Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unfortunately, this is the end of the line for me, and my actual score is more of a 2.5. I really wanted to love this one, but for me, it was drawn out and tedious. There was a huge lull from about 1/3 to 2/3, and I think this whole story could have been successfully accomplished and be far better in half the number of pages.

They still don’t address the time travel issue in any way that is helpful or more satisfying than the previous novel, so I’ve effectively read 1,700 pages of a classic time travel novel and continue to have no answers or even clues to my most basic questions. All they did was give me more questions, and there’s a point at which mystery and delay can be good for a story, but it’s not after 1,700 frustrating pages of no real answers. I think I’ve finally accepted that actually addressing the concept of the story is never going to be a priority, and that sits poorly with me, since it’s the concept that attracted me.

In addition, I got tired of rape scenes being used as filler to help drag the story out and add another 100 pages of drama. There’s a limit to how much of that I want to continue to read, especially at this point.

This novel also diverged from almost everything I truly loved about book one, and that about did me in. Instead of being different or interesting, it took away all the things I loved most and expected me to hang on through those 600 or so middle pages of exhausting nonsense which did little to improve or progress the plot.

I just can’t anymore. The characters aren’t enough of a reason to continue on, especially now that I know these books are going to all be dreadfully long due to an inability to edit effectively, rather than a true need for each story to be so lengthy.

There’s a phrase in the writing world that says, “kill your darlings.” It basically means that if you want to have a good story, you have to be able to delete useless words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, and sometimes even sections of your manuscript to create a better story. Unfortunately, there are no dead darlings in this monster. They’re all there, and you have to read them all, no matter how slow, unnecessary, and boring they may be. And sometimes they aren’t boring. Sometimes it’s a funny scene but still completely useless to the story, in which case, I would have preferred some humor through a different method.

A drawn out story can be good, if there’s enough motion to compel someone forward. There just isn’t here, and I quit this book so many times and had to force myself to restart and restart and restart to finish it. While the ending was more interesting, it should have arrived 500 pages sooner, in order for me to continue onward. I don’t by any means dislike a long book, but I can’t slog through so many chapters of nonsense just to get to the good stuff. I’m not that patient. I think this just isn’t my cup of tea after all, but I’m glad I finally know what this series is all about after years of wondering.

Book 148 Read in 2018

Pages: 976

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