Heavy sigh Theme spoilers, but no plot spoilers Read at your own risk I don t even know where to start because properly reviewing this would involve so much quoting and backing up and I don t have the energy for that after 700 pages The short of it is that the romantic hero character perpetuates rape culture by using the words rape and sex synonymously, blaming sexual assault on what the woman is wearing, and claiming that once men get aroused they literally cannot stop themselves from ravaging anyone nearby His wife, the modern woman, actually shows fear that he will beat and rape her Though she momentarily gets mad at him, she soon finds herself unable to keep her hands off of him wash, rinse, repeat , thus showing all the rapeyness in romantic light That s my problem with it.Also, if you don t know what an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship looks like, read the last 3 paragraphs of page 677 and the first half of page 678 Jealousy, demands, physical shaking, blaming her for his actions, shaming her past, solving their problems through sex Oh look at that, I did have the energy to give at least one example I found this to be unhealthy Perhaps you don t But I ve lived through a very similar type of relationship and if this is what s selling as romantic then this book is part of the problem I hope and pray that most readers can discern that this is undesirable.I ve discussed cultural relativism on my channel I can respect when a book needs to show troublesome content to stay accurate to the time period What I don t respect is this content being romanticized There are villains in this series who behave the same way Heroes can absolutely be morally gray, or have a darker side without portraying something harmful When the villains and heroes act the same, what is the actual distinction between them Are we just rooting for the hottest one I had so many problems with the sexism and rape culture in this book that you may be wondering why I gave it 2 stars Despite the problematic subjects, I do consider the writing to be of quality I have no idea if the history was well researched, but it had a depth that felt well researched To be fair, historical fiction isn t my genre of choice, but perhaps you d enjoy this if it is yours I did also REALLY enjoy the parts of the book set in the 1960s when Jamie is out of the picture Yes, I know I m weird Isn t Jamie supposed to be the main thrill of the story Well, not for me I was much interested in the way the story played with time travel and its repercussions in Claire s original time This time period bookended the story and honestly I was reading all of the past setting just to find out how the timelines would converge If you re curious, from what I ve watched of Outlander season 2, the show DID eliminate the problematic lines from Jamie The show seems to be a better treatment and so I do think I ll continue the show since it s my preferred, less harmful version of this story that lets the genuinely interesting premise shine. 1 Outlander 2 Dragonfly In Amber.53 Voyager.54 Drums of Autumn.5 I ve never cried so hard in my life over fictional characters before From The Author Of Outlander A Magnificent Epic That Once Again Sweeps Us Back In Time To The Drama And Passion Of Th Century ScotlandFor Twenty Years Claire Randall Has Kept Her Secrets But Now She Is Returning With Her Grown Daughter To Scotland S Majestic Mist Shrouded Hills Here Claire Plans To Reveal A Truth As Stunning As The Events That Gave It Birth About The Mystery Of An Ancient Circle Of Standing Stones About A Love That Transcends The Boundaries Of Time And About James Fraser, A Scottish Warrior Whose Gallantry Once Drew A Young Claire From The Security Of Her Century To The Dangers Of HisNow A Legacy Of Blood And Desire Will Test Her Beautiful Copper Haired Daughter, Brianna, As Claire S Spellbinding Journey Of Self Discovery Continues In The Intrigue Ridden Paris Court Of Charles Stuart In A Race To Thwart A Doomed Highlands Uprising And In A Desperate Fight To Save Both The Child And The Man She Loves My feelings toward Diana Gabaldon are very love hate She is, on the one hand, one of the greatest writers I have ever come across I want to shake her hand for being so carefully detailed and doing what must have been an unbelievable amount of research to put together her 7 currently gigantic novels of this series I love her characters, how the events are all interwoven with true historical happenings she is just generally a literary genius when it comes to historical fiction.But seriously, I couldn t help but think repeatedly why did we need to know that what has the last 200 pages really added to the overall story The books are so well written but they are about 500 600 pages too long Gabaldon frequently wanders off into subplots that we or I, at least don t care about Her waffle would get an A in a literary test but it s still waffle And the general size of her books is off putting, she should have left out those bits that we didn t need to hear and gave the readers a much less forboding 400 500 page novel.The start of this book was even slower than Outlander, who actually cares about Roger Wakefield here The whole point of this extremely long winded beginning was to tell us that something bad had happened to make Claire return to the future, where she had given birth to Jamie s daughter and, for whatever reason, believed her wonderful red headed Scot had been killed in the battle of Culloden We are then taken back in time to when Claire and Jamie are in France trying to stop the rebellion before it ever happened This seemed a bit scientifically risky to me If you assumed that they could change time and prevent the battle, surely this would result in a complete upheaval of historical events resulting in many changes If such a huge thing happened, it is likely that everything would change and unlikely that Claire Randall would ever have ended up in Scotland at exactly that time to go wandering through the stones And then, of course, had she not gone through the stones, she would have never been there to warn Jamie and stop the rebellion so it s a bit of a historical and scientific conundrum Therefore, I like my time travel to not interfer with past events it wouldn t make sense Unless it s a Back To The Future scenario where he actually fills in some of the necessary blanks.To be honest, I didn t enjoy this book as much as Outlander because I didn t feel as much happened But I adore the relationship between Claire and Jamie, even so after reading this second installment, and I will definitely be reading Voyager as soon as I can get myself ready for another hefty volume And thank god for the ending of this book when my slowly increasing depression throughout was finally alleviated can t wait to see where this will take our characters While I didn t love this one as much as Outlander, I did enjoy it and am finding myself somewhere between a 3 3.5 stars After the initial shock of the jump forward in time, I eased into the story and enjoyed traveling from France, to Lallybroch, back to where we began, and of course adored the continuation of Jamie and Claire s love story. This review will be a little spoily, read it at your own risk Ok, so I set the date on 2012.and set it for Kansas City Kansas..Kemper s deck I think all I have to do is reverse the directions on Google maps on the laptop Uh..turn the key Yay, it works Or I thought so, Toto I don t think we re in Kansas any had to do it Hello Stephanie Toto I love the Wizard of Oz Aaaaack Claire Beachum Randel Fraser You just scared the piss out of me Don t sneak up on a person sitting on a time mower, and whisper in their ear It s downright creepy Sighs Hey Claire, you look a little older than the last time I saw you,moments ago , but don t worry you still look young and fresh and beautiful Oh thank you Stephanie, I have to admit that people mention that a lot I mean a lot It must have been all that whiskey and malnutrition in the 1700 s that preserved me Well, Claire, could you fill me in on the when and the where this is Still in Scotland, but we re in 1968 Frank, Brianna and I moved to the States where I became a doctor We stayed there until Frank passed away I brought Brianna back to get her acquainted with her roots Brianna is your daughter Is that her over there Wow Tall, beautiful..look at that mane of red hair She looks just like her father Jam.mph nni Keep your voice down, she doesn t know that Frank wasn t her biological father I brought her here to break the news and tell her who her father really was Jamie Frasier Get your hand off my mouth that s rude Did Frank look just like Jamie No Total opposites Frank was short and had dark hair She doesn t look much like you, and nothing like Frank, she is an ian redhead She didn t once ask you about that Not once Did I mention the whiskey and the malnutrition Claire, don t tell me You drank alcohol during your pregnancy You were a trained nurse then don t tell me you didn t know better Just a little..bottle.every day, Stephanie, we didn t know any better back then Ok, never mind If she never grasped the fact that Frank wasn t her father on her own because of possible fetal alcohol syndrome, how is she supposed to understand time travel now You have a point there Maybe I ll find a young handsome historian to help explain things to her I don t see the logic, but you go with it Claire I m afraid to ask, but what were you and Jamie up to during the rest of the time you were back in time, besides getting drunk and having lots of sex We tried to change history by joining the Jacobite cause and save a bunch of lives We went to France to get this accomplished I had to have sex with the King of France to get Jamie out of The Bastille it wasn t very good on account of his tiny penis Oh dear god..I did ask Yes you did And guess who we ran into Jack Randel Jamie wanted to kill him straight away, but I stopped him because I was afraid Frank would never be born if he killed him Jack is Frank s ancestor you see I see but I thought you killed Jack Randle with cows, which didn t seem to upset you at all at the time Now you get all angry about it I changed my mind Turns out it wasn t Jack trampled by the cows It s really hard to identify someone after a trampling But Claire, you tried to change the course of history without ANY concern for the consequences Any number of people could have been born that wouldn t have and others who were never born that should have.and you are concerned NOW about Frank, one person, never existing Oh my head hurts again Claire it s been great, but I have to get this timemower back to its rightful owner, he has a short fuse There we go forgot to hit enter Please, don t mess with history any Claire Promise um..sure, Stephanie, I promise I don t believe you SWEET BLEEDING JESUS I KNEW IT DAMNED BLOODY FUCKING CLIFFHANGERS Sensational story 5 STARS image error 4.5 stars right off the top I got hooked on the Outlander series last year when I read the first book in this series by Diana Gabaldon I knew I wanted to try another one, and now that I ve devoured the second novel, Dragonfly in Amber, in this historical fiction and fantasy series, I have added the rest and even started watching the television drama I m a major fan, especially because followers on my blog selected this as my Book Bucket List read for May 2018 I m so glad they pushed me to take on this 950 behemoth despite everything else on my TBR Now I m trying to add in the next one in June and to think these were written nearly 30 years ago in the early 1990s.Where do I begin My normal review format won t do as I really just want to gush about the book, as my friend Noriko would say Yes, there s the time travel, the Scottish setting, and Jamie Claire, but it s so much The sheer brilliance in the relationships, complexities in the plot, and historical facts and embellishments in a good way is phenomenal It s like I m absorbed into a life I wish I could live for a few hours no different than when I read Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Pillars of the Earth I adore these giant tomes because of the author s ability to build realistic worlds with just a touch of disbelief to give me something to deeply ponder.Gabaldon s attention to details is quite strong I m a history buff and love learning about new characters, then looking up to see if they re based on real people All the clans of Scotland shine through I was especially pleased when they visited the Kilmarnock villages, as my ancestors lived there in the early 1800s before emigrating to America I can t wait to visit the town to see how it compares to the novel, family stories and everything in between This is a true genealogy lover s book because it combines all the analytical and historical aspects of discovering your past and your supposed family Then learning the wicked secrets, and oh, are they wicked.The only things I d say that stopped me from giving this 5 stars fall into two categories There are some sections that are overly detailed to the point you begin skimming a paragraph here and there When that happens, the action and plot usually my most important element in a book feels pushed to the side It happened once every 100 pages or so not for than a page or two, but enough that maybe it needed to be a 900 page book instead of a 950 page book Ha The other area was something that felt a bit different from Outlander It s almost as if Gabaldon took a few too many pun liberties in this one, covering bathing or bathroom habits all too frequently I love when it s brought up in books, but it was done in a too humorous way which forced me to step out of the book instead of stay connected to true 18th century life Even in the 1940s which is where Claire is from before she time travels, they still lacked some of the things we consider necessary today I like when it s brought up once or twice, but not for pages where she laughs about it and then says but it is what it is essentially.All that said, the plot is smart and charming The introduction of a good side to one of the formerly bad characters is interesting, but I know it s long from over The travel between France and Scotland is compelling I just finished Follett s Column of Fire and saw a strong and tight connection here If you love a touch of fantasy and historical fiction, and don t mind strong sexual content, then you need to give this a chance, even if the entire series is around 8k pages at this point I ll be in a book daze all week long, so I m gonna have to select something very different to draw me out of it Thanks for picking this book, This Is My Truth Now voters New poll to be setup today for June s Book Bucket List read. Gabaldon s sex ridden, hugely researched, academically adventurous, time travel sci fi meets historical romance novels qualify as trash novels for lit nerds they re absolutely a guilty pleasure From clan warfare to herbal medicine to genealogy to British history to WWII, the books are packed with information what little Gaelic I know started with these books Bonus the heroine gets to have many, many rolls in the hay with a handsome hard bodied Highlander Can t really go wrong.The books were recommended to me while I was living in England, and a lucky thing, too, because had I taken one look at the Fabio in a kilt of passion American paperback cover I would have refused to read it note the British version was called Cross Stitch and the cover had a less than sexy field of heather on it For a while I was caught up on the series, but I lost interest once the Frasers headed to America.They are long books but the pages turn quickly Gabaldon has a way with characters and her prose flows along at an engaging clip Oh, but if you get all squeamish about buggery, don t bother the negative reviews of these books always focus prudishly and tediously on one specific encounter in an otherwise pretty rampantly heterosexual landscape. This book broke my heart I knew what was going to happen because I watched Season Two before reading the book but it doesn t matter I have been crying forever now, like my heart is going to break into a million pieces Let me stop right here There are going to be some spoilers There are going to be some thoughts about things in the next book And who knows what else, so if you haven t read these books you should probably stop here If you don t care then carry on It was worried when the book show starts 20 years later Jamie and Claire s daughter is grown and Claire named her Brianna Sob because Jamie asked her to name the baby Brian if it was a boy before she left him to come back I don t know if I can get through this, damn it 20 years later, Claire brings her daughter, Brianna back to Scotland after Frank s death Brianna has no idea, of course, who her father really is but she finds out They are staying in Scotland and visiting all of the old sites and Claire took her to see a man named Roger Claire knew Roger when he was a little boy Claire actually knew his father, adoptive father, but he had passed away He did keep extensive records it all leads back to things Claire goes back to some of the old haunts while Roger takes Brianna around It breaks my freaking heart Everything breaks my freaking heartI woke three times in the dark predawn First in sorrow, then in joy, and at last, in solitude The tears of a bone deep loss woke me slowly, bathing my face like the comforting touch of a damp cloth in soothing hands I turned my face to the wet pillow and sailed a salty river into the caverns of grief remembered, into the subterranean depths of sleep I came awake then in fierce joy, body arched bowlike in the throes of physical joining, the touch of him fresh on my skin, dying along the paths of my nerves as the ripples of consummation spread from my center I repelled consciousness, turning again, seeking the sharp, warm smell of a man s satisfied desire, in reassuring arms of my lover, sleep The third time I woke alone, beyond the touch of love or grief The sight of the stones was fresh in my mind A small circle, standing stones on the crest of a steep green hill The name of the hill is Craigh na Dun the fairies hill Some say the hill is enchanted, others say it is cursed Both are right But no one knows the function or the purpose of the stones Except meI m so worried about the next book being heartbreak It s been 20 years after all Jamie has been with other women and I think has a child, but they weren t like I was thinking Yes, I asked ahead He has never forgotten Claire but I hope they can get their love back Anyway, on with this review At one point Claire finally admits everything to Brianna and Roger Roger had already found some papers confirming things that Claire was saying but he was keeping them a secret because he didn t know what to make of it Brianna freaks clean out as you can imagine But the best part is where we get to go back in time before Claire came back and hear their story They have set off for France to see if they can get in with Jamie s cousin was it cousin, Jacob Anyway, Jamie could not set foot back into Scotland so this is where they landed Murtagh was with them but they left the others behind They were going to try to change history so that the Klan wouldn t be killed during a certain battle It was very bizarre in France with all of the creeps they had to deal with and then Captain Randall shows up Claire and Jamie thought he was dead He s never dead, he just keeps on and on Like I said before, there is a red hot poker waiting for that evil man The king of France is another nutter You can read all of that for yourself Jamie takes in a little boy who is a thief and gets him off the streets I fall in love with him His name is Fergus and that Randall gets his paws on Fergus and I can t even say Red hot poker people, red hot poker I was heartbroken again when Claire and Jamie lose their first child that was a little girl as well There were a lot of different situations that could have caused that Claire thinks it was because Jamie was dueling with Randall there is a lot of stuff behind that but she was poisoned at one point and attacked so who really knows Jamie gets put in jail and has no idea what happened to Claire He thought she was dead But Claire had to have sex with the weird king to get Jamie out of jail It wasn t like me or Claire thought though, it was weird but not all, well anyway It was just weird And no way to leave her pregnant Jamie finds Claire a little later on when she is in the country staying with one of their friends Claire is mad and doesn t want Jamie near her until they talk and finally get it straightened out Thank goodness because it was all so very sad Then they are sent back to Scotland It was another condition from the king and he said he would take care of him not being allowed there Of they go back home and they think they are safe but no They thought they stopped what was coming, but no They go to battle and it s not good and it s sad There are other things and battle and Jamie sends Claire back He just knows he s going to die and he doesn t want Claire or their unborn baby yep they got preggers again to be killed too and it just about killed me to read this I thought I was okay when I watched it and I was over it and could handle it Noooooooooooooo, I m still heartbroken I only hope they can get the love they had for each other back as strong as it was The first book is the best book and will always be, but I will love them all as long as Jamie and Claire have their love I love their love story And that s all I need They cut each other s hands Claire s idea and Unwrapping the blood spotted handkerchief, I pressed my wounded hand tightly against his, fingers gripped together The blood was warm and slick, not yet sticky between our hands Blood of my Blood I whispered and Bone of my Bone, he answered softly Neither of us could finish the vow, so long as we both shall live, but the unspoken words hung aching between us Finally he smiled crookedly Longer than that, he said firmly, and pulled me to him once JUST KILL ME NOW I CAN T EVEN Claire, Brianna and Roger witness something that shows that Claire might can go back through the stones Then something else One man, a Fraser of the Master of Lovat s regiment, escaped Roger repeated softly He looked up from the stark page to see her eyes, wide and unseeing as a deer s fixed in the headlights of an oncoming car He meant to die on Culloden Field, Roger whispered But he didn t I also recommend listening to the audio versions of these books The narrator, Davina Porter, has it nailed freaking nailed MY BLOG Melissa Martin s Reading List
Diana Jean Gabaldon Watkins grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is of Mexican American and English descent She has earned three degrees a B.S in Zoology, a M.S in Marine Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology.She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- 743 pages
- Dragonfly in Amber
- Diana Gabaldon
- 08 January 2018 Diana Gabaldon