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Diverting, but without the appeal or most loved characters from the full books
on 8 November 2012
This is sold as an Outlander Omnibus, but to me it isn't quite that. It consists of four (long) short stories, two about Lord John Grey and two about peripheral characters, extremely so in fact, from the Outlander series. The stories were all entertaining but suffered from a lack of the full characterization I am used to in Diana Gabaldon's books.
I was unhappy with the use of the words 'whyever' and 'suchly' because I don't think they are words! I laughed out loud at my misunderstanding at another point 'Tom.....sprang up like a frog onto hands and knees, scrabbling madly for pistol and shot in the chest'. I thought for a moment that Tom (who I rather like) had been shot in the chest!
Diana Gabaldon explains the way she has fitted her stories between other stories or books very clearly. She appears to be delighted with the 'bulges', where she can nip backwards and forwards in time(!) inserting a novella here or a short story there to fit between her books. Many of the reviews of her other works make it clear that readers are more interested, or even only interested, in continuing the stories of Jamie and Claire and family or Lord John. I think this is worth taking into account.
This all sounds rather critical but I did quite enjoy the book, it just did not have the magic of the main Outlander books. I did see at the end that a follow on to 'Echo in the Bone' called 'Written in My Own Heart's Blood' is due to be published, hopefully in 2013. I tried straight-away to order this but although two further novels appear (unnamed) on Amazon, neither is available to order now on kindle. This is a shame because I only read on kindle now and would have liked to secure the next book while the title was fresh in my mind.
Overall, I love Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and Lord John books, I was a little disappointed in this because two of the stories are about very minor characters indeed, and, apart from a 'blink and you miss it' appearance from Roger, none of the characters that I love appeared in these two.