Yes! I have finally finished reading the latest in the “Outlander” series: The Echo in the Bone. This 800+ page tome was a good read, and I had fun getting back in touch with Jamie, Claire, Bri, Roger, and the gang! It was SLOW going for me, though, and took me a bit to finish.
I should admit: I love, love, love this series (which if you haven’t read it, centers on Claire time-travelling from the mid 20th century to the 1700’s in Scotland and all the adventures that ensue). I have often been asked if you need to read the books in order. In my opinion, yes, you do. There are SO many characters and SO many events that popping in during the middle of the series not only doesn’t give you the background knowledge, but does not afford you that thrilling sense of “what is HE (or SHE) doing here??” when characters return to the page unexpectantly.
In this installment, the story is told in three points of view: Claire’s, Brianna’s, and William’s. Claire and Jamie are in America, with their nephew Ian, in the middle of the Revolutionary War. Bri and Roger have brought the kids back to present day (1980’s) Scotland. William is travelling with British troops in America, fighting in the war as well. The three threads of the novel wind closer and closer together, with characters crossing over between them, until the fast and furious ending, which is a cliff-hanger.
That said, the ending of this novel surprised me (SPOILER ALERT!) because there was no sense of finality. The story left off right when most of the main characters were in trouble or crisis. That didn’t thrill me as I have to wonder how long I’ll need to wait for the next book in the series!! Rereading the last 100 pages of this one will be necessary to reacquaint myself with the various crises that were occurring for them all.
However, it was a comforting feeling to return to the story of Jamie and Claire. Of all the characters, these two- and their relationship – are my favorite. To be honest, Brianna seriously annoyed me in the earlier books, but she has grown on me as well. The characters are linked, in this story, through letters that Jamie and Claire have written to Bri and Roger and left for them to read 200 years later. William’s story runs parallel to Jamie and Claire’s, and to be honest, was rather a dull read for me until we got near the ending. I’ve never gotten into the Lord John Grey series that class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”that “>Gabaldon writes as much as I have the “Outlander” series, and William and Lord John, though originally in the “Outlander” books, are characters from them.
Of all the books in this series, I think my favorite was the first one, though I really enjoyed all of the first four. I also really enjoyed A Breath of Snow and Ashes. The Fiery Cross took me 4 starts and some determination to get through. This current book was not my favorite, but it was a good read and it did make me happy to be back with these familiar friends and their adventures! I do purchase all these books so I have them in my home library.
I’d give this book 4 Stars!