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Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Book 2 in the Outlander Series
Unabridged, 38 hr. 58 min.
Recorded Books
Davina Porter (Narrator)
October 26, 2006
★★★★ ½☆

Heat Rating:

Genre: Historical Fiction; Time-Slip; Romance

Source: Downloaded the audiobook from Audible
For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland's majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ...about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ...and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his...

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire's spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ...in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves...
When I finished reading Outlander, I wanted to both immediately pick up Dragonfly in Amber as well as hold off for a while so that I could just absorb and enjoy my experience with it. In the end, I waited almost a year before having the chance to pick up book two, but not for a second had I forgotten the events of Outlander and felt totally ready to dive into what this next volume would bring. And then I was brought up short and taken aback. You see, Dragonfly in Amber does not pick back up where Outlander left off, it’s set back in modern time with Claire in her fifties and her daughter Brianna well grown. Wait, what? How did this happen? What did I miss? Where is Jamie? These questions and more streamed through my head as I panicked at the start of this novel. And for quite a bit of time we don’t have many answers. I struggled to push myself through these modern day chapters. While I was intrigued at how we got there, I didn’t enjoy them nearly enough for the amount of time that we are in the present with everyone just brooding and not telling each other the whole truth.

When we finally get back to Jamie and Claire, we are now in France, where they were absconding to at the end of Outlander. Here my interest picked up again because we were back in familiar territory and for the most part I enjoyed this part. In typical Gabaldon style, France came to life under her pen as she had previously treated Scotland. I enjoyed, as always, Murtaugh was a favorite comedic break and then there was the addition of a young boy, Fergus, whom Jamie takes under his wing who had some great moments too. Jamie and Claire love each other, betray each other, and hurt each other over and over, as seems to be their typical bent, but I longed for it over and over again.  Also typical Gabaldon style, the sex scenes are hot, hot, hot and plentiful.

Ultimately, the two very disparate parts seemed to come together and you are left with a cliffhanger into Voyager. Again, it left me wanting to pick it up right away, but choosing again to hold out for a bit. I did like this book very much, but not nearly as much as the first book overall.

★★★★★+

I've said it before, and I will say it again, Davina Porter does an excellent job narrating this book with its even wider array of accents, characters, and personalities. She is one of those narrators that I would enjoy listening to over and over again, which is excellent as she narrates much of the Outlander series. Her pacing was perfect and she puts real emotion behind her narration and truly contributed to the feel of this book and bringing the characters to vivid life. Seeing as she is narrating a nearly 40 hour long book it is beneficial that she is enjoyable to listen to.

You can listen to an audio sample here to get a taste of Porter's narration or read these two excerpts of the text for Gabaldon's style: Excerpt 1 | Excerpt 2.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Diana Gabaldon:












Virgins (Book 0.5)












Outlander (Book 1)
[My Review]












Voyager (Book 3)












Drums of Autumn (Book 4)












The Fiery Cross (Book 5)












A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Book 6)












An Echo in the Bone (Book 7)












The Space Between (Book 7.5)












Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Book 8)












A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (Book 8.5)

Diana Gabaldon has also written the Lord John Grey series which is a spinoff of the Outlander series and takes place during the events of Voyager.

Find Diana Gabaldon: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 If you have read the book and are watching Season 2 of the Outlander TV series - how do you think they line up?  I've been hoarding my episodes so I can binge watch them.




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