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As one of Diana Gabaldon's huge fan base, I came to this eighth "big book" expecting it to be wonderful -- and I was not disappointed!
Written in my own Heart's Blood weaves four separate story lines effortlessly together, resolving all the cliff-hangers from An Echo in the Bone (while introducing some tempting new questions), enlarging our understanding of the characters -- and providing heart-stopping thrills pretty well all the way through!
When I get a new Outlander book, I find I have to read it very, very fast -- just to be sure everyone I care about will survive -- then I can go back and re-read it slowly, savouring all the delightful details, fascinating historical information and character development. And this is where the audio version really comes into its own: my first race through the book is always done on my Kindle, but enjoying all the details with Davina Porter's wonderful reading (she really is one of the very best readers around!) is utterly satisfying.
No spoilers in this review, I'm afraid -- but I cannot recommend this book too highly!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Where does Written in My Own Heart's Blood rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Diana Gabaldon and Amy Harmon (my favourite authors) have written some amazing books and I rank all of their books equally at the very top of my listening tree. Written In My Own Heart's Blood is a book I have been eagerly anticipating for four years and it is everything I hoped it would be.
What other book might you compare Written in My Own Heart's Blood to and why?
At first I was going to say that I haven't read any other books that I could compare to this one but that wouldn't be true. The first one was named Outlander and was the story of a time traveler named Claire and a young Scotsman named Jamie.
Which scene was your favorite?
I had many favourite scenes but there were a couple of notables that I keep thinking of over and over again. One would be when Bree was reading the letter she found from Frank Randall. It showed just how much he loved and treasured Bree and how he had done all he could to prepare her for the life ahead. The other scene would be the tragedy the family suffered just before leaving Savannah. Absolutely heartbreaking. And then there was William! Oh and of course Lord John.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This book is amazing in that it brings together so much of what has come before. I think I will need to listen to it a couple of times to pick up all it has to offer. Did I want to listen to it all in one session? Hell yes! I wanted to know it all. But realistically with a book that spans 48 hours of listening time that was never going to happen.
Any additional comments?
Any book that can leave you constantly thinking about what you have just read, about the decisions the characters made and the way their lives evolved is a gift to be treasured. But now I find that I need to go back to the beginning yet again because I realise that I didn't pay enough attention to what was written before! Well done Diana.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The story, of course, follows the life and times of James Fraser, his wife Claire and her family. They are all there: Ian, Brianna, Roger, Janet... It is somewhat difficult to cover anything thematically without spoilering something else due to context.
The book is absolutely worthwhile to be listened to, Davina Porter as divine in her narration as always. Really, I can't imagine someone else telling the story.
All in all: the story does evolve, we get to know many answers to unsolved aspects of previous books, Diana Gabaldon is a master in word-choosing and in weaving atmospheric and vivid scenery.
Only three stars then, why?
After scattering her main characters all over the place at the end of her last book (the worst possible cliff-hangers!) I was quite anxiously awaiting how the different story-lines would be joined again. Unfortunately, and this is one of my big issues with this book, I had the impression that - after flinging Roger, Jem, William, John Grey and Ian to who knows where - D.G. had difficulty in picking them up again and uniting them in one arc. For much too long the different time-lines are completely broken apart, and while there is a lot going on, the story itself gets lost in all the conundrum. Military expertise is a fine thing to read about, but not the point (my point!) in this series.
The "rejoining"-moments then are done without further description, somewhat abrupt and strange / inconsistent. Without spoiling: What was a really, really big step in previous books is now sometimes excruciatingly difficult and sometimes as easy as if it was a walk in the park.
These are maybe small aspects, but somehow they matter here, and I felt that they disturbed the "reality" of the story.
Although all characters show up, they weren't depicted as the shining, living, breathing personas you are expecting them to be when reading D.G. This is only my personal opinion, of course, but I'd have liked to have more links between the different people during the story. It all seemed to be quite disjointed, with seemingly important persons suddenly vanishing from view, popping up completely out of context and without logical explanation and then vanishing again. Some of them refuse verbally to say where they are headed to - and then they are gone. Poof.
it was as if they were, in fact, too much to be handled for the author, and so the characters literally fell off her plate, only to be picked up from the floor several chapters laters, slightly the worse for wear and a bit disoriented.
Some of the main characters have changed in vital aspects of their being - so much that it was hard to reconcile them with what they were before. And that, in all honesty, was bugging me a lot sometimes. Of course a person's being will evolve, but usually, the won't change so much - and not in such a sad, lamentable way as in this book.
Listen to this book, enjoy it, it's worth it if you have enjoyed the previous books, and join me in waiting four or five years for the next installment. Sigh.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Having read all the books in 'The Outlander' series, I was waiting with baited breath for this last title. According to Diana Gabaldon's web site, it was due for release in March, so the delay until June was unbearable! But it was worth the wait reader - believe me.
Firstly, Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving the narration of this book back to Davina Porter. She IS the characters - they are back to being the people I remember them as.
I will not spoil your entertainment by telling you anything about the story, if you have listened to the series all I will say is that you will not be disappointed.
If you are looking at this book as a stand alone and have never read Diana Gabaldon before, can I suggest that you start at the first one and work your way through? That way you will enjoy all of the twists, understand the history of the characters and arrive where I am now, desparate to know if this is it, or if there is some more to come.
I understand that this month (August 2014), the Outlander series will screen in the US as a 16 episode series - now THAT would be a box set to watch on a duvet day and no mistake!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Just excellent. I have read, well been read to..thank-you Davina, all the novels in this totally captivating series and highly recommend all of them. ...my life can now resume to somewhat of a normal order as it had paused since December to commence the second book after watching the outlander series on TV. Moving forward now I feel enriched with history, herbal medicines, more adjectives in my sentences and Jamie Fraser !...God bless this fictional heart, body parts and blue eyes.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I am so sad that I have finished Diana's 8 books and desperately want to know what happens next. Left at a obvious cliffhanger I can't wait for the next installment and hope it is not far away.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful