Where do I even start? I just read a 700+ page book in less than a work week. It wasn’t because I was in a rush to finish it and move on to the next thing—I loved it. And this is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan or historical fiction or historical romance!
The first 60-70 pages were dreadfully boring. I appreciate scenery, but let’s be real: I wanted to get to the time travel part of the story. I rushed through these and hoped the book would get better.
It got much better.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, the first Outlander book follows Claire Randall, a nurse from 1945. While visiting the British Isles with her husband, Frank, she’s transported through time via some magical stones. She’s then in the year 1743 and is suddenly an outlander. She meets Jamie Fraser, and is torn between two time periods and two men.
This is one of the best series I’ve read—and I’ve read a lot. It pulled me in, painted vivid scenes, and left me sad when I reached the end (though I did let out a groan when I saw there are eight whole books in the series).
There was a lot of emotionally intense sex in this book. Actually, a lot of sex, period. The characters would do it anywhere, anytime, in front of people, in private, whatever. There were several rape-y scenes (her husband wanted to have sex, she said no, they did it anyway—that’s spousal rape).
I think the book could have been about 200 pages shorter, as there was quite a bit of fluff and filler stories of the past. I get the historical bit, but it was super boring in many parts. The last third of the book was my favorite, and I lost a lot of sleep powering through it because I wanted to know what happened.
Claire and Jamie are a phenomenal couple. I’ve been putting up with lackluster couples for a while—the shallow, known-you-for-five-minutes type. Though their marriage starts out in a way neither of them planned, they worked through it and developed a deep, strong relationship.
I made a mistake halfway through reading, though. I remembered that Starz was doing a TV adaptation of the book, and I wanted to see who they cast for Jamie and Claire. Such a terrible mistake. The actors they cast are completely unlike the Jamie/Claire of my imagination, and I was confused for the rest of the book—I couldn’t help but bounce between picturing my version of them and the “real life” version.
In all, I rated it a 5/5 on Goodreads and would highly recommend. I need to finish the rest of my fall list before I read the rest of the series, but I will definitely be reading the other books in the series.