Lisbeth Solberg's Reviews > Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
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Feb 20, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: book-group
Read in April, 2008

"Ugh, what a dreadful cover. I'm supposed to have this read by Sunday afternoon."

Okay, Wendy's book group will meet tomorrow to discuss book three in the Outlander series, but I just finished this second one, and man, it was a long haul, and I don't just mean the length.

What didn't work for me: the self-satisfied tone of the author's voice behind her main character, repetitive phrases (mouths always "twitching" rather than almost smiling), excessive detail without sensory or emotional power, too much "telling" rather than "showing," muddy use of multiple points of view, over-the-top plot turns and one too many narrow escapes. I know it's fantasy, but I wasn't able to suspend my disbelief. And I hated the stupid exchange at the dinner table with Jamie's grandfather over the manual treatment of prostatitis. Just stupid.

What did work? Of course, I love the romanticism of Scotland and France in those days of clan rivalry and court intrigue, as well as the romanticism of a different kind between Jamie and Claire. I mean who doesn't like the idea of a devoted champion who forgives one's every flaw or indiscretion and is always up for a roll in the peat moss? And that description fits Claire as well as Jamie. But most of the love scenes are pretty lame.

The central story is strong and satisfying; the intricate plotting is impressive, if sometimes tiresome, the basic outline of the characters is very appealing, and I love that Claire is a healer. But I would just get caught up in a storyline when it would shift to something else. I want to know what happens, but I'm not willing to drag myself through five, or is it six? more books that should have been edited to half their current length.
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Reading Progress

03/16/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Jana (new) - rated it 1 star

Jana I agree with the self-satisfied tone of the author's voice behind Claire. It's really irritating me and I don't know if I can continue reading it.


Kimberly spot on review for me! but I will be dragging myself through the books one by one.. see how it goes, I'm intrigued enough from the ending. :-)


Lisbeth Solberg And soon to be adapted to film, I hear.


Melanie I gave up after 107 pages. I cannot believe this series is now on its eighth book!!! My sister has read the whole lot at least twice. Call me crazy, but I just don't get the appeal!!!


message 5: by Sam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sam I was trying to put how I felt about this book into a solid review, but you've done a way better job than I could have done. The repeated phrases and the tone, as well as the clumsy POV shifts in the beginning and ending sections. I don't know if I can slog through the remaining books either...


message 6: by E (new) - rated it 3 stars

E Singer Perfectly stated. It could be so much more with better editing / direction.


Susan Brownhill Spot on review! I agree with all that you've said, exactly what I was thinking. I don't understand why its so popular.


message 8: by Janie (new)

Janie Berry I have many issues with the series, and one of the things that got to me was twitching mouth that happens so much. I would yell at the book after a time "oh please, his mouth didn't twitch"... So I'm glad to see that annoyed someone else!


Ellyn I love the series, but agree about the twitching mouth -- it's making me mental!


message 10: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Scarborough takes commitment right???


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