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Book Review: Echo in the Bone

Posted by Lissa on October 6, 2009

You may remember a post I did about the Kindle release issues Amazon had for Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon.  Well, I waited until that Friday before buying it for $13.20.  (It’s since dropped to $9.99, as I expected.  It was worth the $3.21 to have it two weeks ago though.)

Short review:  Meh.  Worth reading if you like the series, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who wasn’t a devoted Outlander fan.

Longer review:  I’m not going to lie, I found this book disappointing.  I’m glad I read it, of course, and I’ll re-read it, because I’m a sucker for the characters and the storyline.  But the book itself?  Struggling.

I think Ms. Gabaldon forgot that we love the series because we love Claire and Jamie (and perhaps now Ian, Roger and Brianna).  We don’t buy her books because we’re feverishly curious how she imagines Benedict Arnold behaved to those around him, nor how General Simon Fraser met his demise.  I think it was a huge mistake to weave in plotlines from her Lord John books; it felt like she was repeatedly stating hey if you’d bought all my other books this part would make more sense to you. Well, I’m not interested in that series, so all you’ve done is muddy up your Outlander world and added confusion.  Nice job.

Furthermore, I was really surprised at some of the simpler errors.  For example (no spoiler), the book starts off with Jamie watching Brianna meet with young Lieutenant William.  And then later she writes that Jamie hasn’t seen Willie since he was twelve.  Ms. Gabaldon, don’t you read your own books before they go to publish?

And, of course, there’s the ending — or lack thereof.  Without spoilers, I can tell you that she leaves all the characters thrashing about in different places and times with absolutely no resolution or anything close to it.  Truly, it gives the impression that she realized no one could hoik the book about if it got any heavier, so she sputtered out, threw up her hands and went off to go have tea.

So there you are.  If you’re an Outlander-addict, you probably want to know what happened enough to suffer the shortcomings of Echo in the Bone.  If you’re not, I seriously recommend you save your money and buy something else.

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One Response to “Book Review: Echo in the Bone”

  1. Mike said

    Interesting on the pricing! I will conduct an experiment with SuperFreakonomics and the new Wheel of Time book to see if they too follow such a pricing path.

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