Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Outlander

Title: Outlander

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Date of Publication: August 10, 1998

Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book

Buy This Book: Amazon

Synopsis: 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.

My Review:

Outlander started off okay, a little slow, but okay. However, the farther I got into this novel the more and more I began to hate it. Not only was it mind-numbingly boring but Jamie and Claire were two of the most horrible characters I have ever read about. With annoying Scottish accent writing and a plot that go increasingly weirder as the novel went on I ended up absolutely hating Outlander.

I absolutely hated both Claire and Jamie. Claire had little to no personality and Jamie wasn't much better. What really ruined both of them for me was that Jamie beats Claire, and even worse, Claire lets him and even accepts it. I don't really care how historically accurate that is but as soon as I read that I was DONE with this book. No matter how nice Jamie was later I hated him from that page on and I hated Claire even more for letting him get away with it.

Not only were the characters unbelievably awful but I was bored out of my mind by about 95% of this novel. Pages and pages and pages were dedicated to the day to day tasks of Claire who isn't even an exciting character to begin with. For every 100 pages of boredom there were about 10 pages of excitement and even then they were always tainted because of how much I didn't like the characters. I didn't even understand the point of the novel, the only things Claire did were heal people and... well heal people I guess. She literally did nothing in the entire novel but heal people and follow Jamie around.

As if it wasn't bad enough to be  not only boring, with horrible characters, but it was weird as well. I picked this up hoping for a historical romance but instead this book just left me with an uncomfortable feeling that I couldn't shake. All the "romance" scenes were pretty very graphic and while that doesn't usually bother me they were just.... sleazy for lack of a better word. I couldn't sense any kind of mutual affection between Jamie and Claire and it seemed that their relationship was based more on lust than love (oh and the fact that Jamie ENJOYED beating her, at which point I just threw this book on the  floor and quit reading to preserve my brain cells).

The one (and only) thing I'll give Gabaldon is that Outlander is obviously very well researched. I could tell that Gabaldon put a lot into her research and did her best to make the novel as historically accurate as possible. However, that just didn't make up for how disgusted I was by this novel. By far one of the worst novels I've ever read, I would honestly give it less than one star if I could.


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