Review: Outlander by Diana Gabbledon

Written in the early nineties, Outlander by Diana Gabbledon is older than I am. With the television show which premiered on Starz last summer, the series spiked my interest. After seeing the first episode I was hooked, but decided to read the book first. As months went by I finally picked it up few days ago.

Outlander, or Cross-Stitch as it was originally published, centres around Claire Randall — a nurse during World War II who, after the war ends, goes on a honeymoon with her husband(Jack Randall) to Scotland. There, after a series of events, she falls through time and goes back about 200 years and is forced to make the best out of a situation I would never survive. What follows is an incredible adventure involving history, romance, action and sex. All the spices needed for a gripping read.

The author puts the main character though tough situations like attempted rape, murder, suspicion of being a spy. Although having a slow start, the first book in the series picks up pace really fast and thus becoming a page-turner. Some chapters are slower than others but that’s due to fantastic build-up and beguiling character development. At almost 900 pages, Outlander is quite hard not to be intimidating knowing there are seven more books in the series. But then again, same goes for Game of Thrones.

Though marketed as a romance in the beginning because the publisher did not know how to do it otherwise, the novel is much more than simple romance. Being historical fiction, there are many things one could learn from reading it about England, Scotland and France. Of course, it is not perfectly accurate though if that was the case, it wouldn’t be nowhere near as thrilling and suspenseful. Outlander jumps into deep lengths, exploring some very mature themes and is quite dark and gritty at times. It is not recommended for people who can’t stand graphic depictions of violence and sex.

Diana Gabbledon’s writing is so addicting and beautiful, you can hardly stop reading. In addition, the many twists and turns make Outlander much more than a simple time-travel romance. With complex and powerful storylines, terrific character development and exceptional world-building, it is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones.


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