Sunday, September 12, 2010

Outlander Review, and Giveaway for An Echo in the Bone

When Lisa asked me if I'd like to participate in TLC's book tour for Diana Gabaldon, I accepted the offer, knowing that this would give me an added incentive to read Outlander, published in 1991. For although I've had this book in my possession for a while, and knew it was very popular, I kept postponing the reading of it, probably because of it's length--it's 850 pages long. Also, I didn't really know how I'd react to the time travel aspect of the book, which I knew was an integral part of this novel. For although I enjoy fiction, I also want what I read to be believable as well as entertaining.

Outlander is the story of Claire Randall, a World War II nurse who travels back in time, to Scotland in 1743. Claire falls in love with a Highlander, Jamie Fraser, although she is already married, to Frank, in her present life. The premise of the book sounds rather far-fetched: Claire touches an ancient stone, goes back in time, and begins a romance with a Scot warrior, who affectionately calls her "Sassenach", which means outsider, because she is from England. But this imaginative story unfolds in such a way that I found myself suspending disbelief along with Claire, the heroine and narrator, and immersed myself in this same era. Due to Diana Galbadon's extraordinary skill as a writer, and to her attention to historical detail, the time travel works well here, and 18th century Scotland is vividly presented, reborn, a misty land of Lochs, castles, unrest and warring clans. As a nurse, Claire is an adept healer, ahead of her time in a real sense, and she puts her skills to good use in this book, an aspect of the book I found to be quite fascinating.

To me, this story is a romance above all else--a historical romance--because the love and passion between Claire and Jamie is very powerful, and defines and shapes the entire book (if not the series). Having read Outlander (at last!), I can honestly say that I didn't mind the length of this book. In fact, I wouldn't have minded reading 1000 pages of this book because it's extremely engaging (an overused word to describe books, but it really fits in this case). I was "hooked" from the very first chapter at the bed-and-breakfast, where Claire and Frank are reestablishing their marriage after a time apart (and having some fun at the expense of the owner, Mrs. Baird), and Outlander kept my attention at a high level throughout the book. It's truly an epic novel, full of romance, sex (lots of it!), fighting, and action. I recommend it wholeheartedly to fans of historical fiction and romance--or to those who simply enjoy great novels.


Outlander is the first of a series of books by Diana Gabaldon that also includes: Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and An Echo in the Bone. I would love to read the second book in the series to find out what happens next.

Terrific news! To celebrate the trade paperback release of the seventh book in the Outlander series, the publisher is having a giveaway for An Echo in the Bone (U.S./Canada only).






  • To enter this giveaway for An Echo in the Bone, simply leave a comment.
  • For an extra chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower, or that you subscribe in Google Reader.
  • For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • If you're already a fan of the Outlander series, you can get another chance by naming your favorite book in this series so far.

Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, September 27. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Tuesday, September 28. Good luck!


Special thanks to Lisa from TLC for including me on this tour. For more reviews of the books in the Outlander series please visit the other stops on Diana Gabaldon's book tour.

39 comments:

  1. Great review Suko. I have always wondered about this book, now I know!
    Great giveaway too! Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been intimidated by this book because of it's length. After reading your review, I'm not sure it's for me because of the time travel and romance. Everyone else seems to love it though, so I feel like I should give it a try at some point. Don't enter me in the giveaway since I haven't read any of the series.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Isn't this series amazing. She is such a great author. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You make it sound soooo good!! I am also one of those who has been put off by the length, but when you say you would have been ok if it had gone on for 1000 pages.. well, I'm sold. I'm def. going to give it a try! Thanks so much for being on the tour!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am almost done with the first book in this series, and after a slow start I am completely in love with these books.

    I am now a follower of your fantastic blog.

    My favorite book in this series is obviously the first one because it is the only one I have read. I usually always like the first book in most series, because I love when we first are able to meet characters.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh great review! I've been wanting to start reading this series. Glad to hear you liked it. I'm new to your blog and just became a follower, thank you!

    libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. No need to enter me in your giveaway, as I already own the book. Just wanted to say that I love this series as well and think that you couldn't go wrong by reading the second book. They are great reads, and I have to agree with you that Claire's skill as a nurse is really one of the things that makes this book chock full of interesting tidbits! Great review, Suko!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wonder why they gave the book the title 'Cross Stich' over here. Outlander sounds much more adventurous. I picked this up a couple of months ago, but I haven't read it yet. You have definitely spurred me on to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Outlander has been sitting in my TBR for sooo long. I've been putting it off also.
    I don't know why because it sounds so good. I enjoy historical romances and I think I'll like this one when I finally get to it. Good to know that you enjoyed it!

    Great review Suko :) And nice giveaway too!
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Outlander was recommended to me by a friends daughter. I finished 'reading' it (actually listening to the audio version) last night and am now on going to a neighboring library to get Dragonfly in Amber tonight because our librarys is checked out and don't want to wait to start the next book.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well I have to enter, it sounds very interesting!
    nataliew2@gmail.com
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just posted this for you on win a book!

    http://winabook.westofmars.com/2010/09/13/an-echo-in-the-bone-by-diana-gabaldon/

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would love to win!
    mkzellmer at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've loved this book for ages...and the series just gets better!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I subscribe in google reader
    mkzellmer at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. So happy to see that you enjoyed this book. I have it as an eBook, as well as the next 2. I'd love a chance to win the giveaway. Thanks so much

    bibliophilebythesea AT gmail DOT com

    (google reader follower:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great review! I have this book in my TBR and have been dying to read it. I just haven't had a chance yet.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's always nice when new people discover just how awesome these books are. Keep reading!

    No need to enter me into the prize draw.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Enter me please.

    tbranco AT hughes DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm having a similar experience that you had! I'm also reading Outlander, but it took me a while to get hooked. Gabaldon is an amazing story teller, though, and I think I'll follow her anywhere after reading Outlander. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Everyone keeps saying this author is wonderful; please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Not at all put off by the length, I'm just a litle worried that this could prove a little difficult to follow.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sounds really good, I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is one of my absolute favorite series. Thanks for the chance to get this one Suko!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the giveaway
    I now follow your blog
    I posted on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pattyleonardwoodland?v=wall&story_fbid=108513825875695&ref=mf
    My favorite book is the first because that started me on the way - Outlander.

    kaiminani at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. My best friend is a HUGE fan of this series! It sounds really good. If she recommends it and you recommend it than I REALLY should add this to my reading list! Thank you so much for the review and giveaway!!!!!

    I'm a follower!

    XOXO~ Renee
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

    I tweeted it: http://twitter.com/steelergirl83/status/24496235786

    ReplyDelete
  28. Love this series but have yet to read this book. I would love to win it and read it!! Thanks.

    bsyb100 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am a google follower. busy bee

    bsyb100 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. My favorite book of the series is the first book! So timeless and romantic!

    thanks
    bsyb100 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I LOVE the Outlander series...had no idea that Diana was going on a book tour...hopefully she's got a date near me!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I could have written that first paragraph myself! Outlander is finally residing in my TBR pile, two friends patiently wait for me to read it! Would love to win Echo to spur me on! Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I subscribe via google reader! Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm a google follower
    Nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've heard that this is a great series. I would love to read this one!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm already a follower
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Somehow I missed this post originally . . . I'm glad you finally read and loved Outlander. I find it extremely engaging as well. Each book is a big book, but I always find myself entranced with Gabaldon's world and sad for the book to end. She is a very gifted writer.

    Great review!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Laura, I ordered the second book in the series as I want to continue this adventure!

    Thanks for all the comments. :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. For new Gabaldon readers, Outlander is the one to start with. Do not even attempt to read any of the sequels first. Even though it is not crucial to read them in order, you will get the most enjoyment by doing so. The second and third books in the series are not nearly as good. It is only the enjoyment of reading about familiar characters that kept me going. Nevertheless, by the time you have read all four books, you will be hungering for more.

    "Outlander" is the ultimate Gabaldon test. You will either hate it or love it. If you hate it, you won't read anything by Gabaldon ever again. If you love it, you won't be able to eat, drink or sleep until you have read the others.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments make this site lively! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I value each one, and will respond to questions.

If you're entering a giveaway, please leave your e-mail address (or a link that leads to it).

Blog header by Held Design

BLOG ARCHIVE









Some of the books reviewed here are given
to me free of charge by authors, publishers, and
agents.



I'm honored to be an Amazon Associate. If you
make a purchase from Amazon through a link on
this site, I'll earn a small advertising fee. Many
thanks to those who place orders through my site!