Crikey, now I have to wait another five years.
Old George RR Martin isn’t the only writer who likes to torment his fans by making them wait an INORDINATE amount of time between books. Diana Gabaldon is another writer that likes to make sure her readers are tormented for as long as possible between books. Ok, she does offer the shorter novels in between the big monsters, but still – five years between books is a long time to wait. Although, unlike Mr Martin, Ms Gabaldon doesn’t feel the need to have a cast of thousands and a death list of hundreds. Most of the people who bite the dust in her books well and truly deserve it. A couple of them deserve it twice.
The Outlander series is a timey wimey wibbly wobbly series of books that flits between the twentieth century and 18th century. They don’t fit strictly into one genre in that while they’re historical romances, there’s time travel, loads of gruesome battles (Culloden for one, plus chunks of the American Revolution and battles around and about Scotland and the South of America between the 1740s through to the 1780s). There are a mixture of ‘real’ historical figures dotted throughout the stories as well, and Claire’s recollection of history from a relatively modern perspective adds to the – well, general coolness of the books.
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is the eighth book in the series and starts shortly after the end of An Echo In the Bone, when Claire discovers Jamie isn’t dead… (not a spoiler – happens in the first page or so!) and the fallout from all of that, and Willie discovering who his father is and being a complete idiot about it. It races off out of the blocks and barely pauses for breath in 1100 odd pages. Brianna is having a dire time in the 20th century, and while sometimes the “modern” stuff is a bit of a mood crusher, this time, I was pretty keen to keep up with their story as well. It was worth it. So many things happen in this book – it doesn’t stop for a minute.
An Echo in the Bone had a dirty great cliffhanger which was all very well and good, but when you have to wait for FIVE YEARS… well, that’s just mean. This one didn’t end with a cliffhanger as such, but left me waiting and wanting to read the next one now please. It had a really nice ending. The ending was nice enough that if Ms Gabaldon never picked up a pen again, the ending of this book was quite satisfactory. One thing I will say, that’s not really a spoiler, but more of an alert – there’s a hell of a lot of sexy bits in this one. Crikey. EVERYONE was either at it, thinking about being at it or remembering being at it. And there’s a couple of REALLY gross operations. In detail. More than one of which had me squirming as I read it.
Anyway, I read the 1100 odd pages in under a week, couldn’t put it down and stayed up way too late. And it was worth it!