Friday, July 24, 2009

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (audio)

Wow! I just got to the end of Dragonfly in Amber and it ends with a bang. I am glad I have Voyager on CD so I can listen right away!

Dragonfly in Amber is the second in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I am listening to the abridged versions of the audio book as a refresher before the 7th book in the series, An Echo in the Bone, is released in September. The abridged audio books are read by Geraldine James, who does a pretty good job. There is a lot missing (5 CDs versus 30 or so for the non-abridged), which creates odd gaps at times and missing detail, but it is a good refresher.

Nothing beats the original novels. Whenever I read one of the books, I never want it to end because it is so good. The books are very well written engaging stories. I would love to read all six of them again before the new book came out, but with my book club and challenge commitments, I do not have enough time! Maybe an Outlander challenge will be in order one of these days. . .and I also want to get one of my book clubs to read the first one!

Dragonfly in Amber continues of the story of Jamie and Claire Fraser. If you do not want to know the story . . .stop reading now! The story begins with Claire and her daughter, Brianna, on a trip to Scotland in 1968. They visit Roger Mackenzie, a historian and adopted son of Reverend Wakefield, in hopes of getting information about the battle of Culloden and the aftermath for Jamie and his clan. Upon finding Jamie’s grave, a startled Claire reveals the truth of Brianna’s paternity to her and Roger and the story of her travels through time.

The novel reverts back to Jamie and Claire in the 1740’s and their residency in France. They work together to try to stop Bonnie Prince Charlie and prevent Culloden. Through many adventures that result in tragedy, separation, and finally reconciliation – the story is riveting. The couple makes their way back to Scotland and through a mistake of fate; Jamie is signed up as a supporter and the Bonnie Prince and must lead his men to Culloden. Before the battle, he sends Claire (pregnant with Brianna) through the standing stones. He sends her with a passionate message of his love for her.

“I will find you,” he whispered in my ear, “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory – two hundred years without you – then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weight against the rest. Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”

Sigh. James Fraser is one of the sexiest heroes in literature. The novel reverts back to 1968 and the revelation that Jamie may not have died. And then it ends! Scream! Good thing I could put Voyager in right away!

As I listened to this story again, I realized that I loved the romantic story of Mary Hawkins and Alex Randell within this story. They are a tragic love story of their own. I also loved the set up of the story with Claire in the future twenty years telling the story and the revelation at the end. I have often wondered however, if Gabaldon has ever regretted doing this. The past few books have moved rather slowly through time, while this book skips over twenty years. The book itself is fantastic, but it is a rather large jump in the timing of the series.

The book is not for the faint of heart with rather graphic violence. The audio book suffers from rather bad music. Otherwise, it is great.

Outlander if a fantastic series – I highly recommend it!


  1. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of the UNABRIDGED audiobooks read by Davina Porter. They are wonderful, I can't recommend them enough. If you have only listened to the abridged versions, you are really missing a tremendous amount of the Good Stuff in Diana's books.

    Karen Henry
    (admitted OUTLANDER audiobook addict :-) )

    Please visit my blog, Outlandish Observations

  2. I've gotten a copy of Outlander because of your recommendation. This one sounds good, too.

  3. Believe it or not, I've never read the Outlander series despite having the entire thing in hardcover. Someday . . . :-)


  4. I do need to listen to the unabridged versions at some point. I just wanted a quick "refresher" before the new book came out so I picked the unabridged versions to quickly go through the books again.

    What I really want to do is read them all again. Since there is usually a four year gap between books lately, I should really start reading them over again after I read the new book. Then I won't feel like I have to rush!!

    Outlander is fantastic! I can't wait until you read it Suko - you'll have to tell me how you like it!

  5. I haven't read anything by Galbadon yet but this definitely does sound good. Thanks for the review. I wanted to let you know that I gave you an award today.

  6. I am listening to the audio books after having read the comlete series a few years ago, they are memorable. My favourite is Outlander. At the moment I am listening to Dragonfly in Amber because I am about to leave for France and wanted to hear again their experiences at
    Geat reading for anyone interested in history.