rameau's Reviews > Drums of Autumn

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
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's review
Jul 30, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: genre-fantasy, language-finnish-translation, genre-historical, genre-romance, trope-time-travel, read-in-2011, rating-meh
Read from July 30 to August 01, 2011

The word I'd use to describe Diana Gabaldon's storytelling has so far been effortless. Even when I was pulling my hair out with the point of view switches there was the sense of the story taking over and sweeping me away to the three first books of the Outlandar saga. But not with this one. Drums of Autumn is as far from effortless as it gets.

Towards the end of this book there are several chapters filled with deus ex machinas and contrived plot points that near character assassination in their description. It's almost as if midway this book the author stopped to think what needs to happen and in what order. Or that she thought too hard about it and got confused. The result is a series of awkward discussions when nothing really happens instead of these juicy bits being through into a mix with freely flowing adventure.

In my opinion this book would have been so much better had it been told solely in the third limited and had the guiding star been Brianna's need to see her parents without all these elaborate hoaxes aiding her way. All in all, it's Brianna's characterisation I disagree with the most. I get the sense that Gabaldon is somehow afraid to touch Jamie's daughter and put her through the mangling a good character needs to go through for the readers to embrace her fully - and I'm not talking about plot points. I'm talking about character description only. Gabaldon is trying to hit the fine edge between Jaime's fiery stubbornness and Claire's sense of self and missing. At least in this book.
Despite the dent into this long-winded love affair, I'm not abandoning the series - even if I miss the Highlands dearly - but I need a break. I seriously need a break.
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Reading Progress

07/30/2011 "The original has 896 pages. This Finnish translation has 1088 pages. Oh joy. But Brianna, yay!"
64.0% "Hello, deus ex machina plot contrivance extraordinaire. Nice to meet you too."

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