Jamie Collins's Reviews > An Echo in the Bone

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
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Sep 21, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, historical-romance, time-travel-alt-history
Read in September, 2009

The five stars are an expression of my Outlander fangirl enthusiasm, since I'm incapable of objectively judging the quality of these books. I'd probably have given five stars to anything that wasn't a huge disappointment. Which this wasn't, of course; I thought it was quite good.

The first couple hundred pages are admittedly a little slow. We get a lot of POV from Lord John and 19-yr-old William, and there is some crossover from the LJ spin-off series, which I think may be confusing for people who haven't read those books. I like John and William very much, but in this series I really want to read about Jamie and Claire and fortunately the book soon begins to focus more on them.

The last hundred pages are riveting and really quite shocking. But after the earlier slow pacing they felt a little rushed, and the ending is abrupt. It was made worse because I didn't realize that there is an author's note at the end, so the story stopped suddenly when I thought there were still a few pages to go! If I weren't such a fangirl I would probably dock the book a star for concluding with multiple dramatic cliffhangers, which I in general dislike. I don't remember the other books in this series leaving us hanging in mid-scene! There are also some storylines left unresolved, so even at 800+ pages this felt like the first half of an extremely long novel.

But *dreamy sigh* the book thrilled me anyway. Gabaldon claims to write in scenes, and when I re-read these books I do tend to skim some of the connecting narrative and focus on my favorite scenes, and there are plenty of new favorites in this one. Claire's medical work is as fascinating as always, particularly a long sequence which I had already read as an excerpt in The Outlandish Companion.
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Reading Progress

09/26/2009 page 219
09/26/2009 page 363
44.27% "Only in a novel would you read the stack of letters from your long-lost parents over a period of weeks, instead of reading them all at once." 1 comment
09/28/2009 page 824
100% "Those last 100 pages were a hell of a ride. Finished at midnight last night and it took me forever to relax enough to go to sleep." 4 comments
05/12/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Misfit Oh very cool. I'm waiting to see if it's going to end up five star or if I knock it down one.

Ashley The five stars are an expression of my Outlander fangirl enthusiasm, since I'm incapable of objectively judging the quality of these books.

My feelings exactly! I agree with pretty much everything in your review - I was wondering if the finger scene from Outlandish Companion would finally show up here as well :) I feel like the story only really got going for those last 100 pages, and the other 700+ were all a lead up to them - which was somewhat disappointing, but of course I loved it anyways.

Jamie Collins For the most part I like the slow pace of these books. I wish I hadn't read the scene with Jamie's finger earlier, so I could have enjoyed it new here.

You don't list the Lord John books in your library - have you not read them? What did you think about his major role in this book? I like John's personality very much, but he does tend to be boring when he's not interacting with Jamie and family.

The last Lord John book was better than the first one, and I'm really looking forward to the next one, which should have a lot of Jamie in it and should explain how they ended up as close friends.

Wicked Incognito Now I definitely agree with your comments.

I LOVE LOVE this series, so I have a hard time finding anything wrong with it. I did however find myself skimming much of the scenes. Especially long scenes with William lost in the fog, or Lord John doing spy stuff involving characters that I just don't care about.

I felt that the REAL action was constantly over the hump so I furiously kept skimming and reading trying to get to the REAL stuff, only to be presented with more excruciating details and filler or another POV change.

Then, when things really got going and interesting, the book ended unexpectedly. Four more years to wait for a cliffhanger? Seems unreasonable.

I am not happy. But at the same time I just LOVE these books. I love Gabaldon's attention to detail (usually) and I am thrilled to have this newest installment. So I'm left sort of flabbergasted.

Ashley I only discovered this series earlier this year, so I haven't had a chance to get to the Lord John books yet - am definitely planning on it though!

I do like Lord John as a character, but I felt like there was something I must be missing that would be more clear to me if I had read his series. I found myself getting a little bored with his/William's storyline - at least until it tied into Jamie & Claire's towards the end.

Aurora Right on target with my own reactions to the book, Jamie. Good summary of the book's strong/weak points, and it looks like many agree. Let the waiting commence!

message 7: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I'm still working through this book but just became highly confused. Jamie and Claire just started talking about the lawyer, Neil Forbes....what?! I figured out who it was but in my copies (the paperback Dell editions) his name has always been Gerald Forbes. Not once has he ever been called anything else. Why the sudden name change in this book?! Anyone know? I haven't been able to find anything.

Jamie Collins Sam: Sounds like a misprint. Some old discussion here:


Vanessa Salazar Agree 100% ...I gave this book 5 stars only because I love the series but this book took me 3 months to read when it only took me 3 months to read book 1 through 6... it was really slow and yes the ending left you wanting more BUT I really really did not like Lord John and Claire getting married... it doesn't make any sense!! There's not even any build up to it! Claire doesn't even "mourn" the loss of Jamie ...I don't know why Diana did that.. but anyways.. we'll see what that leads to. I also missed Brianna and Roger sooo bad! She didn't invest much time in them or chapters :/ anyways thanks for your review!

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