Friday, June 9, 2017

Audiobook Review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Series:     Outlander #3
Pub. Date:Jan. 24, 2007
Publisher:Recorded Books
Narrator:Davina Porter
Length:43 hrs 51 min

As a blogger, when you have to read on a schedule... you never really have a spare 40+ hours to re-read an audiobook at your whim. But I felt compelled to do just that this month. Last week, I tackled Dragonfly in Amber so I could finally watch Season 2 of Outlander on Starz. I had planned to save Voyager to re-read when Season 3 comes out this Fall... but I just couldn't. Some of my favorite events of the series happen in this book, so I was impelled to continue on ahead of schedule.

This book again starts out on Culloden field on April 16, 1746. We spend some time with Jamie, learning what his life has been like during the twenty years since he was with Claire. There are a few time jumps to 1968 in both Inverness, where the hunt for Jamie has begun in earnest, and then to Boston with Claire wrapping up her life there in preparation for the day that Roger Wakefield finds Jamie in historical records. This will cover the time when Claire lost Frank, and also some tidbits of her professional life with dear friend Joe Abernathy. Keep an eye out for Claire's examination of skeletal remains (to which you, the reader, should also pay close attention). But then word comes from Roger and, finally, its time.

Sigh. The reuniting of Jamie and Claire. It's one of my absolutely favorite moments of the series, and the driving force behind why I was driven to listen to this story ahead of schedule. While Gabaldon didn't make a huge production of the event in the writing... all the feels come from the time you have lived and breathed this story along with Jamie and Claire. You know what they mean to one another. You cried when they were separated, and your heart hurt for the twenty years they were apart. So every time I have read this series, my anticipation builds and builds and builds for this moment. All through Dragonfly in Amber, you are just waiting for her to go back. I remember the first time I read these books that I was so disappointed that she didn't go back in the second book. I can't imagine how impatient I would have been if I had read Dragonfly in Amber before Voyager was published, and had to wait two whole years to get to that moment. Gah - it makes me anxious just thinking about it!

Once our duo is back together, Gabaldon hits the ground running and the story takes off at a steady clip that will put you through the ringer. Voyager spans continents and oceans, and fate seems to be against Jamie and Claire at every turn. There are so many freaking highs and lows in this book that you will feel exhausted at times. And I can't talk about any of the major plot conflicts without giving spoilers! I swear its so hard to write a review for a book that you have read so often because you just want to talk about all your favorite things... but you can't because you don't want to spoil that very special first experience for the random reader.

We get to revisit with some of our favorite characters from the past, some of whom we never expected to see again. We meet new and interesting secondary characters, some of which will endure far into the future of this series. I liked spending some time with Jamie's sister, Jenny, and her husband, Ian. They have a huge family containing both children and grandchildren now, and I was so happy they survived the trying times following the failed rising. That being said, I wasn't happy with many of Jenny's actions in this story.

Then you have Jenny's son Ian, with whom I share something in common. A little black cloud. Ian is the type of person to whom things just happen through no fault of his own... and I could definitely relate. And because Claire has a little of that same phenomena going on - putting them together is a recipe for disaster. Much of this story involves crazy things happening to Ian or Claire... and Jamie dealing with the fallout. 

Again, Davina Porter does a fabulous job narrating this story/series. I am continually impressed by her ability to give the multitude of characters their own unique voice, and she has no problem (to my ignorant ear) changing accents and dialects. 

And now you know what I've done?  You guessed it. I started Drums of Autumn as soon as Voyager concluded. DofA has another one of my favorite moments of the series and I just really want to hear it! It also has some of the most gut-wrenching  moments of the series, and those fill me with dread. So stay tuned for that review, coming soon.

Outlander