Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year 1743.

Claire struggles to acclimatize in a world she only knows from history books, but soon finds support in Jamie Fraser. Because of his unconditional love for her, she finds herself torn between infidelity and desire. Eventually, she’ll have to face a tough decision. Does she return to her husband in 1945 or does she stay with Jamie in the 18th century?

Even Diana Gabaldon seems to have trouble describing her novels. Is it romance? Historical fiction? Or Fantasy perhaps? Whatever it is, I think it is fair to say that the majority of her fanbase is feminine. It is also true that the Outlander series isn’t seldom described as (enjoyable) trash. While I get the point, I do believe that this view isn’t doing the books justice. So far I can’t speak for the rest of the series, but looking at Outlander I see a nicely plotted story full of conflict, with strong characters and a vivid writing style.

I won’t lie, I did approach it with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. A story of no less than 850 pages, crammed on thin paper in a tiny font, turns out to be quite intimidating. Given that I’m a slow reader I honestly believed it would take me years to finish it. In reality it took me a few months, which was frankly still more than long enough. Great book or not, after a while, you long for a shiny new story to delve into.

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Series I’m Currently Reading

A little while ago I took a glimpse at the books I’ve read so far and noticed that I had started quite a few series of which I have finished none. It made me wonder just how many series I’m currently reading and how far I’m into them. The result isn’t looking too good …

I started a crushing amount of – wait for it – 22 series. I nearly fainted. Well, not really, but I did find myself shocked when I came to that conclusion. I had an inkling that I wasn’t doing very well, of course. Even so, 22 series … That’s a lot of books left to be read. Luckily, I don’t plan to continue all of them, but my problem with unread series needs to be addressed. Let’s go back in time and take a look at the series in chronological order, starting with the most recent.

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Read 1 of 10 (Photo credit: Elliot Hyland)

Near the end of May 2017 I read Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, the first volume in a series of the same name. It’s an enjoyable middle grade story about a living skeleton that can do magic and works as a detective. As you can see I’ve still got a long way to go, with number ten published this month.
I’m not sure yet if Skulduggery Pleasant will manage to keep me interested for duration of the entire series, but the first volume was entertaining enough to want to tackle the second one in due course.

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