Review: Outlander

◆ Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
◆ Read September 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝  The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
The TV adaption of Outlander came out this year and it's really quite beautiful. Needless to say, I thought it was about time I read the book. What a drag it was though! Everybody seems to love it, but it was a huge disappointment for me. 

The main thing that I really liked were the historical details. It's obvious that Gabaldon has put a lot of time and effort into the research of the time period and it shows. All the details were spot on as far as I could tell and furthermore so well executed that I could almost imagine myself in Scotland in the 18th century. I for one had no problem with the famous beating scene because - though it is horrible - it seemed historically accurate.

Another thing I liked was Claire. She isn't your average love struck, weak female character. Reading about the way she stood up to a lot of people, was useful through her medical knowledge, swore like a sailor etc. made me smile multiple times. She was also open for change though and adapted easily in a completely different time period which showed the two different sides of her character.


Which brings me to what I didn't like. I hated how halfway through the book the plot suddenly flew out the window. There was no real purpose anymore, no point where the story was leading towards. I liked the story at first, but at the same time the plot disappeared some scenes were pointless and dreadfully lacking any and all purpose. The plot did return towards the end of the book, but by then I had already suffered through countless pages. (I'm under the impression that the book has way too many pages )


Practically everybody loves Jaime. I, unfortunately, do not. Some other reviewers have already addressed this, but I'm just going to say it again. While Claire is wonderfully well developed, Jaime is such an obvious example of a "Marty Stu'. He's ridiculously handsome, always ready to defend his woman, caring, sweet, intelligent.. I can go on forever. He's simply too perfect to be true. Not only that, I got so tired of reading about how he was abused throughout his life. 


All in all, I really didn't enjoy this book even though I really wanted to. I loved it for the time period it represented and the historical information it provided, but there were too many aspects of the book I disliked.


2 stars because:
✓Historical details
✓Great female protagonist
✗ Plot disappears
✗Marty Stu
 

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