Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager By Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #3)
Publisher: Dell
Release Date: October, 26th, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 1059 pages
Source: ?? I don't remember where I got this one
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

From the author of the breathtaking bestsellers Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, the extraordinary saga continues.

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her...the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland... and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite—or forever doom—her timeless love.
I have legitimately been reading this book for an entire year! Not that it's bad, it's just a huge book and is a huge commitment. I would get sidetracked from reading this because I would get ARCs from publishers in between reading this and then I kept on having to put it down to read other things. It kind of feels weird now that I am finally finished this one. I enjoyed it but there were definitely parts about this book that I take some issue with.

I like the story of Claire and Jamie a lot, and I found the narrative structure in this one a little different than the last books. It was different in a good way and kept me interested. In this novel we get to see what Jamie has been up to and how his life has been since Claire went back through the stones. At the same time we see the parallel of what Claire's life is like going back to her own time period. I found Claire's life with Frank super depressing. I just don't know how she could stand to live with him! First of all there is the trope that he looks like Captain Jack Randall, and I think if I was her I wouldn't want to ever look at him again. The second part is that he just sucks! I admit their relationship is complicated, and Claire is very closed off since she is still in love with Jamie, but he also sleeps around with other women all the time too. Also that really racist stuff that comes up towards the end of his life is NOT OKAY!

Which brings me to what I took issue with this novel, and that is the way it handles race. I loved Claire's friendship with her colleague Joe (a black doctor), but there are even some problematic things with this character. There is section where Joe's son is getting involved in the black power movement and Joe makes a really weird joke about it to Claire. The other people of color, like the Chinese man Yi Tien Cho and the slaves that they meet on their travels are written in a very stereotypical way. It's more than a little problematic. I'm not caught up on the show yet, but I believe the adaption is trying to not include the same racial stereotyping as the source material. I'm glad we actual see people of color in a historical fiction novel, but it's definitely not without problems. I also try to look at the fact that this book was published 20 years ago and thoughts on race and problematic content wasn't talked about in the same lens. Not to say how race is treated in this novel is okay, I think it's just something to consider when reviewing this novel.

I think this book is titled aptly, because we really go on a voyage with both Jamie and Claire. I feel like Claire is just constantly testing Jamie and it kind of makes me laugh. Jamie is basically like, "Claire, don't do the thing!" but Claire is like, "Imma do the thing" and he still loves her and finds a way for the two of them to get out of whatever shenanigans they wind up in.

I do think that maybe these books are TOO long. Like do we really need all of this detail to get to the heart of the story? I like reading about Claire and Jamie's lovestory, but I think sometimes Gabaldon tells us too much and it's not really all that necessary to the overarching plot. I still think I will continue with this series, but it's just a huge time commitment that I find it a little difficult to complete.

What did you think of this book? Are you a fan of this series? In your opinion, why should I continue reading this series?

Happy Reads Everyone!