Promising author gone for the easy money
Revisado en el Reino Unido 🇬🇧 el 14 de febrero de 2010
As most of the reviewers, I have been an avid Jamie & Claire fan - for the first 5 volumes. I was entranced by the description of the characters, it was so lively you could see them in front of you (so much so, that I was nearly afraid of the movie plans, in case they put the wrong actors in!) Lovely scenes between Jamie and Claire, scenes that make you cry... mind blowing issues about the matter of time and space, unexpected turns, some ideas only conveyed by a sentence or two (for example, Claire finding the skull with silver in its tooth),lovely plots and turns. All threads went together logically... And then, Gabaldon became a star. What I think has happened is that she lost interest in the Jamie story (no wonder, what IS romantic about America that time?), did not really want to continue it, but there was financial gain in writing sequels - and there was fan club pressure. She always says, she writes in bits and pieces, which is ok if they are interwoven nicely. What I guess happened now is that she had some short beautiful Jamie-pieces written years ago in her drawer. She also had some scenes that she planned to put into a third book of the Lord John series. In the last case, it was either not enough, or the Publisher did not want another book in this series, which should come as a surprise to none, because it is boring from the first sentence, and she does not achieve to make Lord John alive. So, after four years of collecting pieces, and under some pressure to write a sequel, she crams them into a patchwork of unrelated stories, and her heart not being in it. Half a Lord John book, a quarter of a sequel to the Outlander series (with some of these lovely scenes - but few), and the rest rather weak 'fill the pages' stuff (including silly sex scenes). There is no cohesion, very little romantics or mystery, the plot (or the three unrelated plots) is fairly predictable, the characters do not act according to the personality she once gave them so vividly. Suddenly, everyone waves odd Gaelic words into their sentences (obviously, she went to a Gaelic course), however the German she tries to show off with is grotesquely incorrect. Gone the philosophy, gone the living characters...Even gone the intuition. Just two examples: If you hope that you have the opportunity to leave some letters for your daughter to read 200 years later, would you really fill them with stories about how the cat spilled the milk? Or, if you are an academic historian, and you would love to write a book about what really happened in the war, and you see things no historian ever knew - but of course you can't quote them as your own experience: Why did Roger, before he left, not write some 'contemporary notes', that he could then find in his real time where he hid them? Much more sophisticated and interesting than this gold... So, I feel betrayed. If she lost interest in her heroes - understandably, after that many years - why could she not just write a book half the size, and tell us how it all ends. Instead, she chooses the soap opera approach of raising your interest, then switching the scene (far too quickly), and then ending without an ending, in the hope that will force the reader to buy the next book, too. There was something of this already in the 6th volume, and as you see, I fell for it... But not next time. I will write my own ending to this (don't worry, I'll not publish it!!!), because I am afraid I might completely fall out of love with the characters if I read what she will do to them next! In sum: If you haven't read the first volumes, don't even try to read this, you won't understand most of it. It is even difficult for us fans to remember all threads, as there are years between the books. If you are one of the fans who followed the story over all these years, nothing I say will probably prevent you from reading this one. But be prepared of a huge disappointment. It's nothing like the first ones, actually, it is pretty boring. If you like historic novels, try Philippa Gregory instead.
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