James Fraser has come back, presumably from the dead, to find that his wife has married his best friend. William has discovered that he is really the illegitimate son of General James Fraser. Oh, and did I forget to mention that they’re in the middle of the American revolution? But at least they know their only daughter is safe, back in the twentieth century…or is she?
If there was ever a cliffhanger in the Outlander series, ‘An echo in the bone’ was it. I’ve been dying to find out what happens to Jamie and Claire. The story picks up right in the thick of the action, and the blunders, misunderstandings and consequences make for entertaining reading. Once again, I found the war and camp scenes tedious at times, but that really just made it more authentic.
The storyline with Roger was fun, but I’m not sure it really added much to the story. The plot with Brianna was understated. I was a little surprised by this, as Gabaldon is not one to shy away from what could have been a seriously thrilling encounter. It was a little too vague for my liking.
I enjoyed seeing a more ‘human’ side to Claire in this installment. She’s been through so much and always appears so strong and put together. Sometimes she can come across as hard because of her efficiency, so this softer side was endearing.
I’ve never before stuck with a series for so long. Usually by book four, I find the story begins to repeat and the characters start to annoy me, but I can honestly say that I’ve never been more invested in a set of characters as I have been – and continue to be – with the Frasers. Another pearl from Gabaldon!
Fantastic start to a great series
Rowan, only heir to Queen Prisma of the Fire court has spent most of his life in the mortal world, training and perfecting the art of fire. When he receives the call to return to Avalon, Rowan is intrigued and also hesitant. Queen Prisma has decided to abdicate her throne to her son, but Rowan knows that where the cruel Queen is concerned, there have to be ulterior motives at play. And he is right. Queen Prisma has set one task for Rowan to complete before he ascends the throne, to kill the innocent halfling daughter of the Air court King. Can Rowan complete his evil task and can he face the consequences of his actions?
It’s short, but if this novella is any indication of the rest of the series, I’m very excited! O’Neale has created a wonderfully complex, vivid world in a few short pages, an outstanding achievement for any author. Rowan’s character is swoon-worthy romantic, with just the right amount of ‘boyishness’. I absolutely loved the banter between Rowan and the Hound. It revealed so many parts of his character without ‘telling’ and was humorous and very ‘male’ at the same time. The creation of the world was unique, the plot fast-paced, the writing superb.
This author is one to watch out for!
After the drama with Rose Hathaway, Sydney knows she’s skating on thin ice. Her fellow Alchemists have accused her of being a ‘vampire lover’ and she’s living under the very real threat of being sent away to a ‘re-education centre’. Worse yet, her actions may cause her sister to be dragged into the unsafe work of alchemy.
So when Sydney is apprised of a new assignment, she fights tooth and nail to be the one sent in place of her young and inexperienced sister, even though it means she’ll have to live with one of the ‘unnatural monsters’ she’s trying to protect the human world from. Secretly, Sydney knows that the gap between the Moroi and humans is smaller than she’s been led to believe. Living with Jill, the royal Moroi she’s been assigned to hide won’t be as bad as she thinks. It might even be fun, going to school and making friends. And nothing really happens in Palm Springs anyway…
After the Vampire Academy series, I think I expected Sydney to be similar in character to Rose, but I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, Rose is one of my favorite young adult characters, but a new series needs to have something fresh and exciting. Sydney is all that. She’s not your expected heroine. She doesn’t fight, she wears suits and she’s altogether quite lady-like. Some would say, she’s a ‘good-girl’, perhaps even a ‘walk-over’…Yet there is a hidden strength in her blood. Sydney is the girl who can get her own back without breaking a nail or lowering herself to her opponents level. She’s all business on the outside. On the opposite end of the scale is Adrian: bad boy and party animal. United by their concern for their young charge, the two opposites team up, to make a surprisingly great team. The character development on the part of both characters is definite and heart-warming. It’s probably my highlight in this novel.
I enjoyed this story, and would like to find out what happens next, but I have to admit that it didn’t enthrall me the way the Vampire Academy series did. Perhaps it was the lack of chemistry (excuse the pun!), the slower pace or the cliched feel of some of the interactions. Still a great read!
The 2015 International Readers Favorite award winners have been announced and I’m thrilled to say that ‘Five’ has won the Bronze award in the Young Adult romance category.
Check out the other category winners for some great reads: