The first novel hit bookstores in 1991 (can you believe it's been that long?) and six others have followed along with a novella and a best-not-mentioned graphic novel. Okay. I'm going to mention it anyway. It was horrid. Claire's breasts got larger and larger in each frame until I became convinced they were filling with helium and she might actually float away by the end of the book. But hey, Gabaldon made a few million more and everyone (except the readers, that is) walked away happy.
But let's get back to the novels themselves. Because the anticipation over Written in My Own Heart's Blood is palpable in the literary world these days and as I claw my way through novel #6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, I find myself repeating one question over and over: WHY? Because frankly, dear readers, the novel I am reading here is sub par at best.
Spoiler alert here people. If you haven't read the books yet, chances are you never will, so get over it. At this point in the overall plot of the series, Jamie and Claire are ensconced in pre-Revolutionary America, homesteading it up in the mountains of North Carolina with their daughter Brianna and her husband Roger. And that's pretty much all we get throughout the novel. The only entertainment to be found is the utterly ridiculous POV changes that occur nearly every chapter. I'm uncertain whether Gabaldon did this to entertain herself (let's face it, she had to have been bored to tears with Jamie and Claire by now, but who want to kill a cash cow?) or simply to see what she could get away with. Either way, if the writer were anyone but Gabaldon, they would be skewered for the poor technique which leaves a reader muddled, confused, and unsatisfied.
So here I am in the middle of a book that is a complete mess with a plot that goes nowhere, jumping POVs, and sex scenes between characters that six books ago were sexy but now verge on creepy. Any other book, I would toss it. But it's Gabaldon. So I soldier on. And when I finish this one there little doubt I will bravely pick up An Echo in the Bone. Undoubtedly, I will pre-order Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
Although I promise you this: if I see just one explicit sex scene with a geriatric Claire and Jamie, I will refuse to read another word. Not. One. More. Word.