Audiobook Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlander 200x300 Audiobook Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Book one in the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
I thought that my first book review should be a little different from previous ones so an audiobook review is just the ticket. I am very fortunate to be able to listen to audiobooks at my day job and they are my favorite thing to listen to as well. Who doesn’t love the idea of someone reading them a story!? I use my library and Audible to listen to books on the cheap.

“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 Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.” (Good Reads)

What I thought

So I have read this book before and own it and love it. I’ve recommended this series to so many people and now it’s your turn! I really was itching to start a nice long series and with the newest book recently released and the Stars miniseries it was an easy choice! The story is great as it’s not boring and progresses well. Know that the time travel is not cheesy at all and any one who likes historical fiction will love this. That being said there is a lot of sexy time in this which when I read the book was just skim until dialogue starts again but in audio format and listening at work with headphones it was awkward at times and fast forwarding to the proper place difficult. If you’re into that you’ll be good to go though. There is obviously romance in this book and it’s actually a pleasure to listen to and read. It’s not a trudge, is believable and the sexy time in there isn’t over the top fanfic-y at all. I don’t think I would put this book into the romance genre as yes there is romance but really it’s much more of a true adventure than that. I mean a woman from war ravaged England going back in time and ends up married to a Highlands Scot – super action packed. Don’t let the romance or sexy time keep you from reading this. This book is teenager and up I’d say.

Now the narrator is Davina Porter and I have listened to many of her other books and I love her reading of The Mists of Avalon. Her reading of Outlander brought a lot to the story for me. She has a Scottish background so her cadence, accents and rolls are amazing. She transports you to Scotland and all of the voices are enchanting. They are believable and don’t break the story. I think her Jamie voice is fantastic and she made him come alive! I recently started the audiobook for the next in the series called Dragonfly in Amber and am excited to carry on with this long series.

Favorite Quote

“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.” ― Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

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Where have I been?

IMG 4887 300x267 Where have I been?Hello there! It’s been quite a while hasn’t it? It was all rather tragic – my laptop died. It kept having kernel freak outs and it was apparently time to move on. I could not afford a replacement because I am stubborn and I wanted another Apple product. I have successfully procured a new computer and it’s a dream. I got a new 27 inch iMac with an upgraded videocard [because why get a new computer and have the World of Warcraft either not work or look ugly?!] and ram and other boring specs you probably don’t care about. Just know that it’s a fantastic computer and I am totally smitten.

I did not just sit around sadly and bemoan my situation though – I decided to DO something. It I wanted it to be big and scary. I opened my very own Etsy shop called Fortuna Phials. I spent most of 2013 researching, reading and coming to terms with plants, gemstones and Etsy’s crazy SEO. I opened my shop in January of this year and it’s been such a learning process. There have been big moments – my first sale, my first international sale, having people leave such nice feedback and talking with other artists in that community. I’ve reached a great place with my little shop and I can’t wait to expand it more in the future.

I did miss this place so much though – the recipe talk, the book reviews and generally showing the internet my random geekery.

So I have big plans for a relaunch of this great space in the future. For now – hang tight. I’ll be starting slowly with 2 posts a week and going from there. I am planning on expanding to more how to’s, more recipes, more random lifestyle bits, adding beauty review/items/chats, fitbit updates, more geekery in the variety of anime I am consuming and games for handheld devices [I am really into iPad games at the moment!], tea chats where I tell you how to brew the perfect cup of a variety of teas and generally talk about my tea obsession and much more!

I will leave you with this mix I am currently crazy about:

Book Review: The Captive of Kensington Palace

 Book Review: The Captive of Kensington PalaceVictoria is virtually a prisoner in Kensington Palace. Her mother and her mother’s chamberlain, Sir John Conroy, are her guards. They will not allow her to associate with anyone that has not been thoroughly and critically checked to make sure Victoria is not made harmed by their very presence. Even her governesses are under scrutiny. She is not even allowed to be alone! Someone must always be with her. Her only hope is in contemplating her coming of age, whereupon she may be free and able to take her “Uncle King’s” crown without her dreaded captures taking regency. Her best friends are her “dear” sister Feodora, married and living in Germany; her Uncle Leopold, her cousin-in-law and uncle as well as King of the Belgians; Lehzen, her faithful governess; the King and Queen, whom she is rarely allowed to see; and her cousins that she is also rarely allowed to see. She has scheming uncles trying to usurp her right to the throne, and family fighting over her. Every day she comes closer to her dream of adulthood, and her guards’ despair at loss of power. (via Goodreads)

What I Thought

I really do love Jean Plaidy novels they are not about nitty gritty facts they are really stories. The crazypants childhood of Queen Victoria is better left to the biographers. I thought that Victoria was lovely. She was emotional, clever, sentimental, innocent, loyal, and compassionate. She was was an identifiable heroine since as the book went on she turned from her mother’s robot daughter to realizing her mother was using and manipulating her and disliking her for it. It was really great to see the character progress through the book, wishing for her freedom, and getting her voice to stand up to her mother.

The childhood of most monarchs is usually really dull they’re either rangs to riches stories or they’re spoiled rich kids that learn a lesson. This book was neither and it was so refreshing to read for that reason. Victoria was not a bad person and it’s amazing that she wasn’t since she was surrounded by her overbearing rude mother and her mother’s overly ambitious ‘friend’ – both of whom are great villans. It’s was even fun to read the conversations between the two of them because they often ended up laughing and I just imagined that crazy evil scientist laugh the entire time in my head. I think that added something to my reading experience.

There was little romance in this and I think that it will probably start in the next one. Albert was maybe in the book for 20 pages so the rest of the series will be about their betrothal,  wedding, and 9000 children while establishing the Victorian era as we know it today. I’ll be reading more in this series. I just love Jean Plaidy’s history light books. They are easy to read, good writing, the good guys are always not obnoxiously good and the bad guy are really bad plus they’re short and you’ve learned a bit more about someone famous in history.

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