No human has ever left the Shade alive. Now, after weeks of captivity on the sunless vampire island, Sofia is given the choice: stay, and remain with her beloved Derek Novak as his human slave; or return to her life with Ben and have some chance of normality. Can she live with the choice she must make?
Book 2 continues the series exactly where book 1 left off. If there’s one thing that jars me a little when reading this series, it’s that there are no clearly defined beginnings and endings to each of the novels. Each book seems far too short and ends abruptly, leaving you hanging, wondering what is next. Sheer genius of Bella Forrest, I think. I know that as readers, we like tidy little packages with all the ends neatly ribboned off, but when you’re reading a series, there has to be a reason to move on to the next book, and Bella Forrest certainly knows how to provide that. So, I’ve made peace with this series by viewing it as one long book that has been broken down into smaller chunks. And it’s one of those fast-paced series you have to read from cover to cover!
Book two featured a greater variety of character’s POV. I particularly enjoyed this, since it gave depth to many of the characters that I felt was missing in book 1. Strangely enough, I relished Lukas’ POV, it was just fresh and unusual to see things from the POV of the villain.
The emotional intensity from the first book was heightened in this one. I felt that Derek’s ‘fall’ following Sofia’s decision made him more ‘human’ and ‘inhuman’ at the same time. The chemistry and intensity between Sofia and Derek remained intact and there was some lovely character development all round, including for Ben.
This is definitely an addictive series.
What a cliffhanger!
James Fraser knows what the outcome of the American rebellion will be, and yet his knowledge may not be enough to get him and Claire through the raw realities of daily life in a country at war. Then, there is the fact that he may end up on opposite sides of the battlefield to his illegitimate son.
Claire and Jamie have been separated from their children and grand-children across the wide expanse of time. Can they, and can Bree and Rodger start afresh in this messy time?
I’ll be honest – I’ve been seriously contemplating giving this series up, but Gabaldon keeps throwing in new reasons to keep me reading. This installment was all about new beginnings. There was a point in the novel where I began to feel that the story was lagging with its descriptions of life in the war camps of the American revolution. Yet that sense of ‘lagging’ really added to the stark reality of the depressing conditions under which the Americans fought for their independence so many years ago.
The trip back to Scotland inserted some nostalgia into the story and heightened the emotional impact. It made me realize how amazing Gabaldon’s writing is. I haven’t read many books that cover entire lifetimes of characters, and those I have read were pretty boring. Gabaldon, however, consistently adds new, daring, frightening and exciting adventures to keep the lives of her characters tumultuous and interesting.
With the cliffhanger in this one (or should I say cliffhangers) there’s no question as to whether I will continue this series. I simply MUST find out what happens to Claire and Lord John after the bomb he dropped on Jamie at the end and I NEED to know what Bree is going to do about her son.
Slow but entertaining
When Piper calls Evelyn from Scotland, frazzled, incoherent and desperate, Evelyn doesn’t think twice. She hops on a plane to Scotland to help her friend. Upon arrival, she finds that her best friend has inherited a huge estate – and a few other things too, including a time traveling highlander from the 18th century and a serial killer. There’s one major plus though, in the form of Piper’s dreamy Scottish friend Sam…
This book had two of my favorite things: Scots and time-travel. Evelyn was also a fun and quirky character. Yet, I struggled with this story. The first half of the book was extremely slow – everything happened only after the halfway mark. The point of view left me puzzled for most of the story. There were essentially two love stories in this novel, and I felt that the story of Piper and Lachlan was underplayed and essentially lost beneath that of Evelyn and Sam due to the fact that the story was told mostly from Evelyn’s point of view.
The second half of the book was more exciting. I think it would have been a great novel if the starting point had been the fifty percent mark, but it was still entertaining.
Where has this book been hiding?
On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Sofia Claremont is abducted into a dark and dangerous world. In the Shade, the sun never shines and humans live as slaves to their cruel, master vampires. Sofia is selected to be part of a gift to the newly awakened Prince Derek Novak and soon realizes that her best chance at survival is to stay in Derek’s good graces. But neither Derek not Sofia reckoned on the growing attraction between them, or the danger it would pose to Sofia’s life.
Stop the bus, where has this book been hiding? Bella Forrest has smashed her way straight to my top author list with this sexy, dangerous story. There is clear talent in her writing style, with scenes that unfold perfectly to move this fast-paced plot along. The premise is a popular one, and certainly not unique. I found myself drawing many comparisons with Twilight at the end, but it’s always been more about the telling of the story for me than the story itself.
Bella Forrest is like a master painter. She so easily creates vivid scenery and rich, passionate emotions with her choice of powerful words. The characters she has created, while not rich in history (yet?), are so intense that you can’t help but fall in love with them. Derek has that animalistic, protective nature all girls want in a book-boyfriend and Bella has the beauty and fragility to match. Telling the story from both character’s POV was a stroke of genius from Forrest. It added so much intensity to their interactions.
The ending was rather abrupt – but achieved it’s aim because I’m itching to find out what happens! This one’s a fantastic read, so don’t miss out!
An uncertain future
The American revolution looms before the Frasers. Jamie walks the tight-rope between the crown and freedom, but will soon have to jump, plunging his entire family into war. Many decisions will have to be made, and consequences faced as Jamie’s time-travelling family adjust to life in these harsh times and make the ultimate decision – stay or go?
Every time I close an Outlander novel, I think: what more could these people live through? I am astounded at the extent of Gabaldon’s imagination. Claire and Jamie have lived through every possible adventure, tragedy and joy – and yet I know that Ms Gabaldon will find even more amazing adventures for them in the next book. Never have I felt as invested in the lives of character as I do with the Frasers.
The first part of this installment was charming in it’s descriptions of life in the times. I thoroughly enjoyed the politics and ebb and flow of life on Frasers Ridge. Just when I thought I’d reached a point where the story was starting to slow, Gabaldon threw Claire into a new adventure that Jamie had to rescue her from, and the rest, was a tumultuous race to the end.
There was a wonderful sense of family and the purity of a simple life on Fraser’s ridge. The Mackenzies added depth, variety and freshness to the story, without detracting from Claire and Jamie’s stories. Gabaldon very cleverly played with the questions of morality and predestination once again, with particular use of Roger’s character.
The end was quite a shocker, unravelling the carefully laid foundations of the last few novels. I feel as though I’ve been thrown back into the beginning with Claire and Jamie – and I’m excited to find out what they are going to make of their new and uncertain future.