We rejoin Jamie and Claire, now in the British colonies in North America but still leading a life as dangerous and adventurous, and as loving, as alwaWe rejoin Jamie and Claire, now in the British colonies in North America but still leading a life as dangerous and adventurous, and as loving, as always. We also see a lot of the next generation, Brianna and Roger, and their struggles to live up to the example of a loving relationship that Jamie and Claire have left them. I smiled almost all the way through this book, just because I love the characters and was so happy to be reading more about them, and was thrilled to see them happy with one another. I also laughed out loud many, many times, and then at other (and less frequent) times, felt genuine horror and sadness. That's how real these characters are, and how well this book is written, that it can evoke such genuine emotion.
I was on vacation in Europe when I read this, and even though I was out and about from 10 am to 10 pm (and couldn't even read during meals because I was with my parents) I still managed to read this in a couple of weeks, even though I had to give up a lot of sleep. I just did not ever want to stop reading.
I'm much more interested in Scottish history than in American, but then again, I'm much more interested in Jamie and Claire than I am in reading a history book, so it works out just fine. I was less interested in the parts about Bree and Roger, at least until Diana Gabaldon leaves a huge cliffhanger regarding the latter, and I was forced--FORCED, I say--to read ahead just to make sure everything would be OK. Unfortunately, having gotten glimpses of what was to come, my insatiable need to keep reading flagged for an evening, so I don't recommend reading ahead.
I wish I had re-read the first three books before reading this one after a break of a couple of years, because I could not remember all the details about their meeting with Geillis Duncan in the third book, which was undoubtedly important. Maybe I'll read Voyager again soon, unless I go ahead and finish the series (is another one coming out soon?), in which case I'll read it after. Or maybe I'll read them all again. Or maybe I'll read the Lord John books first......more
**spoiler alert** This book ended with some interesting ideas about a lost gospel written in Coptic on papyrus and a weird Christian sect trying to su**spoiler alert** This book ended with some interesting ideas about a lost gospel written in Coptic on papyrus and a weird Christian sect trying to suppress mention of a son of Jesus--long before either The Gospel of Judas or The Da Vinci Code were making headlines. Go Elizabeth Peters!...more
The Expected One explores the long untold story of Mary Magdalene. It follows a journalist as she begins to investigate that much maligned woman folloThe Expected One explores the long untold story of Mary Magdalene. It follows a journalist as she begins to investigate that much maligned woman following a series of visions that she believes are guiding her towards something--and finds out much more than she had anticipated, including her own role in the story that, after 2,000 years, is still being played out.
The story told in this book is an interesting one, although the writing wasn't the greatest. (Nor, however, is it the worst--it's merely simplistic and at times has too much monologue-as-exposition.) At any rate, it was interesting enough that I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the planned trilogy.
This book will inevitably be compared to The Da Vinci Code, because of their shared themes of ancient secret societies, intrigue and betrayal in Southern France, clues hidden in famous renaissance paintings, and the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. They have other similarities, including a lot of interesting ideas about history that are very tempting to believe (despite the lack of any need to cite--or even have--sources in fiction), and a writing style that belies more of an interest in telling a story than in creating high quality prose with any depth.
However, beyond these thematic and technical similarities, the two books tell very different stories. This one deals with fulfilling an ancient prophesy in this time, and also goes back 2,000 years to telling the story of Mary Magdalene's life, of Jesus and the apostles, and of the other people and events that surrounded them. That story is different from any others I've seen, has a very good message, and was worthwhile for me to read....more
I was looking forward to this book so excitedly and for so long, that it wouldn't have been surprising if I'd raised my expectations too high and founI was looking forward to this book so excitedly and for so long, that it wouldn't have been surprising if I'd raised my expectations too high and found myself disappointed once I'd finally read it. I hadn't, and I wasn't. I loved reading this book the way I have loved reading every book starring Vicky and John, because Elizabeth Peters has done such a good job of making me know and love and care deeply about her characters.
Even after more than ten years, Peters still writes those characters perfectly. She also recreated their world (albeit a modern version of it) and their lives down to the details--the thrillingly epic, the hilariously mundane, and the way that the larger-than-life has become routine for them while the frustrations of daily life can be often be dramatic--that we enjoy so much. She recreated Vicky's voice equally well. As always, there are one liners and bits of repartee that make me laugh out loud and want to bookmark the pages where they live, there are impassioned and touching declarations, and there are those thoughts that Vicky shares about life that I identify with so wholly.
The book is not perfect, of course. There are times when the pacing slows a bit, and there are a couple of instances of repetitiveness that some readers have put down to bad editing. However, this book is written in the first person; we hear what Vicky thinks. I don't think that it even calls for a serious suspension of disbelief to suppose that a subject of thought might occur to someone twice over a period of several days.
Some readers of mysteries may be troubled to find that they can identify characters or pick out some of the bad guys before their revelation to the sleuths--but for this series, in which there are recurring heroes and villains, this is in many ways a game that is played with the readers. Some of the revelations in this book have been speculated about and discussed by many fans for some time, but it was still a pleasure to find them out for certain.
Although I read this book in fewer than 24 hours, the pace of my reading did slow down near the end, because I realized that with every page I read, there was one fewer new page of Vicky. I knew I could only read new pages once, and that the remaining pages might be the last new pages of Vicky ever. Despite the sadness of that thought, I still thoroughly enjoyed all the pages, especially the last two or three, which not only made me grin, as they did Vicky, "a big, silly grin," but made me laugh and made me exult (if such a thing is possible). This is not my favorite Vicky--that will always be Night Train to Memphis--and it may not be the best (although I'm not sure I could determine which one is), but it fits right into the series without a problem, and if it is the last one, although I shall miss the characters dreadfully, it is a fitting end.
A favorite quote, from p. 229
Only Schmidt, the bloody romantic, spoke up in John's defense. "I will not believe it until he admits it." He considered the statement and then added, "Perhaps not even then."