Review: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon


10988It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.
Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….
Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong…


Diana Gabaldon is a fucking genius. Just when you wonder how the hell she can keep moving forward with this story, she blows your mind all over again. Where does this woman fit, in her great mind, all the shenanigans that go on this series? It’s blissful insanity.

Drums of Autumn sets the scene for Brianna and Roger, and while we have new dimensions, new lives to focus on, it all still primarily revolves around Jamie and Claire. If they ever have a quiet moment in their lives, it doesn’t last long, and I can’t help but wonder if they bring chaos onto themselves or it’s just drawn to them.

Jamie and Claire are both strong characters. Bold and unafraid to speak their minds. They are usually at the head of the table, leading others, and with that, I guess, comes not only responsibility but constant shit hitting the fan.

Brianna and Roger add new elements, but I can’t bring myself to feel about them the way I’ve always felt about J&C. Gabaldon gives us blood, sweat, and tears, but they still seem unsure of each other.

I could go on about the writing style, plot, and character development, but I won’t. I’ve praised it all in the last three reviews, and those ravings still ring true. I don’t think Diana Gabaldon has the power to waver and wane in her writing, so I will forge on to book five and beyond.



Review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon


Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.


Diana Gabaldon is pure genius. Reaching the end of Dragonfly in Amber, I wasn’t sure what to expect next… I definitely not to be catapulted through time by twenty years. I immediately panicked, freaking out that the saga of Jamie and Claire was coming to end, that the story was transforming its central characters…

I’m glad I’m wrong most of the time. Rather than alter the focus from Jamie and Claire to their daughter, Brianna, Gabaldon used her to add another layer to the story, making things more complicated, if that were even possible. I don’t know how Gabaldon keeps it all straight, but she does it and it’s a freaking masterpiece.

What can I say about Voyager that I haven’t said about the previous two novels in the Outlander saga? Her writing style, world building, and character development are superb. I can’t find fault in any of it. It’s long and the scenes can be drawn out, but I find that the length and amount of description are necessary to get the depth of emotion across, to really reach the reader on more than just a surface level.

The change of scenery is a bit mind blowing, and I find myself missing the contrasts of Scotland. Jamie and Claire end up across the world, and I feel that there are no limits to their ongoing adventures. They never seem to settle, and even though it seems to be what Jamie wants more than anything, he doesn’t seem suited to a quiet life. I’m just waiting for the ball to drop, for him to do something crazy … and to subsequently pick up the pieces of my broken heart. He’s done it to me before, and I’m under no delusions that he’ll do it again in The Drums of Autumn.

If you haven’t started this saga, please, please give it a chance. Don’t let the number of pages deter you – every single word is worth the time. Gabaldon is a master story-teller, and I can say that I don’t think I’ve ever been as enchanted or involved in a story as I have been with the Outlander series. As readers, that’s what we crave, isn’t it?



Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

For nearly twenty y5364ears Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones… about a love that transcends the boundaries of time… and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart… in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising… and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

 Goodreads / Amazon

Rating: 5/5

“For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.”

His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.

Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”


Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. 

I’m still reeling and could in all honesty leave those four words as the sum of my review, but I just can’t let that suffice.

Jamie & Claire have a love story of epic proportions. It always has this cloud of doom hanging over it, tragedy lurking around every seemingly happy corner, pulling at your heartstrings and tear ducts over and over again. What I love about them is that they could have had a happy, quiet life but choose the hard road. To them, it’s the only choice; they’re hell-bent on changing the fate of Scotland and the grim future of those they love.

I don’t know how Diana Gabaldon keeps it all straight. She’s a master story-teller, weaving every little detail together into a twisty, curvy story that has constant surprises or revelations.

The characters she creates (even those with a minor role) come alive, leaping from the pages, attaching themselves to the reader in a way that keeps them with you long after you finish. I’m just thankful I was able to jump immediately to book three so I wouldn’t have to let them go for any period of time. I’ve found myself mourning, hoping, and smiling with them throughout the day, whether I’m reading or not.

Like I said, it’s just one of those stories that stay with you.Not only that, but every scene is intricately detailed, bringing history alive even if it has a touch of fiction to it.

This series has quickly become one of my favorite of all time, and I’m only on book three. I don’t know what I did before it came into my life, and I have no idea what I’ll do when I’m done. Probably just start all over again.



Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The year10964 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.

 Goodreads / Amazon

When I first began to read Outlander, I wasn’t expecting all that it had to offer. To be honest, I almost put it away “for later,” which really meant that I didn’t want to put any more effort into reading it and probably would never pick it up again. I felt as if it was bogged down by detail, and Claire’s relationship with her husband, Frank, felt forced and dispassionate. They were hard words to swallow, but I kept going, unaware at this point of the following that this novel has. (Shamefully, I’d heard of the show first, and in my fashion, decided to read before watching.)

But then something took hold of me, and I couldn’t stop. Claire was catapulted from the boring life of a historian’s wife (although her time in the army was anything but) into the dangerous world of eighteenth century roguish Scottish Highlanders. Eventually, I came to appreciate and even look forward to Gabaldon’s vivid descriptions and abundant details, hanging on to each word for dear life, devouring all 850+ pages without any desire to reach the end.

Jamie and Claire are … epic. They’re brought together by necessity, and they’re loyalty, dedication, and love for each other is unrivaled. I enjoyed their banter and the violent sense of humor they had toward one another. Honestly, their relationship reminded me of me and my husband – neither one of us takes any shit from the other.

As for the ever-popular controversial scene where Jamie fulfills his duty in punishing his wife – I think people are overreacting. It was a different time, and in all honesty, she got off a lot easier than any man would have. Not only that, but Jamie wasn’t so brutish that he couldn’t see that the traditional type of relationship of the time wasn’t going to work for him and Claire. He did what was expected of him, and if he hadn’t done it, she would never have been forgiven by the other members of the clan. It wasn’t a scene of domestic abuse, but of someone receiving the punishment of the time for her actions, humiliating as it was for her.

Gabaldon’s writing style has a classic ring to it, maintaining a rhythm that’s easy to keep up with, which is important with the number of pages it covers. This book isn’t easy to put down, and there’s so much story that even the most serious of book lovers will be fulfilled.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction or romance, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of Outlander as soon as possible. Then purchase a subscription to Starz and watch the show – because, really, this is one of those cases where the show is just as good.