Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, a Review

If ever you think to go to sea. . .




Perhaps you should think again. . .

"In retrospect, we can see the warning signs of impending trouble, but in reality, the momentum has begun by the time we notice a change in the air." (from narrative in Voyager)

At the beginning of this novel, after the Battle of Culloden, Jamie is discovered on the field, his injuries severe. With assistance he recovers, but must hide from the English patrols combing the Highlands, intent on killing all Highland Clan men and some families who fought against the Crown. Jamie, thinking Claire dead to him and safe in the future, becomes a groom for a sympathetic noble as the only way to get him out of the prison and safe from those who attempt to harm him. This situation isn't as benign as it seems. There will be consequences. . .

Meanwhile, 200 years in the future, Claire is trying to discover if her husband in the past, the beloved James Fraser, lives after the horrific slaughter at Culloden. She has travelled to the UK and searches various churchyard cemeteries to find an answer. She is still getting help from Roger and her daughter Brianna, the only two people who have heard her story and believe that she did travel back in time.

At last after much research, Claire realizes that she must go back through the 'Stones'. She wants to know if Jamie survived, but doesn't know if her luck with the Stones will hold. Only one way to find out. . .and on her re-appearance back in the 1700s, James Fraser is shocked, worried and glad to see her, but he's changed. Claire feels something is being hidden. . .In Jamie's world she has been gone twenty years. Then the action begins, with assassins after Jamie, who has been preparing inflammatory and seditious notice sheets (broadsheets). After the furor dies down, they must leave Scotland to find a kidnapped nephew in the West Indies area of the Caribbean. The action is constant on the ship and in the New World. 

In the years preceding the American War for Independence, the small embers of the words freedom and no English taxes began to stir the populace. I recommend this book. I read it quicker than my normal speed, as I kept wanting to know. . .and then?


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Have you read Outlander or Voyager, or one of the other titles?  
Do you like your historicals to have a bit of the fantasy/scifi (as in time travel)? 

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll respond.  Thanks for dropping by!


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Why keep reviewing Gabaldon books that have been out for a while. . .?

Note: I met Diana Gabaldon at a writing conference. I had scheduled 15 mins crit time with her.  She is a warm, friendly person who gave me a few great suggestions on my manuscript. I never felt rushed as we talked for 15 minutes. . . I discovered her writing when I first picked up Outlander, about three years ago.


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29 comments:

  1. I tried to read Outlander, but couldn't get into it. I know that I will have a wonderful, almost never-ending time with these books, I just could get started. Congrats on a great A to Z. Love what you did.

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    1. I've found 'Outlander' was the hardest book to read as I didn't like Claire's character in the first book. She redeems herself in the following books. You would definitely like Jamie, Inger, most women who read the books do. And thanks for the kind words re the A to Z. That's another collection as soon as I finish the page for the Authors, AtoZ.

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  2. D.G., lucky you! Just fancy having a crit with Diane! I think if students read these at high school they'd learn a lot of history! I must read all of her books one day!

    Denise :-)

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    1. I think so too, Denise. I'm not sure what kids read now in English Lit, or History, but Gabaldon, Kerouac and a few others would definitely up the interest factor.

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  3. I have met many women who love the OUTLANDER series. I am more a MERCY THOMPSON fan (a great urban fantasy series told through the eyes of a coyote shapeshifter in a world of werewolves, faes, and vampires. Big surprise I like this series, right? :-)

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    1. I wonder if more men or women read Mercy Thompson? If it's like your writing I'd rather read your books. I have always been intrigued by shapeshifters. . .

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  4. I only read the first book and it was so harrowing at times I haven't yet read any more in the series. I love all kinds of historical fiction and even wrote a time travel historical fiction - West of Paradise.

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    1. I didn't know your book was time travel historical fiction. Interesting. As for Gabaldon's books, they are big books and the time period she wrote about - the 1700s was a time when a lot was happening: the New World colonies, unrest in France and Scotland, etc. So yes, harrowing in many ways.

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  5. I haven't read either of those, but they sound wonderful. I need more reading time. Or a time stopper. I'm going with the latter.

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    1. A time stopper sounds like something I could use. A watch like in Trancers, a 1984 movie with Jack Deth. He said things like: 'Dry hair is for squids. . .'

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    2. LOL! I totally remember that movie. Ah, good times. I've also debated using a time machine, but you know, that can be dangerous.

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  6. Seems like a great read, nice review and thanks for sharing. Greetings!

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    1. Greetings back to you! Interesting info on your blog - a Cocoon House, hmmm. Small but tall. Gabaldon is a writer I enjoy, you might too.

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  7. Yep, I'm with Crystal. I know every time an Outlander book pops up on here I say the same thing, so at the risk of sounding like a broken record, here goes one more time - the whole series does sound really intriguing, and I'd love to give the first book a shot. I just need more time first. Where can I acquire some of this free time? Do they sell it in stores?

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    1. Wasn't there a song about 'time in a bottle'? How fast do you think that would sell out? I don't mind you repeating yourself about the Outlander series, but a irreverent and humorous book you might find is quicker to read is Sacre Bleu reviewed on my other blog,
      http://dghudson.blogspot.ca/2016/04/sacre-bleu-by-christopher-moore-review.html

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  8. A book set in the past and future sounds neat. I've never read an Outlander book, but I'm interested in picking up the first book now.

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    1. The Outlander series has a lot of things I like: time travel, the Stones (not Stonehenge but similar) and history woven with fiction. (not to mention Jamie. . .)

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  9. The premise of this book definitely sounds rather unique. I shall add it to my list :)

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    1. The first book is Outlander which introduces the core characters, if you want to read them in order. I have read a few out of order, but with time travel in the mix, that can get confusing. Next one up for review is the Drums of Autumn. . .same author.

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  10. I'm not a fan, but that can be blamed on the TV show. It didn't impress, and I know that it's a very poor way to judge a book. :) I do enjoy historical fiction, so maybe I should rethink these books. I love that you met the author, Diana Gabaldon, such a treat.

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    1. I haven't watched the tv show but a couple of times, but I prefer reading the book. I like her writing, and will be reviewing the next one soon.

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  11. I was resistant to this series, as I tend to be when I hear so much about something. However, I'm glad I started reading it. I love the historical elements, and she's snagged me with the story lines.

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    1. Well, this is much superior to many others which you might have heard about: 50 Shades, Twilight, and etc. Her story lines revolve around historical elements. Americans should read this.

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  12. Thanks for continuing to review these books, D.G. They are important. I must find time to read the whole series...:-)

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    1. You're welcome Denise, and I will review the rest as I read them. They've been out for a while, but many readers haven't read them. Her books have everything: intrigue with royal courts, history references of European and American importance, romance between mayhem, and so on. . .the books are better than the tv version.

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  13. I finally read Outlander on my recent yearly beach vacation. It was fantastic! I burned through it quickly, which is a sign of a great book for me. I can barely wait to read more of the series! Of course, my challenge will be to find the time/a way to hole up and read, cherishing a good book amidst my crazy busy "normal" life.

    I love historical fiction and sci fi. I can be very cautious about time travel. It has to be done very very well - convincing and realistic, not just hopeful and as a gimmick. Outlander is an example of what I consider to be time travel done very well.

    As I was reading, I thought surely my mother would like it (she is a big historical romance fan and is not one to shy away from fantasy/sci fi elements woven in). But when I asked if she'd read it, she said she tried to, but couldn't get into it and put it down/gave up on it. Different strokes for different folks, I guess!

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    1. I've heard that from other people as well, and I wonder if they can't suspend that disbelief and look at the historical aspects. To each his own, I guess. I initially was annoyed at Claire, but the story of Jamie kept me reading.

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  14. I love historical fiction, but tend to like it straight up. :) I do enjoy time travel books. I listened to book one on cd several years ago.

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    1. Gabaldon confuses the genre mills, as they call her historical fantasy, or science fiction (due to time travel element) and yet her books sell themselves. . .she includes romance as well as a thread throughout the series.

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