Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon | Review

Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon | ReviewOutlander by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander #1
Published by Dell on June 1, 1991
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 896
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is 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 stone 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 of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life . . . and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire . . . and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


After watching the first episode of the new Starz TV show, Outlander, I couldn’t resist picking up the first book in the series that it was adapted from. I’d heard about Outlander before watching the show but I’d never actually picked it up. I’m so glad the show gave me that final push to give the series a try.

Outlander is unlike anything I’ve read before.  It’s such a mix of genres that I honestly have a hard time describing it when people ask about it.  It’s definitely mostly historical fiction but it’s also romance with a hint of science fiction and fantasy.  Outlander incorporates everything I love from all those genres and it all blends so perfectly in this series.

The characters are what will keep readers invested in Outlander.  The book is long.  The version I read was almost 900 pages but I never once felt the urge to stop reading.  By 100 pages in I wanted to know everything that would happen to Claire, Jamie, Frank, Colum, Dougal, and the others.  Every character is extremely unique and that’s hard to do with a cast of characters that is so large.  Jamie and Claire were by far my favorites though.  Their love story was absolutely amazing.  Jamie was strong, fierce, protective, and kind.  Yes there was one thing he did that I did not approve of but it didn’t change my opinion of him.  (If you’ve read the book, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!)  Claire was a lot like Jamie.  She was strong and protective but she was also so smart and so outspoken.  It definitely made for some interesting situations seeing as women weren’t really like that back then.  She and Jamie butted heads quite a bit but it only made their relationship stronger.  Also, don’t ever think you can trust someone in this book.  Holy crap were they a bunch of backstabbers.

The first 100 pages are a little dull.  Don’t let that stop you from reading though.  Outlander is a wonderful start to the series of the same name and I’m eager to continue with the series.  I’m 100% invested in the lives of these characters now.

Note: There are explicit scenes in Outlander.  It is an adult novel.  It contains graphic descriptions of torture and rape.  You have been warned.

What others have to say about Outlander:

Eating Bender’s review: “Her ability to portray historical characters is outstanding, and even though I will caution that there are some very explicit scenes (see the section below for more on this subject), the story feels authentic and heartfelt.”

I’m Loving Books’ review: “Despite what I didn’t like I liked the book overall and I just adore their love story, it’s very lovely.”

Confessions of a Book Addict’s review: “I can’t wait to revisit Jamie and Claire’s captivating world.”

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  1. I totally agree with your review! I’ve had this book on my shelves for years now, and after watching episode 1 I finally started it. Now I’m almost done with it (finishing it today). I too, am completely invested in the lives of these characters. I want more.

  2. I’ve picked this book up twice now and began to read it only to put it back down because the length scares me. Now that I am finished with college though and have a lot more free time I am probably going to give it a third chance. Third times the charm, right?

  3. This post makes me smile. 🙂 I have only read the first book, but I enjoyed it a great deal. I too watched the show on Starz and now I want’ to read all the books!!!! Too bad they are so long. I will have to set aside some time, or just slowly get them from the library here and there Great post!

  4. I’ve heard a lot about Outlanders since the TV show started creating a buzz. I’m not sure how I feel about the romance given my beliefs on marriage and fidelity, but it sounds like there’s a good mix of the best of a variety of genres, which is something I like to see in a book. I am curious about the buzz surrounding Outlanders though and might just give this a try!

  5. woah.. 900 pages? But it’s fascinating to know you never got bored and always wanted to read on. This definitely has gotten my attention, and it’s the first time hearing about it too! Great review, Katie!

  6. I am so glad you liked Outlander. I absolutely loved it when I first read it this past winter. I am completely hooked and love the TV show, too. I am currently in the middle of book two and it’s a bit slower, but still very good. Thanks for linking up my review. I appreciate it. 🙂 Great review!

  7. I absolutely agree with all your comments! I’ve just started the second Outlander book and am so excited to keep following Jamie and Claire’s story. Even though the start is a bit slow I never got bored reading it because of Diana Gabaldon’s incredibly descriptive writing style. Wonderful review Katie!