I just loved this novella as it picks up after the events of An Echo in the Bone with Joan Mackenzie going to France to become a nun and Michael Murra...moreI just loved this novella as it picks up after the events of An Echo in the Bone with Joan Mackenzie going to France to become a nun and Michael Murray, the recently widowed wine merchant of Fraser Inc., is taking her to the convent on his way home from Scotland.
What a truly bittersweet yet oddly comforting story about what really happened to Roger Mackenzie's parents and the circumstances that led up to their...moreWhat a truly bittersweet yet oddly comforting story about what really happened to Roger Mackenzie's parents and the circumstances that led up to their eventual end.
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows was set in the WWII time and focuses on RAF pilot Jerry Mackenzie who finds himself thrust into the past while flying near North Umbria on a reconnaissance mission for none other than Captain Frank Randall, Claire’s first husband. Jerry, of course, has no idea what has happened to him nor where or exactly “when” he is for that matter, but he is determined to get back to his wife Dolly and their young son Roger no matter how long or what he must sacrifice in order to do so.
This story truly did answer the burning questions presented from the first time we met Reverend Wakefield and little Roger in Outlander and the reference made to Jerry’s last flight in An Echo in the Bone during Claire and Roger’s conversation before he, Brianna, and the children travelled back through the stones to the future. For such a short novella, Diana Gabaldon did not hold back any of the emotion and detail customary to her stories and I for one enjoyed it all the more for it! I loved the glimpse into Roger’s past and loved the cross interaction of previously introduced characters in the Outlander series to these other characters only ever mentioned yet brought to life within this short story! Dolly and Jerry made such a lovely couple and their feelings for one another were well defined and represented throughout this entire novella. Even the eventual ending did not detract from the overall feel of the story and I truly recommend A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows to all fans of the series and historical fiction alike! (less)
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon was hilariously funny yet an emotionally heartrending story in the Outlander series! Ms. Gabaldon takes her read...moreAn Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon was hilariously funny yet an emotionally heartrending story in the Outlander series! Ms. Gabaldon takes her readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride from the very first chapter straight through to the end.
This seventh installment of the series picks up where A Breath of Snow and Ashes left off. The American Colonies are on its way to a full revolution and separation from England and Jamie Fraser and his wife Claire are smack dab in the middle of the conflict still trying to survive the 17th century but also trying lend a hand with the upcoming battles to come. Of course, Jamie is very concerned for his son William, now a British officer in her Majesty's army, and does not want to face him on the battlefield, but Jamie may not have a choice as the war rages on and everyone he holds dear is pulled into the conflict regardless of preference or loyalties.
A lot went on in this book, to say the least. The beginning seemed a little slower than usual, but as the story progresses on the reasons for all of the details and new characters introduced becomes apparent and totally made sense in this book. I was a little surprised with the intrigue and political aspects introduced in the book and hope we learn more about them in the next book as well as future novels as I did find a lot of it very interesting. I loved the characters in the book and loved all the emotions Ms. Gabaldon was able to capture. There were moments that truly broke my heart while others had me hysterically laughing at the characters and the situations they seemed to find themselves in. There was also just the right amount of suspense and mystery I have come to love in these novels as well as a great deal of unexpected and shocking revelations that were not completely unwelcome and highly intriguing to boot. I loved Jamie and Claire to pieces and I totally loved seeing more of Lord John and Ian as well. I think their storylines blended quite well overall in this book and I simply cannot wait to read the next installment, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, coming out in March 2014.
An Echo in the Bone definitely left an "echo" in my heart and mind urging me to continue reading this series and find out where all these fascinating characters' lives are headed and where Diana Gabaldon will take this series into the future (or the past if you prefer)! I can only hope that she continues writing more in the Outlander series after the eighth book is released as I simply do not want this series to end as many others would agree with me. Totally worth reading and I cannot stress it enough for fans of Ms. Gabaldon's writing and Historical Fiction alike!(less)
A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon was another unmitigated success in the Outlander series, in my opinion. The story picked up right after t...moreA Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon was another unmitigated success in the Outlander series, in my opinion. The story picked up right after the events of The Fiery Cross with the Frasers awaiting the coming American Revolution and highlights their struggle to hold onto all they hold dear with the threat of history and a certain knowledge of their demise looming over them.
A lot went on in this book as we continued the journey of Claire and Jamie and the life they have created in the backcountry of the Carolinas in the early 1770’s. Life on Fraser’s Ridge has been difficult from the beginning, but now the upcoming war is in sight and the battle lines are being drawn as friends and neighbors might soon become enemies and strangers. The drama that went on with the people on the Ridge, Cross Creek, Wilmington, and everywhere else in the colony in lieu of the upcoming war was truly mind blowing and definitely surprised the Frasers’ in the same instant. Claire and Jamie truly had their hands full with all the people and their issues, but their own relationship and lives were tested in ways they were not prepared to contend with and may never recover from.
Many secrets are revealed as well in this book while others are still shrouded in mystery, but all in all the twists and turns throughout this novel left me shocked and awed with the mastery of Ms. Gabaldon’s storytelling. She truly knows how to write a story engaging to keep a reader begging for more yet not wanting the story to truly end.
The many characters introduced throughout these books was amazing and many more were introduced or changed in so many ways as to keep readers guessing or gasping in turn as the book progressed on. There seemed to be much more focus and detail on the different families on the Ridge and in the colonies to the immense delight of this reader in particular. I absolutely loved learning more about Marsali and Fergus and their growing family and Jocasta Cameron and Duncan Innes as well as the tests Claire and Jamie’s relationship was put through in this installment. A lot of drama went on with the Christie family, Lizzie and her father, and the McGillivray clan as well as the Mohawk tribe Ian was a part of and made the story all the more shocking and entertaining. I also loved the reemergence of Lord John and William and how they totally merged with Claire and Jamie’s life while still being a separate unit.
In the end, A Breath of Snow and Ashes had it all: murder, intrigue, laughter, love, betrayal, pain, joy, politics, and everything in between including a small cliffhanger at the end of the book that is just begging this reader to continue onto the next book with all haste! Diana Gabaldon is truly a gifted storyteller and her characters are so realistic and emotion inducing that readers truly care about what is going on with each one and what direction they are headed in her books as well as feeling their struggles and their joys in turn. I will definitely be continuing on with the next novel, An Echo in the Bone, and I highly recommend any and all fans of series and the author to read this book as you will not be disappointed! (less)
I just love this series! "Drums of Autumn" was another hit in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series! It had it all from passion and despair, to cruelty an...moreI just love this series! "Drums of Autumn" was another hit in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series! It had it all from passion and despair, to cruelty and generosity, and, love and hate with just the right amount of action and suspense to resemble the depths of both heaven and hell.
Although the landscape had changed from Scotland to America, the story was pure magic and chock full of historical facts with a bit of politics prevalent in the 1700's along with a fair and accurate description of living in that time period as newly arrived immigrants. Indentured servitude, slavery, Indians, and England itself were all present and incorporated in the story and were very educational and well thought out.
A lot went on in this book and it truly kept me riveted from the first page to the last. All the characters I have grown to love were here along with some previously unexplored characters along with new faces to fill this series and make it even more incredible. Jamie and Claire were just fantastic and their love was so passionate and explosive I just couldn't get enough. I loved their traveling to their new home and enjoyed all the pains and joys that went into making it. Briana and Roger were not my favorite part of this book although they were a major part of the story. I don't know, I just felt like their relationship was too closely mirrored to Jamie and Claire's and I just could not warm up to Briana and Roger's love as it was simply no comparison to Claire and Jamie. Toward the end I started to feel better about the two as they truly suffered and sacrificed to get what they both wanted so very desperately: each other.
This book was an emotional roller coaster ride that had me laughing out loud one minute then sobbing into my pillow the next which is why I just love these books and their characters. I simply cannot wait for the next book, The Fiery Cross.(less)
"Voyager" was another fantastic installment in the Outlander saga! A lot went on in this book and so many characters were introduced that I could scar...more"Voyager" was another fantastic installment in the Outlander saga! A lot went on in this book and so many characters were introduced that I could scarcely keep up with everything, yet Diana Gabaldon truly knows how to tie in every person and all events while staying true to her story.
The story takes place twenty years after the events in "Dragonfly in Amber" but begins with new characters and new revelations as the past is revisited and told through more than one perspective by Jamie and Claire and more secrets and consequences of Claire's travel come to light and threaten to destroy both the past and present the two hold dear.
"Wow" is what comes to mind when I think of Claire and Jamie. These two are pure magic and their characters' are so vivid and realistic that I can totally put myself in their shoes and enjoy the ride as much if not more than they do. The depth of emotion these characters have for one another and those around them truly leaves me speechless and once again I commend Ms. Gabaldon on her ability to produce such a riveting masterpiece of writing. I love the direction the author is going with in theses books and totally appreciate her detail and the world she has created in this series. Some parts of the book seemed a bit long at times and some things almost unbelievable, but Diana Gabaldon knows how to make even the most minute details important and vital to her stories and in "Voyager" she was did not disappoint. I think I truly appreciate the faults and mistakes the main characters made throughout the novel as it truly brought the story to life even while making the reader sympathize with Jamie and Claire's plights while rejoicing in their successes.
All in all, wonderful installment and a definite must read to fans of the series and Historical Fiction alike. "Voyager" is a book I had a hard time putting down and I believe other readers who begin this book will have the same difficulty and enjoy the process as I have!(less)
What a truly outstanding story! Chock full of all the emotions that hold a person captive, “Dragonfly in Amber” was a fantastic thrill ride that left...moreWhat a truly outstanding story! Chock full of all the emotions that hold a person captive, “Dragonfly in Amber” was a fantastic thrill ride that left this reader enthralled and hanging on to the bitter and exciting end of the each page and every chapter until the final sentence of the book.
The story picked up twenty years after “Outlander” where we find Claire on vacation in Scotland reliving her time with Jamie in the 17th century. We then meet Briana, Jamie and Claire’s daughter, and are reintroduced to Roger, the Reverend Wakefield’s’ son, when Claire tries to find out what happened to the men she knew from the tragedy of Culloden and to come to terms with her past and the man she lost in the process. Of course, things are not what she had initially thought and Claire has even more difficult decisions to make if she ever intends to find her heart and reclaim her life again.
This story was unbelievably good and so hard to stop reading! The style of the writing and the story itself just enthralled me to the point that I wish I had started this series years prior to now. Ms. Gabaldon has a very unique and precise way of expressing all the details of the surroundings so that one truly feels as if they are really in that setting and standing there watching this unfold. I also loved the introduction of the characters are so vivid along with the landscape of the world Diana Gabaldon created in these books. Jamie and Claire are very complex and realistic in their thoughts, emotions, and actions as to leave me breathless with anticipations at some points and open-mouthed in astonishment at others. Their passion for one another was so visceral and untamed yet it was also so loving and tender that it ripped me to pieces and made me yearn for more simultaneously.
I am truly enjoying this series and everything that goes with it and definitely recommend it to all fans of historical romance with light paranormal aspects. Two important suggestions to add to perspective readers: First, DO NOT READ THE SYNOPSIS OF THESE BOOKS! They give too much of the story away and trust me, surprise is a good thing. Second, read these books in order. There is so much backstory in these books and missing one would be missing a large portion of the story which you don’t want to do. (less)
“The Scottish Prisoner” by Diana Gabaldon was an interesting and engaging story featuring the dual perspectives of Lord John Grey and Jamie Fraser. Th...more“The Scottish Prisoner” by Diana Gabaldon was an interesting and engaging story featuring the dual perspectives of Lord John Grey and Jamie Fraser. This story, as most of the author’s, was emotional yet uplifting with action-adventure, humor, intrigue, and just a hint of the paranormal to spice things up a bit and still keep the story realistic and time period correct.
This story takes place on the same timeline as “Voyager” and details the relationship between the two men following Ardsmuir prison while introducing new characters and a possible new Jacobite rising in the making.
I read this book before “Outlander,” so I was very biased and favored Lord John as opposed to Jamie Fraser as I did not care for his treatment of the English officer at all even though he found the major’s “predilections” distasteful as the man had a great deal of respect, self-possession, and general caring for the Scottish prisoner. I felt like Lord John’s unrequited feelings toward the big Scot were so very raw and disturbing yet comforting with his actions and outward appearance along with his character. Of course, after reading “Outlander,” “Dragonfly in Amber,” and having started “Voyager,” I truly appreciate Jamie and understand and accept his behavior toward Lord John along with his own feelings towards the major as just friendship and mutual respect of one another. I truly enjoy Ms. Gabaldon’s characters and the world she has created and recommend these books to all fans of the “Outlander” series and historical fiction alike. (less)
"Lord John and the Private Matter" was a surprisingly engaging historical fiction that detailed Lord John trying to discreetly inquire about his cousi...more"Lord John and the Private Matter" was a surprisingly engaging historical fiction that detailed Lord John trying to discreetly inquire about his cousins' fiance when he sees something questionable on the man he did not expect or anticipate and then stumbling upon a murder and mystery regarding spies and the military that ends up becoming entangled in this private affair.
I was surprised, as I am not much of a historical fiction fan if it lacks the paranormal, steampunk, and sci-fi attributes I have come to enjoy in my novels, to find how much I truly enjoyed this book and the characters presented. I loved the style of writing and the detail presented throughout the story along with the world and characters Ms. Gabaldon created as well. I really liked Lord John and the fact that he was not a "traditional" Englishman when it came to his personal life yet he had the same pride and sense of honor and duty often found in the traditional English characters I am acquainted with in books. Lord John was so complex and had so many layers to his character that it had me drawn in from the beginning of the story and kept me captivated until the very end.
The world created in this book was very complex and well written as well. The sheer amount of detail the author produced in this story was staggering and yet breathtaking in its entirety to the pointed that it truly felt as though I had been transported to England in the 1700's and could feel the atmosphere and nostalgia of the time and place in every page. All the subtle nuianses and pointed backdrops worked well together to create a thoroughly imagined place and time I would love to visit again.
The key point of the story that really drew me in and kept my whole attention was definitely the mystery of the murder and the true character of the shipping merchant set to marry into Lord John's family. What a fascinating investigation and enjoyable journey through London's high class society and its undesireable underbelly to its poorer realm.
In the end, I truly enjoyed this book and enjoyed the audio presented in this tale. It had most of the elements I thoroughly enjoy in my reading including action, intrigue, lust, love, honor, humor, and, of course, murder with a dash of violence. I loved the detail and the writing style of Diana Gabaldon and will continue to read this series as well as her Outlander series in the very near future!(less)
I don't know how I'm feeling about this installment into the Kitty Norville series. There was a lot of emotional melancholy felt through all the chara...moreI don't know how I'm feeling about this installment into the Kitty Norville series. There was a lot of emotional melancholy felt through all the characters in the book and also a surprising end to a potential love interest while an unexpected love relationship seems to have taken shape for our heroine.
Kitty decided she needed a break after the events over the past year and her "unveiling" on live TV after being kidnapped. She retreats to a mountain cabin where she decides to write her memoir and contemplate her future in radio and in life as a lone wolf. Of course, this is Kitty who couldn't stay out of trouble even to save her own life, so when she starts finding butchered animals on her porch and a wounded friend arrives looking for her help, Kitty will have find out who is threatening her and how to save her friend or all of them will truly pay with their lives.
A lot happened in the book while the action was a bit subdued and uneventful. This did not pull away from the story as a whole, but was surprising as the first two installments had a great deal of action mixed into the plots. I enjoyed this book overall as it seemed to be a stepping stone into the life of Kitty and what we could and should hope to expect in future novels. Cormac and Ben were in a great deal of the book and some surprising and strange things went down with both of them and Kitty, but I think this change in the dynamics of their relationships will be beneficial with this series down the road.
It took a while for me to really and truly enjoy the story, but in the end it worked for me and I see where Carrie Vaughn is ultimately leading our heroine and I liked the idea of Kitty finally having a "pack" even if all the members are not werewolves. I will definitely be reading the next installment in the series and see what other messes Kitty could possibly get herself into!(less)
I am really liking this series and its characters! There was a nice amount of action, mystery, and humor throughout the book and Kitty just had me won...moreI am really liking this series and its characters! There was a nice amount of action, mystery, and humor throughout the book and Kitty just had me wondering what other trouble she could possibly get into while holding my attention through each and every ordeal she happened upon.
This story was very entertaining and held me captive from beginning to end although there were some slower points in the book along with some disconnect on some of the information provided concerning some of the newer characters introduced and the situations Kitty herself found herself involved in. These instances did not detract from the story as a whole, and it makes me want to read more into this series to see if Ms. Vaughn fills in some of the "blanks" in other novels.
Several different plots simultaneously unfolded throughout Kitty's stay in Washington while she waited to testify in front of the Senate regarding her second nature and the possible danger she as a werewolf might cause the general public. Kitty has to contend with politics on the government, vampiric, and lycanthropic fronts while trying to deal with her life now that she has become a lone wolf.
Also, many new and exciting characters were also introduced into the story while exploring a few other characters previously introduced in the last book. I enjoyed the meeting Luis, Dr. Fleming, and Ahmad, and Alette and would love to learn more about them in future books as they stood out and captured my curiosity and the author seemed to leave their stories open for later development. I loved Ben and Cormac and learning more about their histories and personalities. Kitty will definitely have her hands full with those two in the future!
All in all, the story was a success and has me anticipating the next book in the series, Kitty Takes a Holiday, while exploring some of the short stories Carrie Vaughn has written in this world.(less)