BOOK REVIEW: Voyager (#3 in the Outlander series), by Diana Gabaldon

Released: August 7, 2001 (Seal Books)
Series: Outlander, Book #3
Author Links: WEB / TWITTER / GOODREADS / FACEBOOK
Source: Purchased
Buy Now From: Amazon

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.

My Thoughts (May Contain Spoilers)

You may recall me bemoaning Diana Gabaldon’s previous book in this series, Dragonfly in Amber, because it was long, boring, and took me FOREVER to read. Of course, once I finished reading that book, I just had to start reading Voyager, the third book in the series.

Voyager starts with Claire researching (with the help of her daughter Brianna and friend Roger) whatever happened to Jamie – the love she had to leave after Culloden in order to save her and their daughter’s life. Twenty years have passed and lo and behold, it is revealed that Jamie did not die at Culloden like she thought he did. The problem is that a lot can happen over the course of twenty years.

With Roger’s expertise in research and Claire’s never-give-up attitude, they find out approximately where Jamie would have been twenty years past the day when Claire was forced to go back through the stone circle to her present day. So what’s a girl to do when she finds out the love of her life is still alive, 200 years before her time? Go back, of course.

Maybe it was because this book was so similar to Outlander, the first book in the series, but I absolutely devoured it. There wasn’t a lot of political jargon that mussed up the pages of Dragonfly in Amber, nor were there endless fight scenes long enough to make even the most caffeine-addicted man fall asleep.

Claire goes back and is reunited with Jamie and they have to learn to live with what happened in the last twenty years. None of it was innocent, considering each thought the other was dead. Frank takes Claire back after learning she was with child when she returns “home”, thus making Brianna (“Bree”) believe that Frank is her father. And Jamie is shipped all over the place, thrown in jail a few times, has a CHILD WITH ANOTHER WOMAN (unbeknownst to anyone but him and another person), and ends up remarrying not just another woman, but Laoghaire, the girl Claire saw him canoodling with prior to their wedding 20+ years ago.

Somehow, most things work out. But not everything. Claire’s return isn’t received as she would have liked by Jamie’s sister, and there’s the mystery of who-exactly-is-the-little-Chinaman-Jamie-keeps-calling-Mr.-Willoughby? When Laoghaire enters the picture (and then leaves the picture after shooting Jamie in the arm), the lawyer, Ned, comes in to settle the matter of First Wife vs. Second Wife. As usual, Jamie has to pay.

But wait! One time when Jamie was in jail, he learned of a story of a treasure on an island. Of course he manages to escape said jail and SWIMS to the island to find a treasure that doesn’t match the description originally provided, but a treasure nonetheless. And now that he has to pay up to Laoghaire for the “divorce”, Jamie, Claire, Jenny’s son Ian, the Chinaman, and some Scottish smugglers are all en route to obtain said treasure (since who has the kind of money to pay for a divorce?).

On the way, Ian is kidnapped and the gang must band forth to rescue him. But from whom, you ask? Well, from Geilis Duncan – the WITCH we thought was burned at the stake! From the looks of it, Ian was her sacrifice, and her slave people were all too happy to relay this information to Claire and Jamie.

In the end, Ian is rescued and Claire and Jamie are in hot debate over where they should live since Jamie is a smuggler – nay, a WANTED smuggler – and many of the places he called home are now off-limits. Fortunately, their boat was being followed by the same ship that kidnapped Ian, which forces them to head out to sea. They’re hit by a storm and wind up in … America.

Du, du, du … !

Unfortunately for Diana Gabaldon, I’m putting the reading of the 4th book on hold until I read other books that are on my To-Read list. However, I was pleasantly pleased with this book – it held my attention, had just the right amounts of love and action (though I could do without the very detailed “love” scenes) and still kept my intrigue to read farther into the series. And instead of taking a whopping 2 months to read  book, this one only took 11 days.  I know, I’m a machine. (LOL!)

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4 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Voyager (#3 in the Outlander series), by Diana Gabaldon

  1. Lovely review by the way. Glad to see someone discussing the book!

    Dragonfly in Amber was unbelievably boring! In fact I read half and went online to find the ending so I could jump to the next book. Perhaps it was the overall lack of mystery as we view the events that unfolded as a mere recollection from Claire’s past, intermitted with her belief that she was just dutifully living out the motions of her life while in the past, as she truly could not change history. Knowing she left the past, has a child, reunites with Frank, … is too much knowledge. Let us get there gradually.

    With that in mind, picking up Voyager was an immediate relief. It kept my attention from the start. However, their lives seem to catapult from one tragedy to the next. The Caribbean territory was itself an exercise in believability and my stressed patience. A lot of events seem to have no finality to them, as here we have read 1050 pages only to have obtuse answers. And there is also a lack of story-line in regards to Claire’s life, such as Jamie missing interested in how a photograph is made? How are her instruments made? What really happened with Frank? What in the world happened in the last 200 years? etc…

    And to top it off, the detailed love scenes and poetry thrown in from dirty books was unnecessary. I want a conversation about what in the world happened with Mrs. Campbell speaking with Brianna’s voice? And the reasons behind Pastor Campbell’s murderous rampage and connection to Abernanthy/the Witch’s estate. Why would Claire be scared by Mr. Willoughby when he was defending her from Pastor Campbell ?

    Well, on to the next in the series. Although I too need a break from Jamie and Claireh. I am actually going to take a cue from your other books you have reviewed. :)

  2. Pingback: Outlander (#1 in the Outlander series), by Diana Gabaldon « Reading in Winter

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful review. I thought Dragonfly in Amber was boring at first, but the final third really made up for it. I thought Voyager was fun and intriguing but some of the drama and/or conflict seemed a bit unnecessary. How many times can Claire and Jamie get separated in one book?! Seriously. Overall, I enjoyed the story but I felt like there were a few too many crazy plot twists that didn’t necessarily enhance the story and made it drag on too long. (For example: Jaime somehow not being on the Artemis once she finds it – though I did love his captain rouse to return to the ship, AND Claire’s re-meeting of Ishmael & Margaret). I love this series, and I’m excited for the new book as well as the mini-series!

    • YES! Jamie and Claire were always getting separated! You would think they’d learn after a while, right? I love the books, but I do find them long at times. Case in point, I’ve been reading the 4th book for a few months now with over a month of me not even picking up the book. I still know exactly where I am, but if it were shorter, I may be finished by now.

      Thanks for the comment!

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