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VOYAGER (OUTLANDER, BOOK #3) BY DIANA GABALDON: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, February 22, 2012

Voyager
Outlander, Book #3
Diana Gabaldon

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

Voyager is the third installment in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  Voyager picks up where Dragonfly in Amber left off.  Jamie and Claire have just parted ways…him to go back and face his grisly death on Culloden field and her to go back through the stones at Craigh na Dun so she can bring her and Jamie’s child safely into the world.

The book then takes us through the next twenty years, telling us what exactly happened to the separated lovers.  Jamie was rescued from certain death by an unlikely source and was returned to Lallybroch, where his sister nursed him back to health.  Then, he lived in a nearby cave for several years until he decided to have one of his tenets turn him in so his people could have the reward money.  From there, he goes to prison and when the prison is shut down is sent to work at Hellwater.  He is then blackmailed into taking one of  the owner’s daughters’ virginity, which results in him fathering a son, Willie.  The mother is then killed for it by her husband after the birth and Jamie kills her husband to save Willie.  After the boy’s resemblance becomes too obvious he talks to the owner’s wife and gets pardoned and then sets out on his new life.

Meanwhile, Claire goes back to her marriage to Frank and they raise her and Jamie’s daughter, Brianna, together.  Claire goes back to school to become a doctor and starts working at the hospital.  Frank is killed in a car accident and she then takes Brianna on the trip to Scotland, where she eventually discovers, thanks to Roger Wakefield, that Jamie didn’t die on Culloden field.

Roger, Claire, and Brianna work hard trying to follow what happened to Jamie after Culloden and discover that he would still be alive if Claire had stayed with him in his time.  After much debate, she decides to take a leap of faith and go back to find him.
Claire travels to Edinburgh and finds Jamie is a printer under the name of Alexander Malcolm and also a smuggler under yet another alias and that he lives part-time at a brothel, where he hides his smuggled alcohol.

Claire and Jamie quickly fall back into each other’s lives, like they were never apart, even though Claire keeps finding out more and more about Jamie’s new life at every turn.  Like the fact that he married Laoghaire.

When Laoghaire’s brother comes with a lawyer to make a settlement to make up for Jamie dishonoring her, it leads Claire, Jamie, and their nephew, young Ian, on a mission to retrieve a treasure to pay Jamie’s debt.  But Ian and the treasure are taken by pirates and Claire and Jamie set out to recover him.

I know that many people love this series and just talk about how great it is.  I thought the first one, Outlander, was really good, but that Dragonfly in Amber was good, but had some boring parts…and this one I just found to be OK.  I just hate seeing this series slowly going further and further downhill for me.  In the previous books Jamie was an outlaw but for things out of his control and in this one it just feels that he chooses to be an outlaw and to do everything in a shady way and the more I learned about his new life, the less I wanted to know him. I thought that Claire was too lenient with Jamie at his aversion to tell her the truth at every corner…like finding out he had remarried wasn’t important and finding out about his son from someone she didn’t really even know.  I just expected her to make him grovel at least a little while, but she never really did.

The return of Geillis Duncan was quite the surprise, even know they made her the big villain of the book.  I’m a bit tired of John Grey’s constant reappearance…and I could really do without his crush on Jamie (does every strong military character have to be gay?).  But at least Jack Randall didn’t make an appearance in this installment…although I have no doubt he will in the future.

I’m finding myself losing interest in the series…I know I just made a herd of people gasp in horror.  Maybe it’s because the books are so long or just because Jamie and Claire frustrate me with the way they behave at times.  So I’ve decided it’s time to take a break and I’ll come back to it later.  Maybe after a break I can take a renewed interest in Claire and Jamie and the story in general.  At least I hope so!

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