In the laundry room in my apartment building, people leave old stuff for anyone to take for free. One day, I saw Outlander and three of its sequels lying on the counter. I never had any desire to read this book. I remember my mom raving about them when they came out, but I have never been much of a romance reader. I decided to take the books because I will never turn away a freebie.
Now I think I know why Outlander was left lying among the used cat bed and old school textbooks.
As I have mentioned, I don't read much romance. It's not my genre. I don't even read much historical fiction, and the ones I do are generally classic literature. This puts me at a large disadvantage, but I began reading Outlander with absolutely no expectations whatsoever.
The first part of the novel was captivating. I think Galbadon writes decently when it comes to sentence construction. Far better than most romantic novels. I don't know much about Scottish history, but I thought she did it justice and her research shows. I was surprised by how I was caught up in the beginning reading and I didn't notice the length.
However, when Claire and Jamie get together, it became really boring for me. It seemed like it was the same scene over and over again of how Claire and Jamie are just regular people who do regular things in 18th century Scotland.
Claire was fine as a character, she stuck to her scruples, and the spanking part didn't really bother me too much; she is from the 1920s after all. Jamie really irked me though! If we are staying historical, I can't believe that a young Scotsman would spill all of his life secrets to Claire and be so gentle and kind most of the time. He does have his moments when he gets a little brutal, but he always apologizes. So to me, he was kind of a lame, sorry. I think this is more representative of the romantic genre, this kind of plotline. I also though the novel walked a line between classy and smut, never going too far either way, and it left me confused as to what kind of novel Outlander is supposed to be.
I was disappointed that Galbadon didn't take a piece of Scottish history and involve her characters in it. There were references to the Jacobites and the upcoming invasion, but the story had its own little nook that Galbadon made up. I guess I thought there would be a big bloody battle like in Braveheart rather than everyone milling around in the castle and fields. Jamie and Claire would gallop along the Scottish countryside, he fighting, she tending wounds. The middle just killed this book for me.
The ending was okay. Randall was vicious and his penchant for men explains why he had such an intense hate against Jamie, so I was fine with the fact he was gay and an evil character.
If you like romance, then you will probably like the book because it really plays along to that tune rather than historical fiction. But if you don't really read romance, and you try to read this book because other people raved about it, you will be bored.