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I turned my nose up at the Outlander series for years, thinking that these books were nothing more than silly, schlocky romances. It was the listener reviews on Audible that convinced me to try the first book in the series, and *much* to my surprise I became an enthusiastic fan, both of this series and of the complementary series by Gabaldon that features Lord John Grey.
Davina Porter's wonderful narration makes the audio versions of these books better than their print incarnations. I also find Jeff Woodman's interpretation of the Grey novels delightful.
Loved "Outlander" and "Dragonfly in Amber." Thought "Voyager" was the best of the series so far, and indeed rank it as one of the most enjoyable books I've ever listened to. "Drums of Autumn" was a bit of a letdown, partly because "Voyager" was so good and partly because of the prominence of the character I have come to think of as "Bratty Brianna" (actually I use another adjective, but not on a public site). But "Drums" had an action-packed story that kept me turning the pages (or the audio equivalent).
"The Fiery Cross," unfortunately, moves more slowly than an icebound Highland stream in January. The detailed descriptions of the difficult everyday life on the American frontier in 1771--a time without toilet tissue or disposable diapers, as we learn in not one but several accounts of baby Jem's "exploits"--take up far more than is reasonable of the massive page count in this book, which lacks the edge-of-your seat action of Jamie and Claire's previous adventures. Brianna is still around. She has become a little less bratty now that she's reunited with Roger (nothing wrong with Roger except that he's not Jamie Frasier), but the constant references to her breast milk got nauseating.
The next book in the series, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes," is in my library, but I'm going to wait and bit and rest up from (or perhaps, better, try and wake up from) the Fiery Cross before moving on. The reviews seem to indicate ABoSaA is a better story, so I'll keep going.
60 of 62 people found this review helpful
I have been thoroughly enjoying the Outlander series. The first book, "Outlander" was just brilliant, and I also liked "Dragonfly in Amber" quite a bit. "Voyager" left a bit to be desired and "Drums of Autumn" was a good story but had slowed down the storyline and needed an editor badly. Gabaldon has become enamored of deeetaaaaaiil. She clearly does a lot of research into the subjects she writes about, even including excruciating detail about how things smell and what seasickness is like and the diets of Scottish farmers and... well... a lot of detail.
And in "The Fiery Cross" she really let loose. It's almost as if she can't help herself. It took several hours just to get through the first day of the novel. The book is much, much too long and clearly is intended as a transition to get the reader into the life of Jamie and Claire in the American wilderness. But there were many places where I just wanted them to MOVE ON ALREADY.
Why did I continue listening? Well, principally because Davina Porter is an absolute genius at narrating these books. I cannot praise her enough. She is simply perfectly brilliant. She has the wonderful Scots brogue down pat, and it contrasts beautifully with British accents she uses - several different ones. And her Scots brogue is distinctly different from her Irish brogue. And she delivers non-English as if she were a native speaker of each of the languages, from Gaelic to French to Mohawk to Iroquois. She even figured out how to deliver French spoken with a Gaelic accent! The only thing she can't do is American English. The Americans in the novel all ended up sounding like British. But that's OK. I'd listen to these books just to listen to her amazing skill and range.
I finished because I had to move on to "The Fiery Cross" as I'm not ready to abandon this wonderful saga. Gabaldon is that amazing a writer.
98 of 102 people found this review helpful
Finally here this version with the great voice of Davina Porter!! I am so happy. Her voice makes the whole book come to live, especcially when you have listened to the first four outlander books. Now just waiting for 'breath of snow and ashes' with Davina Porter! Please Audible....
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
I echo the above sentiment. Having listened to the previous four books it is a joyl to hear Davina Porter's wonderful voice again. Please please record book 6.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I found the first half of the book difficult in that the story was not going anywhere and a lot more editing would have greatly improved the story. There was a lot of wasted text on trivial scenes that I personally found unnecessary (I did read the book and then switched to the audio version.)
However, after that the story kept me captivated and look forward to the next book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Love this series, it draws you in to be part of their world :)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful