Top critical review
Glorified Romance Novel
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2018
Several people in my life have recommended the Outlander series to me for years, so despite my not ever feeling a strong pull toward the premise, I finally caved and tried to give it a shot, with the first book. Long story short: I quit at 49%. I'm not really sure what I was expecting of this book except to find it to be a very good read, according to so very many. I was definitely *not* expecting a glorified bodice ripper. I mean, I knew there was going to be "romance" due to the main thrust of the plot being how Claire navigates two great loves in two different times, but I thought there was going to be more to it. (And maybe there is, later on? But I doubt it.) Took me awhile to admit that the "story" is really just various pretexts for putting Claire and her Scottish husband Jamie into a variety of steamy sex scenes.
Now, don't get me wrong: I like a good steamy romance novel, now and again. It's just that I was expecting more substance from this particular series. I love sci-fi, and time travel qualifies, but turns out that's just a cute backdrop for the romance, at least in the first half of the first book. No way am I remotely inclined to slog through 8 books to see if it breaks free of the Harlequin vibe!
The writing is not bad, so I'm giving it three stars. I'm not quite as outraged by the what others are calling misogyny and domestic abuse; I believe Jaime loves Claire and is trying to be a proper, loving husband, but the corrective spanking/beating he doles out is infantilizing, at best. Claire is a fighter and puts some hurt back on him, but the whole situation is designed to do what I mentioned at the beginning: to set up a steamy sex scene. In this case, a sex scene with strong B&D overtones that I don't find appealing at all.
So yeah, that was about halfway through and is the point at which I remembered that life is too short to waste good reading time on anything I'm not thoroughly into. Especially with the prospect of seven more books to go. Ugh. No. Time to find something else.