Thursday, 17 May 2012

Book review: Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #1)

Cross StitchCross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Mum (and various other female members of my family) have been banging on about these series of books for ages. Time travel, Scotland and romance, what more could a girl want?
Well, it was brilliant, but I'll get to those points in a minute, because there were some things that niggled at me a bit.
For a start, once Claire is back in the 18th Century that's it, there's no other time travel of any description, so forget the time travel part of this book, because really there isn't any. In my eyes that was a bit of shame. I would have liked to see her go back and forth a bit, I wanted to know how time progressed back in the 1940s and if Frank was worried about her at all. We also meet one character to appears to be from another time, and I wish we'd learnt more about them as well. The biggest mistake to make is going into this, thinking it's a time travel story, because it's not, it's a historical romance. Once I'd got over that, I could enjoy myself.
The second niggling thing is that Jamie came to save the day, every time. I know he loves her and all that, but it was getting to the stage where it was becoming ridiculous. He would be miles away, unreachable, and he would still come and save her.
Right, rant out of the way, let's get back to the good stuff. The characters are absolutely exceptional. Claire is ahead of her time even in the 1940s and is a strong female character, a rarity. I've never loved a character as much as I've loved Jamie. He is a wonderful person, and someone you follow, despite his flaws. The supporting characters are all brilliant, unique and well thought out. Diana Gabaldon is brilliant at writing characters, and stories. I held my breath several times throughout the book, waiting to see what would happen next, even if sometimes, the amount of things that happened to them was a bit unrealistic for the short space of time.
Overall a fantastic sprawling read, that you can get your teeth sunk into and is unputdownable. I look forward to the next in the series.

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