Absolutely Fabulous! If you haven't read this series, you are seriously missing out on terrific story telling. No one tells a story like Diana Gabaldon. Part historical (British/Scottish/American history), part romance and time travel. Jamie Fraser is the ultimate hero - a spectacular Scottish warrior who is head over heels in love with his time traveling wife, Clare. It's the greatest romance wrapped inside the most hellish battle fought between England and Scotland ending at Culloden. Then continues (in another book) with the American Revolution with the British fighting the Americans for independence. It offers detailed historical data from this time period. I always found history boring but Ms. Gabaldon makes it fascinating and can't-put-downable but maybe that's because of Jamie.
The entire series is spectacular with something for all readers. There's naval battles, pirates, wars, skirmishes, romances, indian affairs and just ordinary life in the back country of America. The characters are wonderfully complex and endearing and you can see them grow emotionally from book to book. The kind of people you really want to get to know and with roughly 800-1000 pages per book, you do.
My only regret is that I just finished the latest book in the series and it will be years before the next one.
An Echo in the Bone is the seventh book in the popular Outlander saga. By this time in the series, Jamie and Claire Fraser are in their 50's and early 60's - and still as much in love as they ever were. (May I say how refreshing it is to read about an older couple in love and - dare I say it? - still enjoying an active sex life?) The Outlander series is a blend of adventure, historical fiction, romance and time travel. I think that in Echo there is more historical fiction than anything else, but plenty of the other three also. Echo is set in America and Scotland from 1776-1778, so the historical setting in this case is the Revolutionary War - one of my favorite time periods. And there are major characters on both the American and the Britsh sides, so we get to view the war from both sides.
In the first few books in the series (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber), the story was told in first-person by Claire. And even though Claire and Jamie's story will always be the main theme of these books, by now there are several other major characters and storylines. So in addition to Claire's narrative in this book, we also have three other main POV's (points of view): young Ian's, Roger and Brianna's family, and Lord John and William (the British contingent). I have read some comments that other readers thought there was too many changes in the POV's, but I had absolutely no problem and thought that those other stories needed to be told.
My only critique is that this book ends with a big cliff-hanger. The last 40-50 pages of the book are a roller-coaster ride and then...Boom! (That's a figurative boom, not a literal one). I really wish that the author had wrapped up a few more things and fleshed out those last few pages a little more. And it's probably going to be at least three years until the next book comes out. Argghhhhhhh!
But even having said that, this book still gets a 4.5* rating from me. There simply is no other series (or even a single book) that has ever "pulled me down the rabbit hole" like the Outlander books do - and this book was no exception. It's now two days after I finished Echo, and I'm still suffering from an Outlander hangover and unable to start any other book. I guess that the good thing about a three year wait is that it will give me plenty of time to re-read the entire series again before the next book comes out. Given the fact that they are all big books (700 to 1000 pages), I'll need the entire three years LOL.
Can't I give more than 5 stars? The entire series is an annual re-read for me (but may need to become bi-annual for me to get anything else read LOL!); therefore, I eagerly awaited this volume. It certainly did not fail me--the many cliffhangers will make it hard to await the next book in the series, but I now believe (personal opinion only) that there will be at least two more books and I say "keep them coming"!
This is no longer Jamie and Claire alone, but as I have grown to love many of the other characters, I want them to appear each volume as appropriate. William is now grown and needs his tale told, as does Young Ian. I didn't stop caring for and wondering about Brianna, Roger and the kids simply because they are no longer at Fraser's Ridge. John's British perspective on the Revolution is invaluable in helping us understand Loyalist versus Patriot philosophy. Fergus and Marsali deserve to remain as active characters, again because we have loved him since he was rescued by Jamie from the brothel all those long years ago.
This is an epic saga full of historical accuracy and enough daily living that I can retreat away--not into a fantasy, never-extant world, but into human history told by a master. She has covered the Stuart Uprising and now much of the American Revolution...please Ms. Gabaldon, let Jamie, Claire, Michael, Jared, Fergus and the rest take us through the French Revolution as well (that should guarantee your fans at least three more volumes in the tale).
Long live Jamie and Claire and their family!
Gabaldon continues to expand the length and breadth of her world in this seventh volume of her series, and has no trouble juggling the various story lines to produce a coherent whole that is a delight to explore. Moving back and forth between Jamie and Claire in the 18th century to Roger and Bree in the 20th, she keeps both major and minor story lines moving at a brisk pace. Although the reader may find slight difficulty remembering minor characters when she brings them back (due to the enormity of her work and the plethora of such characters), she does a good job of reminding the reader of their place on her world's stage. It is 1776, and Jamie and Claire are trying to get to Scotland to bring his nephew Ian back to his parents at last after their home on the Ridge burns down, but are caught in the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. Lord John Grey's adopted son William also finds himself in the thick of the war and despite Jamie's determination to avoid conflict in battle with his unknowing offspring who is his spitting image, the author of course manages to cleverly throw them together in tantalizing moments of near recognition. Roger and Bree have settled at Lallybroch after dealing with their daughter Amanda's heart problem, and struggle to find their place back in the modern world. If you haven't yet acquainted yourself with Gabaldon's epic series, no small review can do justice to the scope of her work - READ IT. It kept me up till 2:20 am, terrified she would leave three major cliffhangers, but sighing with relief at the end as she contented herself with only one. Now I find myself in the familiar dismay I feel at the end of every one of her books, realizing I have at least a year, if not more, to wait before I can find out what happens next.
Another page turner from Diana Gabaldon! Jamie and Claire along with Ian and Rollo continue to have their travel plans continually interrupted by the Redcoats, war, pirates, and other adventures as they try to get back to Scotland. Readers will meet new characters, experience more history, and see how Will (Jamie's son) is now a Brittish officer. Once again, Claire must leave Jamie in Scotland and travel ahead with Ian to America to perform surgery on wee Henri-Christian. Of course, Jamie is to follow but his travel plans are changed at the last minute, leaving his friend Lord John to come to Claire's aid. The ending? Will this come in another two or three more books?
Very good book but OMG the cliffhangers are going to kill me waiting for the next one.
The saga continues and it was a great read/
Diana Gabaldon has a gift for storytelling. She tells stories with in stories as she unravels the mysteries of time, friendship, family and love. With a firm grasp of several time periods as well as the cultural significance of several different countries she continues her tale in this wonderful series. The strikingly different tone in Echo in the bone comes with Gabaldons intimacy with her characters. While there have always been additional story lines besides that of Claire and Jamie this 7th novel really diversifies itself in a very practical and yet very personal way. The novel encompasses the story lines and running plot of four sets of characters while remaining true to the original overarching story that we all fell in love with in the first books of the series. The unique difference here is that despite being tied up in four stories at once you never find yourself wanting to skip over one to get to the next- your intimacy and love for each character is so deep that you are unable to ever put the book down. She balances this very well- I cant wait to see her next novel in this series.
I finished this book late last night, after getting to a point where I couldn't put it down. As with all Ms. Gabaldon's books, this one is very long, but very very good.
This book picks up right where the last one left off; Bree and Roger and the kids went back to their own time, Claire and Jamie are dealing with the repercussions of the big house burning down, and Murdina Bug's death, and Ian is just dealing with all the trouble's that he's been faced with. We get to see quite a bit more of William in this book, as well as Lord John, but that's ok, because their stories are intertwined with Jamie and Claire's.
The Revolutionary War sets into full swing in this book, and Ms. Gabaldon does a very good job with her historical facts, and people.
The only big problem that I had with this book is how much time (which to say isn't very much at all) is spent with Roger and Bree. I mean, I know they're major players now, but to me, the story has always been very much about Jamie and Claire, and those are the two characters I'm mostly invested in.
This book, as mentioned, is very long. With the exception of the first two-three books, I've been getting to a point, almost exactly halfway through the book, where I have to set it down for a week or so. I always end up coming back to it, but I think just due to the length, I have to take a break.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this book dragged on in any way, nor am I saying it was boring. In fact, quite the contrary! This book is very much action-packed, and has quite a lot of intrigue, especially the last 20% or so. Good luck putting it down then!
At the end of this book, the readers are very much set up for Ms. Gabaldon's next book, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, which, according to her website, she is currently still writing, but expects to finish by the end of 2012.
This is the 7th book in the excellent series about Jamie and Claire Fraser and their family. I love this series. This excerpt, while I did still enjoy it, was much slower going, dryer, a bit boring in some places, than the other books for me. The story really picked up in the last 100 pages, and I'm anxious for the next book due to the really fun cliffhangers DG so slyly developed. So, only 3 stars, but I'm still in love with the series!
An excellent continuation of the Jamie and Clare saga; far better than A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
Diana Gabaldon has yet given us another 5 star book.
The Love story of Claire and Jamie continues in the midst of war, interwoven with drama and mystery. The stories of love and family that transends time and space is what keeps the reader entranced.
The Book is a fast read because once you start it you cannot put it down.
This is a book that honestly has something for everyone in it as it is not a typical Romance/time travel book but it is so much more.
This is a book that you will remember long after you turn the last page and it will leave you wanting more.
Number seven in the series about the romance between Jamie and Claire Fraser whose love is inspiring. This one dragged for me but I did finish it. Do enjoy getting to know other members of the family and the Frasers' good friends. And, the ending was exciting but it took way too looong to get there. Particularly enjoyed the author's comments at the back of the novel. Gabaldon could learn to be less verbose in this series and I would enjoy the novels more. However, I did like the ending very much which, of course, sets the reader up for another in the series.
Another outstanding entry in the Outlander series, covering the years 1776 to 1778, and 1978 to 1980 in modern times. Because of Claire's knowledge of the future, Jamie knows which side wins in the war. His intent is to return to Scotland to get his printing press and take up arms with a pen rather than a sword. But as is usual with this duo, things do not go smoothly. Thanks to an aborted sea voyage, Jamie, Claire and young Ian end up with the Continental army at Fort Ticonderoga and the Battle of Saratoga. The behind the scenes look at life with the army was fascinating. As the army moves south, other battles are fought and life and death are dealt with. The inclusion of actual historical figures such as Benedict Arnold and Nathan Hale add depth to the events.
Eventually Jamie, Claire and Ian make it to a ship, thanks in great part to Jamie's relationship to British general Simon Fraser. Jamie is asked to escort the general's body back to Scotland. They arrive in Scotland only to discover that big Ian is dying of consumption and have arrived in time to say their farewells. There are some extremely emotional scenes, especially between Jamie and Ian as both come to terms with Ian's mortality. I especially loved the part with Jamie's finger and his request of Ian. I also loved young Ian's reunion with his parents. He has some excellent conversations with his father, and receives some much needed advice regarding his love life. There is also a wonderful scene with Laoghaire as she and Claire face off. Eventually Claire and young Ian head back to America ahead of Jamie, as she is needed for a medical problem with Fergus's son Henri-Christian.
Arriving in Philadelphia, not only does Claire have Henri-Christian to take care of, but Lord John also begs her help for his nephew Henry. John is in Philadelphia as a diplomat, but also as young Lord William's stepfather. William, who was captured as part of the surrender of Burgoyne's army at Saratoga, is on parole in Philadelphia, marking time until he is sent back to England. Meanwhile, Lord John's niece Dottie arrives, ostensibly because she is in love with William, but actually as part of a deception cooked up between the two of them. She is actually in love with Denzell Hunter, the Quaker doctor we first met in the previous book. Meanwhile, Ian is in love with Denzell's sister Rachel, as they try to reconcile his part in the war with her Quaker beliefs.
Then word comes that the ship Jamie and Jenny were sailing on to return to America has been lost at sea. Stunned by the loss of her love, Claire moves through the days in a haze of grief. Then John brings the news that Claire is to be arrested on charges of treason. The only way to save her is for her to marry John, thereby becoming a British citizen (shades of Outlander!). Claire suddenly finds herself as stepmother to Jamie's illegitimate son, who has no idea of the truth of his paternity. Then in a confluence of events worthy of a comedic play, Jamie shows up at John's house looking for Claire, just a William arrives. One look at Jamie and the truth becomes clear even to him, and he doesn't take it well. At the same time, a British messenger comes looking for John and is followed by soldiers who had been looking for Jamie. Jamie takes John hostage and they escape the soldiers with John as his prisoner. There's a confrontation between the two as John makes a confession to Jamie, who retaliates as expected. Claire is left in Philadelphia wondering what is happening with both her husbands, and has to deal with the fallout.
Meanwhile, back in the twentieth century, Roger, Brianna and the kids have purchased Lallybroch and are living there. Mandy has had her life-saving surgery and is thriving. Roger is floundering a bit, trying to figure out what to do with his life now. Brianna has found a job working as an engineer at the local dam and is dealing with the attitudes of the men around her, especially Rob Cameron. Cameron befriends Roger, inviting him to join the local Lodge, and showing an interest in Roger's knowledge of Gaelic. But there's more to his actions than either Roger of Brianna suspects.
Jem and Mandy, who love roaming the land around Lallybroch, are full of stories of the Nuckaleevee, and mysterious character hanging around the caves. Eventually Roger discovers that it is none other than Buckleigh MacKenzie, the man responsible for Roger's hanging back in Fiery Cross. He somehow eneded up coming through the stones and is desperate to find a way to get back to his own time. He is there when Jem turns up missing. They believe that Rob Cameron somehow found out about the stones and has kidnapped Jem in order to make him reveal the location of the Spaniard's gold. Roger and Buck head through the stones to try to find Rob and Jem. Then we see that Jem is made prisoner in one of the dam tunnels and Rob plans to hold him hostage to gain Brianna's cooperation. We are left with Jem in the tunnel, Rob threatening Brianna, and Roger and Buck gone to the past.
There are many threads woven throughout the book, making a complicated and endlessly fascinating story. I loved seeing the maturing of William as he experiences all the horrors of war. But there is still the hint of the boy who idolizes his stepfather and has vague memories of the groom who was a big part of his life. Finding out the truth of his parentage throws his whole sense of self into question. There is also young Ian's story, as he deals with the grief of the end of his marriage to Emily. His fledgling relationship with Rachel gives him a new hope, but it is tempered by the conflict of their beliefs. I really loved her pragmatic approach to life, and acceptance of her feelings for Ian. She knows there will be challenges but she accepts him for who he is. Then there is the whole Jamie, Claire and John triangle. There is no doubt of the love that is between Jamie and Claire. Their need for each other is bone deep. They are there for each other throughout their journey, battles and marches and all. Claire is fierce in her protectiveness, as is shown by her rescue of him from the battlefield scavengers. Her grief over his "death" is all encompassing, as she just goes through the motions of living, even after her marriage to John. The scene as they comfort each other is as heartbreaking as it is disturbing, and she has to deal with her feelings in the aftermath. I also enjoyed following the adventures of Roger and Brianna as they adjusted to life back in modern times. Brianna's strength of will can be good, but also can get her into trouble. I loved the link they had back to the past as they read the letters that they had found from Claire and Jamie.
I was quite frustrated by the cliffhangers of this book. Thank goodness with my second reading I can move right on to the next book and hopefully get resolution to some of them.
I'm sorry as a HUGE fan of Diana and her Outlander series I was extremely disapointed and quite frankly angry once I started to read this book. I read these books because I love the Characters, Jamie, Claire, Brianna and Roger NOT William or John Grey.. if I wanted to read about either of them I would buy and read THOSE books. I have NO interest in those characters what so ever and to push them on us, your very LOYAL readers of this series, is a very BAD call..I am sadly only half way through and I don't suspect I will get much furhter as honeslty I dont' want to.. I don't give a crap about William or John Grey so why are they here messing with the series I have grown to cherish and re-read multiple times??? . While I was sitting there reading and getting more and more annoyed and asking myself where's Jamie and Claire, Where's Brianna and Roger, I found myself skipping whole chapters about characters I didn't care about. I finally went to see what others were saying about the book. When I saw they were on the same page as I was and that there was even worse to come, with an ending that does nothing to tie up any loose ends it is said' I am even more convinced the book is going to sit on the shelf and never get finished. It feels like Diana forgot who these books were even about.. You remember don't you? Jamie Fraser, Claire, their daughter Brianna and her husband Roger??? remember them... perhaps she was advised by her publisher to try to incorporate her "other" stories into this to try to push them on the Jamie and Claire fans. For me it has back fired and basically pissed me off. It was a long long wait for this book and this is what I got.. disapointment and a "Lord John and his guest stars the Frasiers" book