My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I had a very hard time understanding why this series is popular. The number of holes in the plot and the check your brain at the door attitude had me throwing it at the wall. I persevered to about 50% of the way through and then bailed completely.
I don’t buy that this 16 year old college freshman is violently physically abused and doesn’t go home or at least call home or seek adult help. While I could bypass the first round of violence by plodding through believing there was some reason to check my brain, the second round doesn’t even make sense. I even forgave that one and continued on, hoping that the vampire reveal would be somehow heal all the wrongs in the plot. Guess what? The vampire attack doesn’t send her fleeing either. Not even when she finds out the whole town is RUN by vamps. At this point, I also wasn’t buying behavior from other characters either. Complete fail.
What I liked: There’s some novel concepts – the bracelets, the ghost.
What I disliked: The plot/storyline doesn’t seem realistic. The characters weren’t consistent or deep.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
At this point, reading a Gabaldon book is like visiting old friends. The unfortunate part is that the initial excitement of catching up begins to wear thin with characters you really don’t like as much as you remembered (or perhaps you’d forgotten – time does soften the harshness of dislike).
That said, I do love Gabaldon’s attention to detail and the flow of her writing. She has that part of the craft down to a science. The two sticklers in this tome is first the storyline and second the ending.
___There are spoilers ahead___
The story seems to me to more getting us somewhere than actually developing the characters, or pleasing the reader on the journey. The roller coaster ride I expect from Gabaldon was far too contrived here to be truly thrilling. The characters more in the place where they needed to be to catch the action or having it drop on them.
The time divided or parallel time lines of the 1970s/80s and 1730s story threads I really didn’t enjoy, which was a surprise. I don’t want to give too much away here but the storylines in parallel with the main US history story were tiresome, flat and plodding.
Then there is the ending. Really? A little bow disguised as a cliffhanger?
I felt cheated.
So should you read it?
If you’ve read all of the others, yes.
Do you need to read it now? No. You can wait.
Apparently the saga hasn’t completed yet. Echo in the Bone killed me with a cliffhanger, and this ending isn’t a whole lot better – especially because I felt like I slogged through the parallel time pieces to get to it.
Besides aren’t we all waiting for the Starz series?