Lisbeth Solberg's Reviews > Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
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it was ok
bookshelves: book-group

"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

February 20, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
April 17, 2008 – Finished Reading
April 19, 2008 – Shelved as: book-group

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 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.


message 4: by Melanie (new)

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???


message 11: by Chandra (new) - added it

Chandra Thank you. I am almost on page 400 and everything you said here is exactly how I feel to a T.


message 12: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Scarborough Hi all:
I have read all eight, but to tell the truth, there are lots and lots of pages that I have skimmed or just skipped through. An Echo in the Bone, takes about 300+ pages to get through one day of a battle during the beginning of the Revolution, then there are scads of pages that just deal with each couple and their coupling :). I will say that Roger Moore and staff are doing an exemplary job adding bits as well as taking away bits to clarify the story. Clare is more believable, not so much an 'icy princess' in the Starz rendition as she is in the book. And we still don't know why Jaime is watching Clare from the street in Inverness in 1945, Gabaldon says we'll find out in Book 10. I think we should start a pool with guesses about that bit. I'll be glad to officiate, but what will the winner get??? Maybe just some smug satisfaction.:) :)


message 13: by Chandra (new) - added it

Chandra I gave up on the series. I know it’s written well. I appreciate the series but too much all over the place. Claire annoys me. I just can’t do it anymore. Bummed.


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