the mystery parts of her books don't do nearly as much for me as the time travel, romances, adventure, history, and humor.
Plot: I don't know if I can forgive her for this. She wrote a great book and then failed to end it. Three of the four plots threads end with characters in terrible danger or a major unresolved issue. Why would she do this? In a book that's 800 pages long, it's not like she worries much about editing. Couldn't she write another 50 to 100 pages and get them out of those messes? The cliffhangers are ridiculous when we will probably have to wait another 4 years to see them resolved. No matter how much tension she generates, four years will make it die down. I can't write in any dignified way how upset I am by this- it's cheap, a cheat, and unfair to her faithful readers. ...more
2

Oct 27, 2009

Diana Gabaldon needs to finish this series. In fact, she needed to finish it in this book:

If she is so crazy about Lord John, keep writing those books about him. Personally, he bores me, and I skipped over those sections. I'm not that into William either, even if he IS Jamie's son.

How many times can Claire and Jamie run into pirates and take over a ship? She's done this before in Voyager. And there's lots of other material that repeats or echoes stuff in previous, better books.

There are too many Diana Gabaldon needs to finish this series. In fact, she needed to finish it in this book:

If she is so crazy about Lord John, keep writing those books about him. Personally, he bores me, and I skipped over those sections. I'm not that into William either, even if he IS Jamie's son.

How many times can Claire and Jamie run into pirates and take over a ship? She's done this before in Voyager. And there's lots of other material that repeats or echoes stuff in previous, better books.

There are too many points of view and too much skipping from place to place. If you're not interested enough in your characters to stay on them for more than a chapter or so, why bother?

And last, but not least, virtually EVERYONE is left in a cliffhanger situation. Nothing is anywhere near being resolved--it just ends!

This whole book could have been cut down by about 3/4, added to whatever she is planning for a (hopefully) final book, and published when she is ready to publish that one.

But she yielded--to her publishers, her agent, her fans, whoever and as a result we have this mess of a book.

Sad, really. ...more
3

Mar 04, 2018

I'm back on the Outlander train...again. Mostly because I just want to finish this series!

I definitely dived into An Echo in the Bone without expectations. WHY? Well, because I already knew it was probably going to be like 100x longer than it needed to be. It might be poring in a ton of parts. I might not like it?

What do you get from this book? Well lots of POV's to start! We get Claire, Jamie, Brianna, Roger, Ian, John, William, and so much more! This made me so happy because I was kind of I'm back on the Outlander train...again. Mostly because I just want to finish this series!

I definitely dived into An Echo in the Bone without expectations. WHY? Well, because I already knew it was probably going to be like 100x longer than it needed to be. It might be poring in a ton of parts. I might not like it?

What do you get from this book? Well lots of POV's to start! We get Claire, Jamie, Brianna, Roger, Ian, John, William, and so much more! This made me so happy because I was kind of getting sick of reading from Claire's POV. Not that I hate the girl or anything.. but it was getting annoying and boring. Unfortunately, I was kind of getting annoyed with Brianna's POV because it was like reading from Claire's...

There is adventure in here too. Plus Claire and Jamie also find trouble.. or does trouble always find them?!? Either way the book makes you think they wont get from point A to point B but in the end they do. They always do.

The one POV I loved was probably from William. I don't really know how to explain it but it was refreshing to read from. I was definitely shipping him with Rachel!! Ugh, they were adorable!

Overall, I liked the book but I still found it boring and super long. Maybe if it was cut in half I would've enjoyed it more? ...more
5

Jun 01, 2009

After several thousand pages of build-up, the Revolutionary War is finally here — and with it, the excitement of the early Outlander novels returns. No offense to the residents of Fraser's Ridge, but it's a lot more fun to see Jamie and Claire interacting with Benedict Arnold than Hiram Crombie. They may be older and wiser than they were back in the Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager days, but this book has more in common with those two novels than it does with the last few that preceded it. I can't After several thousand pages of build-up, the Revolutionary War is finally here — and with it, the excitement of the early Outlander novels returns. No offense to the residents of Fraser's Ridge, but it's a lot more fun to see Jamie and Claire interacting with Benedict Arnold than Hiram Crombie. They may be older and wiser than they were back in the Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager days, but this book has more in common with those two novels than it does with the last few that preceded it. I can't help but feel that the Frasers are back in their element; a life of quiet domesticity may just not be their thing.

What else can I say about Echo? Several characters and storylines from the early books (and even the Lord John series) return, but several new, very likeable characters are introduced as well. There were enough twists, turns, and mysteries to keep me glued to the pages... and I hope it won't take forever for the next Outlander book to come out because quite a few surprises happen late in this one and don't get resolved before the end. ...more
3

Nov 08, 2009

I am an Outlander series fan. Yes I am. I love Jamie (to an embarrasing extent), Claire and the whole cast of random modern and 18th C. characters that fill the many, many pages of Gabaldon's books. While not fine literature, I can always count on her great storytelling to completely draw me into her world over and over again (to the detriment of my normal life, and my husband's chagrin).

That said, while I did enjoy this book there were a number of things about the writing that bothered me:
1. I am an Outlander series fan. Yes I am. I love Jamie (to an embarrasing extent), Claire and the whole cast of random modern and 18th C. characters that fill the many, many pages of Gabaldon's books. While not fine literature, I can always count on her great storytelling to completely draw me into her world over and over again (to the detriment of my normal life, and my husband's chagrin).

That said, while I did enjoy this book there were a number of things about the writing that bothered me:
1. The author has another series of books based on a minor character from this series. This is the first time in the Outlander series that I felt lost because I hadn't read the Lord John series. Annoying.

2. Because so much time was spent developing this secondary story line, the main characters get the shaft. More than annoying.

There were a few other things that annoyed me (too much war/battle details - yawn, THE ENDING WAS CRAZY) but that I think will bother me less upon a second reading.

Yes, I read these books multiple times. Did I mention that I love Jamie?

...more
2

Oct 03, 2009

And this is it for me and the Outlander series.

There is a section in the Outlandish Companion where Diana talks about authors who do so much research and then make their readers "pay" for it. Meaning, if the author read about it, she's going to put it in the book, regardless of how much it contributes to the actual story.

I think that Diana is now doing the same. I've been a loyal fan of hers since I first read Outlander, but I'm done. I can't deal with an endless series where just because she's And this is it for me and the Outlander series.

There is a section in the Outlandish Companion where Diana talks about authors who do so much research and then make their readers "pay" for it. Meaning, if the author read about it, she's going to put it in the book, regardless of how much it contributes to the actual story.

I think that Diana is now doing the same. I've been a loyal fan of hers since I first read Outlander, but I'm done. I can't deal with an endless series where just because she's now researching the whole damn War of Independence we need to find out about what a soldier's buttons say or whatever the next cute bit of minutiae she stumbled upon.

I don't feel like "paying" for it anymore. I didn't even buy this book because I was so wary of how it would turn out, and it was pretty much as I'd dreaded. Chapter upon chapter filled with hundreds of characters I don't even care about. I don't think I'll even request the future books from the library. Yes, books, because honestly, this whole scam of "oh, just one more book" has worn me out. First it was a trilogy; then it was six books, three for the Uprising and three for the New World; oh wait, it was eight books - oh, Diana just keeps finding more stuff to string us along.

I've already abandoned one series where I got tired of the author writing for herself - the Anita Blake series - and now I'm sad that I'm done with the Outlander series.

If I'm still alive when the last book in the series comes out, I'll go to Borders and see how it ended, but I won't pay with my money or my time any more. ...more
4

Oct 18, 2012

4.5 's

There's really no way to do a review without spoilers so I'm just going to write down some thoughts.

Wow...I really can't believe I'm finally at this point - being all caught up with the Outlander books. I've always heard how everyone loves them but the sheer size of them is just scary! However, they are definitely an adventure not to be missed.

I decided to let myself kick back and enjoy them and enjoy them I did. What a treat! I loved getting to know all these characters...loving some of 4.5 ★'s

There's really no way to do a review without spoilers so I'm just going to write down some thoughts.

Wow...I really can't believe I'm finally at this point - being all caught up with the Outlander books. I've always heard how everyone loves them but the sheer size of them is just scary! However, they are definitely an adventure not to be missed.

I decided to let myself kick back and enjoy them and enjoy them I did. What a treat! I loved getting to know all these characters...loving some of them, hating the others and some I was seriously surprised at how much I came to like.

Diana Gabaldon doesn't do anything half way and I guess that explains why the books are taking so long to write now. I'm thankful that I don't have to wait four years for the next one but I'll be with you guys for the ones after that.

I think that's the main problem with her books. Everything is in such detail and it makes you feel like you are literally there. Whenever she writes about lice, I swear I'm itchy for days! I'm not a big fan of wars and tales about the Indians and medical procedures but I do have to say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I've probably learned a few things here and there. The bad part is that there is no way to remember everything that has happened! I feel for the most part that she does a good job catching you back up because I'm not sure I could read these all again...not for a while!

Sooo...some thoughts on the book:

I LOVE Jamie and Claire and I can't imagine that ever changing. Their love story is truly the heart of the book and I don't ever want to think of that ending! Some parts of this book made me hesitate though and one part at the end that was left unresolved has me worried!

Roger, Brianne, Jem and Amanda hold a special place for me as well. I love hearing about the 'connection' between Jem and Mandy but I can't believe what happened!! At that point, I was thankful for William MacKenzie but I'm still worried about Roger.

I really enjoyed getting to know Willie better. All the hits and misses were great but the ending was crazy and my mind is going a million different directions on what DG will come up with.

I loved everything about Ian even though Arch Bug gave it a whole creepy factor. I'm so happy about Rachel...I really hope we get some happiness there. And of course, Rollo helped save the day!

It was great when Jamie and Claire went back to Lallybroch. I was hoping things would settle better between Claire and Jenny and they still might. Things were really sad about Ian (Sr.) but I thought the part with Jamie's finger was really touching. I didn't like anything about Laoghaire but I was glad that things seemed to work out for everyone.

There are sooo many other characters that it would take forever to touch on everyone and every event. There are a lot of touching and sweet moments that I really enjoyed such as Jamie and Claire getting glasses! I thought that was great! And don't even get me started on Tom Christie!

I had read the blurb for the next book so thankfully I wasn't terribly upset when certain events happened. I'm just glad that the things I thought were spoilers were addressed in this book...that would have been terrible to be left hanging from those events! Can Fall 2013 get here any faster?


Favorite quotes:

♥ "I canna think of yea dead, Claire. Anything else--but not that. I can't."

♥ “But ye couldna weep for the bairns. Or the house. Or your wee garden. Or the poor dead lass and her bairn. But if ye weep for your cheetie, ye know ye can stop.”

“How do you know that?” My voice was thick, but the band round my chest was not quite so tight. He made a small, rueful sound.

“Because I canna weep for those things, either, Sassenach. And I havena got a cat.”

♥ “Then I grew older still, and discovered that, after all, it was true. I am the son of a great man.”

The hook touched Jamie’s hand, hard and capable.

“I wish for nothing more.”
...more
1

Jan 02, 2010

LOVED Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager, but this book was *Simply Horrible*. Plodding, too much description of certain events that are of zero importance to the overall plot (usually medical), the rehash of old themes and introduction of new, just plain ridiculous ones made this almost painful to read. Thank goodness I took it out from the library and didn't waste my money or shelf space on it.

Obviously I am quite disappointed in this latest installment of Jamie and Claire, because LOVED Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager, but this book was *Simply Horrible*. Plodding, too much description of certain events that are of zero importance to the overall plot (usually medical), the rehash of old themes and introduction of new, just plain ridiculous ones made this almost painful to read. Thank goodness I took it out from the library and didn't waste my money or shelf space on it.

Obviously I am quite disappointed in this latest installment of Jamie and Claire, because there is so little of interest happening between of these two. I agree with another reviewer that I couldn't remember who 80% of the plethora of characters in the book were (and she didn't refresh us), and adding a whole host more made it even muddier.. Add in the back and forth thing... no thanks.

I think that the series started going downhill with the Revolutionary War, and I stand by that. Sadly, I don't think I'll be reading any more of them because it will further taint the magic that Outlander once was. ...more
3

Oct 06, 2009

I find myself now thankful that there's only one book left in this series. While I don't regret the time spent on Echo and will certainly read the Outlander conclusion when it's available in 4? years, I'm ready to let this series go.

Historical detail was as always fascinating and the characters are still for the most part engaging and moving, but this volume interweaved way too many story lines and ended up feeling disjointed. Add in a few plot "twists" which are starting to feel cliched and I find myself now thankful that there's only one book left in this series. While I don't regret the time spent on Echo and will certainly read the Outlander conclusion when it's available in 4? years, I'm ready to let this series go.

Historical detail was as always fascinating and the characters are still for the most part engaging and moving, but this volume interweaved way too many story lines and ended up feeling disjointed. Add in a few plot "twists" which are starting to feel cliched and overused (more kidnapping! more time travelers!) and it just feels like it's past time to move on.
...more
4

Dec 20, 2016

HOKAY SO. I have now made it through seven books of this series, which is basically like twenty-one normal-sized books, or fourteen above average-sized ones. All this to say I HAVE DONE HARD WORK NOW GIVE ME TACOS. I was going to type "cookies", but dammit I really want some tacos right now. Also, on the last Jane the Virgin episode, I was introduced to the concept of the Venezuelan miracle food, the arepa, and I am now obsessed with trying one, except there's only one Venezuelan eatery in my HOKAY SO. I have now made it through seven books of this series, which is basically like twenty-one normal-sized books, or fourteen above average-sized ones. All this to say I HAVE DONE HARD WORK NOW GIVE ME TACOS. I was going to type "cookies", but dammit I really want some tacos right now. Also, on the last Jane the Virgin episode, I was introduced to the concept of the Venezuelan miracle food, the arepa, and I am now obsessed with trying one, except there's only one Venezuelan eatery in my city, and it's a food truck and FOOD TRUCKS MOVE YOU GUYS. This will be my project for 2017. Tracking down an arepa and eating it so hard. Quite possibly trying all the arepas they have. Unless I hate arepas and then I will stop after one. (This is not likely.)

So this book was good! It still took me about two months to read, but that's because I read the first 300-ish pages and then put it down for two months because I got distracted by shiny things like a damn raccoon. I finished the last 800 pages in about three days when I finally picked it back up. We still haven't reached the level of interest and engagement I had when reading books 1-3, but this was at least Drums of Autumn-level engagement. I think I just have to come to terms with the fact that DG will never again write a book with as much narrative tension as she did with Voyager (still my favorite of the series so far).

There's still some bloat here, which accounts for why I was able to put it down for so long without feeling a real need to pick it back up again. I appreciate that she wants Jamie's illegitimate son William to be a more fleshed out character, but what he gets up to in this book isn't really super engaging. His most interesting moments come when he's interacting with characters we already know and love (Bree, Ian, Lord John). The first third of this was somewhat interesting, but really a lot of it could have been cut out, especially since I thought the last hundred pages (full of some really important happenings) was rushed. I would have liked more lingering on some of that stuff, which was really emotional.

The stage is set for an interesting eighth book, though, and my interest in this series has definitely been re-engaged. I'd been told this would happen if I could just get through books five and six, but it's a relief to have it confirmed. I like liking this series. I don't like thinking it's a slog. So yes, people, if you're reading this and wondering if there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is Outlander, I will say to you, yes. Keep going!

Not sure when I'll get to the next one. I'm tempted to save it for closer to either the release of season three of the show or closer to the release date of the ninth book. Guess we'll see!

(I realize this review was a third about arepas and tacos, and I don't care. PUT THEM IN MY MOUTH.) ...more
3

Jul 14, 2010

Update January 2014: Finished the audiobook, completing my mammoth challenge of listening to all the Outlander books (which took most of 2013). This has really helped me keep track of the characters and thus enjoy the story more, and I've warmed a bit to Brianna (still wouldn't want to live with her) and definitely to Roger, whom I now rather like and feel sorry for because he's living with Brianna. Davina Porter continues to be an excellent narrator, although why she's given Percy such a stagey Update January 2014: Finished the audiobook, completing my mammoth challenge of listening to all the Outlander books (which took most of 2013). This has really helped me keep track of the characters and thus enjoy the story more, and I've warmed a bit to Brianna (still wouldn't want to live with her) and definitely to Roger, whom I now rather like and feel sorry for because he's living with Brianna. Davina Porter continues to be an excellent narrator, although why she's given Percy such a stagey French accent beats me. Yes, I know he's pretending to be French but--but--but-- Oh whatever, I will be looking out for the audiobook of Written In My Own Heart's Blood, the next installment.

Original review:

An Echo In The Bone is, I believe, the 7th book in the long-running Outlander series. On the whole, I've enjoyed Gabaldon's mix of historical novel and sci-fi, even if some of the plotlines have appealed far less than others. I suppose that's not surprising, really, given that we must have had at least 4,000 pages of Jamie and Claire so far, and no novelist can be expected to keep you 100% spellbound over such a long stretch. Gabaldon tries, though: larger-than-life characters (who are improbably attracted to one another, even when unwashed and bleeding, as frequently happens, and have impressively good sex amidst the direst of circumstances); oodles of historical detail; plenty of accents, wee bits o'Gaelic (and sometimes Mohawk) to vary the dialog, and a somewhat predictable OH NO SOMETHING TERRIBLE'S HAPPENED TO JAMIE PHEW HE'S OK OH NO SOMETHING TERRIBLE'S HAPPENED TO CLAIRE... structure that reminds me of a Penelope Pitstop cartoon (and I think it's meant to: Gabaldon writes with her tongue firmly in her cheek.)

(view spoiler)[In this book we FINALLY move out of the Carolinas (which was a very static location, IMHO) and into the American Revolution, and Lots of Things Happen. Including a shipwreck, a swamp, some battles, a couple of amputations, encounters with Native Americans, and Benedict Arnold. All in a day's work for Jamie, Claire and their hardy extended family.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the time divide, Brianna & Co.'s life promises for about five minutes to be almost mundane, until actual and would-be time travelers start turning up. I like the connecting device of the letters, which kept the 1980 episodes from becoming boring until they were made considerably more interesting by the Tunnel Incident. Brianna and Roger both annoy the heck out of me, but I can't quite put my finger on why. (hide spoiler)]

I enjoyed this book more than some of the others, and relished some of the funnier aspects of the ending. Gabaldon leaves lots of loose ends dangling for the next book to solve, and I am quite looking forward to the next instalment. Where will it all end, I wonder? Claire and Jamie must be in their sixties by now - will they ever slow down? Will they form a ménage à trois with Lord John? Is Rob a time traveler or just a git?

If you haven't read the Outlander series, I'd recommend starting at the beginning rather than here. See you in about 4,000 pages. I usually start going around talking wi' a Scotch accent after about 200, so be warned. I'll give it two sporrans up for entertainment value. ...more
3

Sep 23, 2009

I read the first six all in a row, and then waited several months for the seventh to come out. So it's no real surprise that it took me a while to get into this one, and that I didn't remember all of the characters referenced throughout. But I will say that I got the impression Gabaldon was writing this book with more than her Outlander readers in mind; the focus on Lord John and his espionage career smacked of crossover. Which I didn't really love, but I can respect her making a play to get I read the first six all in a row, and then waited several months for the seventh to come out. So it's no real surprise that it took me a while to get into this one, and that I didn't remember all of the characters referenced throughout. But I will say that I got the impression Gabaldon was writing this book with more than her Outlander readers in mind; the focus on Lord John and his espionage career smacked of crossover. Which I didn't really love, but I can respect her making a play to get more readers for those books.

The book is choppier than some of her previous ones, and I believe that if I read it again I'll skip all of the Bree and Roger bits to get to more Claire and Jamie (like how you skip all of the Frodo and Sam scenes in The Two Towers), at least for the first half of the book. But by the end I really only wanted to know what would happen to Ian, and to a lesser extent William. Also she seems to be getting a bit far afield with the allusions to Roger Mac's dad disappearing in time and then Buccleigh showing up in the 20th century. At a certain point time travel loses its mystique when you've got every single character doing it at some point in the series! I will definitely be happy when the final book comes out, and I liked this one, but it didn't have the emotional immediacy for me that the earlier books in the series did. ...more
5

Dec 04, 2013

5 STARS!!!!! EPIC SERIES!!!! And still more to come!!!!

What a ride this has been!!!! It has taken me half a year, yes 6 months to get through this fabulous series. I embarked on my quest of audio books back in July of 2013, and I have finally reached the end of my journey... so far, as there will be another book out in the series later this year. AND.... a TV mini-series on STARZ airing in March 2014!!!!!!

Words can not express my love for this series, and my devotion to the author. They will 5 STARS!!!!! EPIC SERIES!!!! And still more to come!!!!

What a ride this has been!!!! It has taken me half a year, yes 6 months to get through this fabulous series. I embarked on my quest of audio books back in July of 2013, and I have finally reached the end of my journey... so far, as there will be another book out in the series later this year. AND.... a TV mini-series on STARZ© airing in March 2014!!!!!!

Words can not express my love for this series, and my devotion to the author. They will always hold a special place in my heart. I have truly come to fall in love with the characters and their stories. I feel like I have been living their lives right along with them, experiencing the pains and joys of their lives as if they were my own.

I also have to mention that I am in awe of the level of research and preparation that has been put into these books. While I know they are fiction, they are set in within history. Using the real events of the times to play into the drama of the character's daily lives. And quite educational at that. In fact they have sparked my interest in World and American History causing me to seek out other references to the real life accounts of these historical events.

I am not going to go into specifics of the story in this review, as this story is on-going from book to book, and it is difficult to rate one segment of someone's life as better than the rest. Yes, I do have my favorite segments of the story... but they are all part of a bigger picture in my mind, like one giant book. That is why I gave them all the same rating. And the story in not finished. There are still many questions left unanswered, and events in progress. And for an author to capture your interest for this long.. and keep it peaked, is amazing in itself.

Lastly, I just want to mention the narrator of these audio books. I chose to read these via audio because I didn't want to take up all of my reading time with such lengthy tomes. And they are LENGTHY!!!! Even the audio books take a good bit of time. But I can listen while doing other things, which makes it easier for me to get through longer texts without hassle. I also realized that many times a narrator can either make or break an audio book for the reader.

Well, in this case, Devina Porter, the narrator of this series completely MADE the story come to life for me. She has been my constant companion for 6 months now, and I will miss spending time with her each day. Her accents and acting ability baffles the mind. And her ability to create and distinguish characters, both male and female, English, Scottish, Irish, American, and even African slave has completely BLOWN MY MIND!!!!! BRAVO Ms. Porter, and thank you for bringing this story to life in such a memorable way!!!! I highly recommend these audio books to anyone wishing to take on this series, but is wary due to it's mere length. You will not be disappointed.

Well I've said more than I intended. The next book.. Written in My Own Heart's Blood will be released on June 10 2014, according to the author's website. And the TV series on STARZ is set to start in March 2014!!!!



These books will be on my all time favorites list for all time!!!!!

5 STARS for the OUTLANDER SERIES!!!!!!!!!!! ...more
3

Feb 27, 2009

Echo picks up where A Breath of Snow and Ashes left off as Claire and Jamie Fraser and Jamie's nephew Ian leave life at Fraser's Ridge behind them, head for Scotland to pick up Jamie's printing press and return to America. Of course this _is_ Jamie and Claire we're talking about so there is no smooth sailing and the *road* to Scotland is mired with many side-trips and detours as well. Roger and Bree have returned to the present and settled into life at Lallybroch, although they're also in for a Echo picks up where A Breath of Snow and Ashes left off as Claire and Jamie Fraser and Jamie's nephew Ian leave life at Fraser's Ridge behind them, head for Scotland to pick up Jamie's printing press and return to America. Of course this _is_ Jamie and Claire we're talking about so there is no smooth sailing and the *road* to Scotland is mired with many side-trips and detours as well. Roger and Bree have returned to the present and settled into life at Lallybroch, although they're also in for a few twists and turns and bumps in the night as well. William is now an adult and an officer in the British army and we see quite a bit more of him - will he and Jamie ever meet face to face? Who is the mysterious man searching for Fergus and what secrets might he reveal about his birth parents?

You'll find new friends among the old from the previous books (and a couple of very surprising returns), although IMHO there are waaaaay too many new friends as well as waaaay too much of Lord John and characters from his books. I'm not that fond of Lord John as a major character and that's why I didn't read the books to begin with and consider it dirty pool to muck up Jamie and Claire's story with Lord John’s, particularly that little plot twist at the end. Eww ewww ewww ewww ewww. Diana, how could you?

In the end, I'm wondering if I've changed as a reader, or has Gabaldon changed and/or got a bit sloppy? I've heard many complain about her going on in too much detail in the other books but I was so enraptured with them I wouldn't have wanted to have seen one word edited out. Not so here, the story just rambles on and on with needless plot twists and characters that go nowhere (for shame what she did with Benjamin Franklin), and as for the overly verbose details - I did not need to know every minute detail of every medical procedure performed by Claire and most especially not the removal of Jamie's finger.

Worst of all, was the constantly switching point of views (I believe there are seven) leading to a very uneven, choppy flow and I was always able to put this down and walk away from it - frankly half way through I started another book and finished that before coming back to Echo. Cut a good chunk of the first 2/3 of the book out and flesh out the last and keep it moving a bit more instead of ending it as she did with those maddening cliff-hangers this would be a solid five star read. As it is and I can’t believe I’m saying it but – three stars. ...more
5

Sep 28, 2009

Sept. 30, 2009, after my first read: I'm still chewing on this. Not quite sure what to rate it yet. I loved the majority of the book, but I just finished today, and the ending has left me disgruntled. It feels like I have a bad copy that someone snatched the last 100 pages out of.

April 4, 2014, after my reread in preparation for the next book's release: I just finished a reread of this (on audiobook, read by the fabulous Davina Porter), and I don't know if it's because my I already knew the Sept. 30, 2009, after my first read: I'm still chewing on this. Not quite sure what to rate it yet. I loved the majority of the book, but I just finished today, and the ending has left me disgruntled. It feels like I have a bad copy that someone snatched the last 100 pages out of.

April 4, 2014, after my reread in preparation for the next book's release: I just finished a reread of this (on audiobook, read by the fabulous Davina Porter), and I don't know if it's because my I already knew the terriblehorriblenogoodverybad cliffhangers were coming or if I'm more at peace with the missing pages because I know I'll be reading the next book in a matter of weeks now (because that sounds better than months), but this reread was definitely less painful and much more enjoyable.

In fact, I changed my original rating of 4 stars to 5 stars.

That's not to say I didn't exclaim, "Fucking book!" when it ended. At least I didn't throw it this time, right?

Soon, friends. We'll have answers soon. ...more
5

Aug 31, 2009

I should start off with a giant disclaimer that I am blinded by all things Outlander. Even an Outlander book with some problems is a 5 star book for me. The characters that I know and love more than make up for any qualms I have with the storyline. I don't think I have ever read a book with bigger cliffhangers than this one. A lot of criticisms I have read regarding the book center around the fact that so many different plot lines are left completely unresolved. I have to say it doesn't really I should start off with a giant disclaimer that I am blinded by all things Outlander. Even an Outlander book with some problems is a 5 star book for me. The characters that I know and love more than make up for any qualms I have with the storyline. I don't think I have ever read a book with bigger cliffhangers than this one. A lot of criticisms I have read regarding the book center around the fact that so many different plot lines are left completely unresolved. I have to say it doesn't really bother me, because I know Diana is writing an 8th book and all will be well in the world of Jamie and Claire. That's not to say that I am patiently waiting for the next book, far from it! I CAN'T WAIT to find out what happens and I'm going to devour the next book the second it comes out. As for what did bother me...

(view spoiler)[

1. I'm not sure if I like the character of Rachel Hunter (I can't help thinking of the model, haha). For now, I'm keeping an open mind to see how her character develops and if she is fleshed out more in the next book. She is a bit one-dimensional at this point. Maybe I'm critical though because I love Ian so much and have high standards for him.

2. I felt like I was missing some references and nuances to certain characters because I haven't read the Lord John books yet. I'm definitely going to be picking those up soon so the next time I read Echo (yes, I'm already planning a re-read of the whole series because I'm that obsessed, haha) I will hopefully be more educated about the background of the characters from those stories. That being said, I could have dealt with a little less Lord John (as much as I enjoy him) and a little more Jamie in certain parts.

3. The whole Lord John--Jamie--Claire triangle was almost unbelievable. Claire should have realized that communication was spotty at best during that time and that there was a real possibility Jamie wasn't on the ship. *sigh* I should have seen the foreshadowing with the Jamie and Laoghaire interaction earlier in Echo. Anyway, I guess we will see how the drama is resolved in the next book. I fully believe that all will be well with Jamie and Claire though, because I can't imagine Diana writing a whole book with them at odds with each other.

Now for the good stuff!!! I was so sad when Ian died. I definitely shed a few tears reading those scenes. I loved that Willie found out Jamie was his father. Loved that Roger and Briana are all settled in at Lallybroch (well, maybe WERE settled). Loved young Ian and Rollo as usual. Loved all the Claire/Jamie interaction. I could go on and on...

(hide spoiler)]

But, I think though that my absolute favorite part about Echo is seeing the evolution of the characters. I think that it is nothing short of amazing that Diana can write about the same characters over and over again and still make them grow and evolve as people. I loved reading Echo and thinking back to what Jamie and Claire were like in Outlander and even young Ian in earlier books. They really have grown up and grown older. I think that that is the key to what makes Jamie, Claire, and the rest so lovable and so real; Diana writes them as if they are real people who grow, change, and live. I know them and love them and can't wait to see what happens next.

Re-read Update (2/21/2011): I just finished re-reading the entire Outlander series and all of the Lord John books/novellas. I definitely enjoyed Echo much better the second time around. Although DG has written Echo in such a way that you don't necessarily have to have read the Lord John stories to figure out who certain characters are, I don't think that Echo can be fully appreciated unless you've read them. I highly recommend reading them first. The first time I read Echo, I thought there was a little too much of Lord John, but it really didn't bother me on my second read (possibly because I've read the Lord John stories and enjoy him as a character even more now). Rachel Hunter's character also seemed a little weak to me on my initial read, but I liked her more the second time around. However, I would still like to see her character developed more. What did still bother me on my re-read was the whole Lord John-Claire-Jamie development. It just feels overly fabricated to me. Part Six of Echo was probably my favorite section (I can't even count how many times I got teary-eyed during that Part), but it just goes downhill in Part Seven. I wish DG had ended Echo at Part Six (obviously adding a little extra for finesse) and left Part Seven for the beginning of Book Eight. Echo is what it is though and I'm very glad I read it a second time. 5 Stars. ...more
5

Jul 14, 2010



I wondered what sort of man - or woman, perhaps? - had lain here, leaving no more than an echo of their bones, so much more fragile than the enduring rocks that sheltered them.

Buddy read with my friend, Negine

Last book of my re-read of the Outlander series before.... Written in My Own Heart's Blood
3

Sep 30, 2018

This book was definitely the hardest out of the series for me to get through. Not because it was jarring to read but because I found a big chunk of the book the be incredibly boring and long winded. It just didn’t draw me in and capture my attention like the others in the series did. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great parts that I really loved and I thoroughly enjoyed where some parts of the story went. But it just felt like this installment lacked some of the magic and oomph of the This book was definitely the hardest out of the series for me to get through. Not because it was jarring to read but because I found a big chunk of the book the be incredibly boring and long winded. It just didn’t draw me in and capture my attention like the others in the series did. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great parts that I really loved and I thoroughly enjoyed where some parts of the story went. But it just felt like this installment lacked some of the magic and oomph of the previous books in the series! ...more

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