WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THIS SERIES?!?!?! Seriously, I want to know how it’s possible that something which started out so strong could fall so far from its original excellence. It’s almost like a completely different author has taken control of the last 2 books I’ve read.
After I finished reading the previous book in this series, The Fiery Cross, I put a plea out to the blogosphere for someone to assure me that the series would get better. Book 5 was so ridiculously slow and boring, with an unnecessary amount of historical detail which was completely irrelevant to the overall plot, and I wanted to know that it was simply an anomaly. I now understand why nobody replied to that inquiry. Astonishingly, I think things have actually gotten worse.
Firstly, the book is simply too long. There is no rhyme, reason, explanation or justification that this book was over 1000 pages. Here is a general note to authors everywhere: if your book can be sold in both an abridged and unabridged version, that means it’s too long! When someone can literally cut your book length in half without losing any of the storyline, you have a big problem.
Nothing of any importance happens for so much of this thing! I had to ask myself numerous times what the actual plot was, and for the most part I never had an answer. I think my most common outburst throughout the book was, “What does this have to do with anything?!?!” If something of mild interest did happen, it was either never fully explored, or we’d skip ahead 3 months in the story as if it never happened at all. I felt that there were a lot of issues which remained unresolved when all was said and done. It wasn’t until almost 3/4 of the way through the book that we have some form of a distinguishable plot with actual direction. The action comes on so quickly though, seemingly from out of nowhere, and then the book ends just as abruptly. It’s supposed to end on a “Oh no they didn’t!” kind of moment, but I think I just yelled out, “I don’t care!!”.
This was the first audiobook I ever listened to, and it took me about 4 months to finish. The reason I chose to listen to this book instead of read it is because book 5 was so mind-numbingly dull that I figured I’d finish this one quicker if I could listen to it. Towards the middle of the book I was getting ridiculously frustrated because the story wasn’t going anywhere, and I had the urge to start skimming. But how do you skim an audiobook? Simple! You just increase the listening speed. Sure, it took some getting used to, but after a while I acclimated to listening to it at twice it’s normal speed.
I had been listening to this book for a while when the second half of the Outlander TV series started up again on Starz. It was so weird to get really excited for Saturday nights to come around so I could lose myself in the wonderfulness of the TV show, and then dread having to listen to the book again on my walks to work. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so much emotional whiplash in my life.
Overall this book left me feeling frustrated, disappointed, and seriously questioning why I even bother putting up with the series anymore. I only have 2 more books left, but I just am not looking forward to putting myself through the torture of another one. These last two books have been such a drain on my soul, that I feel like it’ll probably take a whole year before I can pump myself up enough to reach for that next book. Yet oddly enough, I still consider myself to be an Outlander fan. I loved the first 4 books, and the first season of the TV series has blown my mind. I’m just having a hell of a time making it to the end of this series.