I finished the third book in the series and I'm now more than ever convinced that this stuff is literary crack. Some goooood literary crack mind you but addicting nonetheless. I'm really enjoying Jamie and Claire's adventures and this book has to have the best reunion scene I've ever read along with some fabulous followups and twists and turns! Whoa. One needs to take a break in between heavy scenes for fear of overload.
Voyager takes place literary right after where Dragonfly in Amber stopped. Claire is still trying to track down Jamie and finally, with Roger and her daughter Bree's help, finds him. The beginning is interesting in the fact that it's sort of parallel. We see Jamie's live as he lives it in the past while his love tracks him down in the future. Poor Jamie still goes through some trials in war torn Scotland after the battle of Culloden still suffers from England's affects after the Jacobite Rising of the '45.
I was zipping through the beginning like crazy in a sleep deprived mind continued to see when Claire made her way through the stones again and to the moment when she see an older Jamie. I couldn't wait to see what they talked about and how they would treat each other. It was very realistic in both were nervous to pick up where they left off. Wonderful stuff. The story then zips along with a bunch of things happening at once and we're (along with Claire) are introduced and re-introduced to side characters that have aged since we last saw them at the beginning of the book. A LOT of things happen that throw our fave couple for a loop including some re-appearances by some savory and unsavory characters alike. Especially our favorite little big mouth who ratted Claire out in Outlander. And tsk tsk tsk on Jamie. I love Jamie, perhaps more than any other literary hero in literature but why!? I spoke with my friend recently and like her I was alternating between wanting to strangle Jamie and kiss him. (Seriously though, that chapter was superb when it all came out). The emotion in these books are immensely wild.
I LOVED the previous two books in the series but I had a few pet peeves in Voyager. I've made this review spoilerific because these are specific instances. Claire kind of got on my nerves comparing herself to every 18th century woman she came across because she was freaking out about being older. (He loved YOU woman, it didn't matter what ya looked like! lol). Plus it's a given she would be in better health considering the modern technological advances where she came from in the 1960s.
Also (said character stereotyping aside) Claire's reference to "the Chinaman" or "Jamie's Pet Chinaman" kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Claire comes from the 60s and I'm pretty sure from her travels she's been acquainted with Chinese people before. So I wasn't sure why she reacted like an 18th century woman.
I wasn't too happy with the Jamie and Geneva situation. I guess I'm a bit selfish in that I only saw Jamie for Claire. But considering he figured the love of his life may never return, he shut down AND he was coerced into it by Geneva. Not to mention there's a convo between him and Claire about the depths a man will go to stave off the dark pit of his loneliness. His family and tenants lives were also on the line, understood but I guess it kind of nagged. I am interested in seeing how Gabaldon picks this up and from the looks of the upcoming book this act and the result of it will be like war itself. Knowing her writing style now, I know she doesn't leave threads hanging and tends to pick them up down the line in one way or another which is always interesting to read.
These few instances aside (and an early throw away line Claire that also bothered me) I liked Voyager as the greater whole of the series but it didn't quite come up to the awesomeness of the first two books although it was good. It took awhile to bring back the same rush, excitement and consuming feeling as Dragonfly in Amber and Outlander especially. At times the characters didn't really seem like themselves based on how we got to know them from the first few books. Claire and Jamie seemed like two other characters with too many secrets held from one another (or maybe just Jamie from Claire) and their actions sometimes seemed a bit odd/out of character. Soon things fell into step and it was just like a continuation of the previous books especially once we got back to Lallybroch.
Voyager was a fun read no doubt and my favorite parts were everything that led up to the reunion and their first love scene. Things started really getting interesting back at Lallybroch and the ride had only just begun then. Towards the end the book turned into adventure mode with pirates, plagues and some bizarre oddities in 18th century Caribbean. I'd probably give this a 3.5 stars if I could. The first two books had a nice balance of lowkey scenes with the high suspense and action sequences while this one felt a little unbalanced especially towards the end. Just as things were advancing between the two characters another plot twist would arise and toss a wrench into everything that it felt a bit uneven. Towards the end more and more bizarre things kept happening that didn't feel like I was in the same world as I started.
Nevertheless, I can't get enough Jamie Fraser cause I'm hooked like a cold water trout.