Considering how long we had to wait for this book, the title is rather appropriate.
When I saw how thick this volume was, I immediately stuck it on my shelf. Well, first I let my grandfather read it because he's read the entire series and I wanted him to be able to get through it without having to wait on me. Then I let it sit on my shelf for nine months.
But since I've read over 60 books this year, I wanted to see if I could tackle it before the end of the year.
So here are my thoughts.
Firstly, I read the last book at least four years ago, so do I remember what happened in the last book? NO. Only the very end. So I really needed Gabaldon to ground me in what the heck was going on because there are so many little details that I'd forgotten. I can say that she did a pretty good job of it in the first 100 pages, with the exception of the Willie plotline. I can't remember much of anything about him finding out the truth about Jamie being his dad and Fanny... who is Fanny?
Secondly... are we trying to make this like a high fantasy historical fiction novel? Look, I get it, Gabaldon doesn't believe this story is a romance (*eye roll*), but there's actual magic? At least part of the stones and time traveling could be tied a little more to science, but physical healing with blue light? Wtf?
In all honesty, it took me about three weeks to get through this book. While there were some great moments, I found myself constantly questioning what the point was to all of the ridiculous detail. This novel was good, not great. It coudld have easily been about half the length and still been able to get the story's point across.
Don't get me wrong, I love getting to see Jamie and Claire again, Bree and Roger have my heart, and we really got to see more of William, but it felt like... a waste of my time. I hate that I feel like this. I wanted to be completely enmeshed in the story but I just wasn't.
Spoiler alert, click away now.
There's a scene toward the end where we think Jamie dies. I got choked up for half a second before Gabaldon brought back this "blue light" magic stuff that Claire has. I had to roll my eyes.
The novel ended on a happy note, with a bit of a cliffhanger. Not a bad one, but still.
My understanding is that there are ten novels planned in this series, so I fully anticipate Claire and Jamie dying in the next (and last) one. I'll read it cimply because I've invested so much time in the series, but can't say I'm dying to get my hands on it.