Series: Outlander #1
Published by Dell on June 1, 1991
Genres: Historical Fiction
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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.”