BOOK REVIEW: Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

BOOK REVIEW: Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana GabaldonOutlander (Outlander #1)
by Diana Gabaldon
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Synopsis:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just 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 circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

 

For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.

I have many other reviews that I was supposed to post before this one but, frankly, I don’t care. When a book sweeps you off your feet, you take that passion and make into a review because you damn well feel like it. When I picked this up, I had no clue if I’d enjoy it or not-in fact, I have a long-winded story that goes along with this series, and I don’t want to bore you with the details but, well, that’s kind of what I do. So…

…knowing, as so many other edible creatures have found, that there is protection in numbers. And that knowledge, bred in the bone, is what lies behind mob rule. Because to step outside the group, let alone to stand against it, was for uncounted thousands of years death to the creature who dared it. To stand against a crowd would take something more than ordinary courage; something that went beyond human instinct. And I feared I did not have it, and fearing, was ashamed.

I have a weird-um-thing with accents. I don’t really enjoy reading them in stories, especially heavy accents, so this series just never has appealed to me. English? Okay, I can deal with a British tone if the writing is good alongside the Brit speak. But Scottish? I don’t know-this is hard for me. It’s probably the ONE accent I swore I’d never read. Back in 2014/2015 when my lovely buddy was big into these, I told her I was ABSOLUTELY UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER GOING TO PICK UP THESE BOOKS. Then the show came out. But still-I was not moved (even if that guy they cast is hella good looking and I was partially tempted). And, plus, this was such a long time ago. I did NOT read very big fantasies, at the time, and it seemed like a really big deal to me to undertake such a behemoth of a book. I did like fantasy-I loved it! But it wasn’t my main focus and it all seemed so daunting to jump into the larger fantasies.

The sun was setting. The last rays of light shone through a blue glass flagon that stood on the table, streaking the wall with a shaft of brilliant lapis. I felt as fragile and as brilliant as the glass, as though I would shatter with a touch, and fall in glittering fragments to the floor. If I had meant to spare either Jamie’s emotions or my own, it seemed I was very much too late.

Fast forward to 2018, a couple months ago, and I see a picture of Mr. Jamie on GR (Yeah, good marketing, bravo, really) and a quote underneath it (in his heavy Scottish tone, no less) and something happened that day-my heart stirred and my breath quickened or shallowed or whatever you want to say-I got the feels, okay?

That man and those bookish quote feels happened and I knew it was time. I’m a big girl now. All I really read is fantasy, I’m hard to please (urmm kind of?), and, frankly, BBFs are few and far between (bahaha okay, no, not really but whatever) and I just-I’m always on the search for a book or series these days that will take my breath away and completely consume my soul-it’s been a tough road, this year, for series. All I could deal with were standalones, it seemed, because series were so underwhelming to me. But then came August-now. And will you look at that? I HAVE BEEN A SERIES BINGING FOOL. It turns out that fantasy/historical fiction is my JAM. The diviners + Outlander. WTF? Will wonders never cease?

That’s right. The girl who is against all things historical (mostly) and accents read two of the most daunting type books ever and they kicked my teeth in with the feels. Which, this just goes to show you that my feelings have been right all along on this matter: You read what you feel. I would NEVER have liked the Diviners three years ago-maybe not even a year ago. Outlander would have bored me to death. Maybe it’s because I had a little girl. Maybe it’s because I’ve been faced with appreciating the finer things in life. Whatever the reason, I have found a Genre that steals my heart almost every time I pick it up-and that genre is fantasy.

“Now, then. What does ‘fucking’ mean?”
My surprise must have shown plainly, for he said irritably, “If ye must call me names, that’s one thing. But I dinna care to be called things I can’t answer. I know it’s a damn filthy word, from the way ye said it, but what does it mean?”

Anyway. My point is, this book is just absolutely wonderful-but it’s not going to be for everybody. For me, I found humor in the smallest places, the silliest moments, like when they’d fight, or Claire’s voice. I’d be angry at the most pivotal moments-There were just, ugh, so many triggers. There really were….yet I just loved this story so much. Then there was Jamie and, well, where do I even START??

“I can bear pain, myself,” he said softly, “but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”

Jamie is, was, and will always be the heart of this book. He is kind, thoughtful, and without a doubt one of the most selfless heroes I’ve ever met. Really. The things he did, the things he sacrificed, the way he loved Claire so deeply and wholly, the way he trusted her so faithfully and supported her wholeheartedly…It’s unparalleled. And she was willing to leave him in the blink of an eye, for a while. I just-I can’t. He is the epitome of a book boyfriend and I cannot fathom never meeting him-shame on me. But I am so glad I chose a time when I was mature enough to fully cherish him, because he is worth the wait.

I mean, I’ve held women in my arms before, and kissed them, and … well.

He reached out and touched my lower lip, barely brushing the edge. “It starts out the same, but then, after a moment,” he said, speaking softly, “suddenly it’s as though I’ve a living flame in my arms.” His touch grew firmer, outlining my lips and caressing the line of my jaw. “And I want only to throw myself into it and be consumed.”

And I don’t say this lightly-yes, I love my book boyfriends, but-Jamie is on another level. The dedication and bravery and loyalty and willingness to save Claire at all costs-and I DO mean ALL costs-literally. It’s spell-binding. And I don’t think my heart was even close to ready for it.

Getting up once in the dark to go adventuring is a lark. Twice in two days smacks of masochism.

Babies and animals and pregnancy and probably more things than I can possibly remember, this book gutted me with the issues it brought forth. And, for other people (didn’t bother me at all, but I’m a different sort)-View Spoiler ». Those are the things to watch out for, FYI.

There is a fine line sometimes, between justice and brutality.

And thus concludes my book review that always somehow turns into a book in and of itself. If it weren’t for the fact that these books are so. Dang. LONG. I would already be halfway through book 2 by now. But, alas, I’m just not able to skip out on other books I was excited to read about before the year’s end, but I’m ecstatic to start the next book-and the tv show-in 2019! I know I’m getting some Outlander goodies for Christmas, and I just can hardly contain myself-this book got me through my surgery, and it got me out of it. I love it and it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

*****

If I’m being honest, I finished this book more than a week ago-but, unfortunately, I was on the mend after emergency surgery to get my appendix removed sooooo that’s why I haven’t been able to post anything for a while. But, in one gif, this is how this series, this book, and my darling Jamie made me feel:

RTC.

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6 Comments

  1. I love your review! I remember one of my best bookish friends telling me all about this series and how much she loved it, years ago. But I wasn’t into historical fantasy at the time, at least not books THIS big, and not really adult, more YA at the time. But then, the tv show started, and I thought, hmm, I’ll try this out. And I fell in love with it. So I picked up the book, and loved the book as well! I love the show, and I’m on the second book, but stopped while I’m watching the current season. I think, so that I enjoy the show, I’m going to stay behind on the books at least by the season it is on. So I will finish book 2 after this season is over, and then read the 3rd and 4th books, but not the 5th until after that season. Great review!!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…L-L-L-Little Reviews: Four Adult RomancesMy Profile

    • Chelsea (Peril Please)

      February 7, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Aww thanks so much!!!! I am on book two now! I’m trying to space them apart because of how dense they are…but JAMIE OMG HE IS MY LIFE. UGH! I am making myself wait to start the show until I read book three….so hopefully I can start it early spring…or I’ll just give in lol

      We shall see. I was the same way, btw. I’d have HATED this years ago-now, I cherish it <3

  2. I’ve read this book three times now AND watched the series. I like the TV characters better than the book characters. Well, Claire anyway. But, the story is so engaging and the romance so intense!!

    • Chelsea (Peril Please)

      February 7, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      I don’t know about the TV series, except that I asked for it for Xmas and now have it stashed and ready to go! My goal is to get three books done before I start…but we’ll see if I can withhold myself from the temptation!

      I LOVED book one so so much, and I’m 50% through book two now (yes, I’m pacing them, so I don’t get bored with them) and I am all consumed with Jamie. He is just…..he is just everything.

  3. I was never into historical romances, but when I read this one I really enjoyed it and it changed my mind about the genre. Great review.

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