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Customer Review

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I've lost the plot with this series now, 1 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: An Echo in the Bone (Outlander 7) (Hardcover)
Well, I WANTED to like it. I really did. I started reading Diana Gabaldon's novels when I was about eighteen. I'm now thirty. Maybe as I've grown older my tastes have changed but all I can say about this novel is that it is overly long, self-indulgent, unnecessarily convoluted and ultimately not the satisfying read I was hoping for. The first few novels were fantastic but the phrase 'flogging a dead horse' comes to mind. The story feels tired and I can't help thinking that this talented author would have done herself a favour if she'd moved away from this series a few years back (and moved away completely, i.e. hadn't written the pointless Lord John series) and come up with a new, fresh idea with new but different characters for her many fans to enjoy.

I accept that fiction, by defnition, is frequently unbelievable and tends to rely on coincidence, heroes, villains etc in ways that real life doesn't, and that's fine up to a point. I think Diana reached that point about 3 books ago; this one definitely went way too far and required the suspension of far too much disbelief. I'm disappointed because I was such an avid fan in my twenties and went on and on about these novels to everyone, trying to persuade them to read them. Like most fans, I was in it for the long haul because I genuinely cared about the characters (fancied Jamie, envied Claire for being so witty / clever / loyal / near-perfect, relished all the kidnap scenes that required heroic derring-do; die hard fans know what I mean) but I gave up caring some two thousand pages ago. This novel doesn't add to the overall story, as far as I'm concerned. I can't help thinking Diana knows she's onto a good thing and can do what she likes with the plot and characters because her fans will stay faithful no matter what. Some of the meandering stories involving characters most of the readers don't especially like seem very self-absorbed. At times the book was genuinely and thoroughly boring. All I want to do when the next book comes out is join a blog where someone can tell me, finally, what happens to the three thousand characters we've met. I'm sure the real fans will disagree with me, but for anyone who was maybe beginning to wonder why they were still following this series when they were reading Breath of Snow (as I was) I urge you to just read some spoilers to find out what happens in this book. The 'revelations' and 'shocks' are not worth the 500-odd pages of indulgent nothingness because they aren't believable, even in the context of these novels (like, not even a little) so you'll be left dissatisfied.
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