Series: Outlander #1
Published by Random House LLC on 2010-12-22
Genres: Fiction, Historical
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Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
The first time I read Outlander, I was a high school senior. I read the heavy tome over the course of one night with a bit of a feverish frenzy. Needless to say, I was rather hooked. However, I didn’t exactly continue on with the story. Flash forward to a few years later, to when I join an Outlander Reading Challenge fully intending to read more books in this series. As I had basically forgot the plot, I began to re-read Outlander, but in an off-and-on fashion. I would read this, only to set it aside a few days later. Also, Tony and I were watching DVD marathons of The Simpsons and I began to picture Jamie as Groundskeeper Willie which doesn’t bode very well for the sex scenes. Eventually, towards the end of the year I found myself in a bit of a reading/YA slump and decided to finally finish my re-read of Outlander. Ya’ll, I was re-hooked.
H’okay, Outlander is a time-travel historical romance. Claire Randall, amarried WWII nurse, is on a post-war honeymoon in Scotland with her husband, Frank. She watches a pagan religious ceremony around a monument similar to Stonehenge, slips through the stones and winds up in seventeenth century Scotland. Culture shock ensues. Claire is later swept off her feed by Jamie Fraser. Sexytimes ensue, lots of them, as well as pounding rock hard members.
Cue my culture shock, as most YA sex is basically fade to black. Now, I didn’t mind all of it, It was just out of my norm. I did find myself enjoying this re-read of Outlander, not quite as much as my first time reading it, but I didn’t hate it or anything. I know sometimes on a re-read books which seemed so great the first time around can fall a bit short.
The cast of characters in Outlander is huge and it can be a bit hard to keep track of them all. However, the only characters we really get to know in depth are Jamie and Claire. I would have enjoyed more development of the other characters but that seemed to take a back seat to numerous sex scenes. Not that I am complaining, but it’s just something I would have liked. Also, the villain, John Randall, was a bit overdone. I guess I enjoy ambigious bad guys, not bad guys who are so clearly bad there’s not even a hint of a question.
Overall, Outlander is a decent adventure perfect for the dead of winter. You should only read this, however, if you are craving a historical epic romantic adventure. Otherwise, well, I’m sure you will just be setting yourself up for disappointment. Please, don’t take that the wrong way. I just know that when I force myself to read something I’m not in the mood for, I end up resenting it, and dear friends, I don’t want you to end up resenting this awesome book because you read it while not in the mood.