Customer Reviews for

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander Series #7)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

27 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

I was duped! Yea!

I thought "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" was the end. What a pleasant surprise to find out I have another opportunity to get lost in this world again. When I bought "Outlander", the woman behind the counter at Barnes & Noble told me that the book had originally been cat...
I thought "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" was the end. What a pleasant surprise to find out I have another opportunity to get lost in this world again. When I bought "Outlander", the woman behind the counter at Barnes & Noble told me that the book had originally been catagorized as a Romance novel. While I would agree that the relationship between Claire and Jamie is incredibly romantic and then some, there's so much more to to these books. If you haven't read the first six books in this series, read those first. And to further quote the B & N sales lady, "if you're just starting out...I envy you."

posted by DGMDGM on June 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

74 out of 83 people found this review helpful.

Letdown

If you have not yet finished the book, don't read this review!

Like most Outlander fans, I was hotly anticipating this book, but upon finishing it, I felt like I had been led on a lengthy preview of a "real" story still out there waiting. This book entwines several d...
If you have not yet finished the book, don't read this review!

Like most Outlander fans, I was hotly anticipating this book, but upon finishing it, I felt like I had been led on a lengthy preview of a "real" story still out there waiting. This book entwines several different concurrent story lines, yet resolves NONE OF THEM. The book has no conclusion.
All of the books are lengthy, but the first four in the series kept the reader completely engrossed because the actions were fast-paced with a series of mini-climaxes and revelations scattered throughout them, rather than following the traditional you-find-everything-out-at-the-end format. Now, the length is the result of too much useless detail rather than action resulting in too little development following a story twist. Once the story gets interesting, the reader is either disappointed by the extremes of an overly obvious or equally incredulous resolution or none at all. The style that made Gabaldon stand out from her peers has been lost.
Gabaldon's stories have always been somewhat realistic in their unfolding even if unrealistic in their premise. This is why her books have been so popular. In the past, we have seen how difficult it is for Jamie to grasp 20th century concepts, yet Wm. Buccleigh MacKenzie supposedly comes to the 20th century and is not at all concerned with cars, electricity, etc. and is not inclined to fight with anyone he encounters in the future? Claire loses Jamie and in less than a month sleeps with Lord John, yet in Dragonfly, she doesn't sleep with Frank until well after Brianna's birth? And speaking of frank -- she just blurts out "I know these things because I'm really from the future" to Jamie's family and they're just cool with that? My, did things come a long way in those 30 years since she was almost burned at the stake! Additionally, the reader is to believe that Fergus' parentage is suddenly established and he's a part of the French nobility? And Amanda is somehow psychicly linked to Jem? Fans were initially drawn in by the realistic depiction of a 20th century woman trying to live in the 18th century. It didn't take much to make the original story somewhat believable and that's what intrigued readers. Now, it is just too far-fetched to retain the original audience.
This book also contains too many references to Lord John's activities from her other series. How many careers does one English Lord have? Soldier, prison warden, governor, soldier again, spy . . . isn't he the jack of all trades!
Overall, I found this story to be a real letdown both in its lack of realism and its missing conclusion. I feel that Gabaldon has moved away from her original style that made Outlander unique. I waited on pins and needles for four years for this book. I'm not sure if I'll bother with the next one.

posted by DRayne on September 28, 2009

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  • Posted December 2, 2009

    ECHO Jumps the Shark

    First of all, for those of you who think ECHO might have made more sense if you'd read the LORD JOHN novels... Actually, no, it doesn't. I read all three LORD JOHN volumes last year, and I still haven't the faintest idea what's going on in the Lord John sections of ECHO IN THE BONE.

    As to the rest... This book is a meandering, aimless, cumbersome morass of contrived, sloppy, poorly motivated perils-of-Pauline plot devices and convenient coincidences. Minor characters come and go without sufficient identification; minor subplots come and go without sufficient explanation or follow-through. The characters are tedious and bland. Indeed, I found Jamie and Claire so banal and inane in this book that I cannot share other readers' regret that they only appear in about 25% of the novel; as it was, I kept winding up skimming their ridiculously pointless conversations--as well as the love scenes that came across as oddly clinical and voyeuristic throughout the book. And Claire's medical adventures were so repetitious and minutae-driven, she actually wound up making blood and pain exasperatingly dull.

    The first 4/5 of the book just reads like a punishingly vast info-dump for the author's historical research. Yet while conveying a mind-numbing quantity of logistical details about the Revolutionary War, Gabaldon completely fails to convey any sense at all of the personal or political passions that led the Colonies from unrest, to rebellion, to all-out war. Until reading ECHO, it never would have occurred to me that a novel set in the American Revolution could be this dry and lifeless.

    And the final 1/5 of the book reads like a panicky, rushed rough-draft that the author never went back to develop and polish. The main characters behave like wooden chess pieces being manipulated around a game-board in the author's manic attempts to shock! and surprise! the weary reader.

    By the time I got to the sloppy, mid-stride, I-think-my-book-must-be-missing-some-pages "cliffhanger" stopping point of the book (it cannot reasonably called an "ending")... I realized I don't CARE what happens next. I waded all the way through this train-wreck of a novel thinking that surely it would start getting better; but it never did.

    The author totally jumped the shark with this book, and I'm through with this series now.

    31 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

    Step away from the book!

    I just finished this book after anxiously awaiting it's release for the last 4 years and I can say that you will be better off pretending that you never learned there was another book in our beloved series. This book sucks! Did Diana Gabaldon really write it? Is she tired of Jamie and Claire? Does she think that all of us who have followed the exploits of Jamie and Claire really care for Lord John and William? If I wanted to know about Lord John and William I would read that series! LJ and Wm are fine as peripheral characters but they run the show in this book and we only catch occasional glimpses of Jamie and Claire and even less of Roger and Bree. What we do get seems more like an afterthought just to appease us than a part of the story line. Does she think we won't notice? I've gone from being disappointed to being angry at the quality of this story. Save your time and money. Pretend A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the last book in the series. Can I say it again? This book sucks. I want my money and my time back.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2010

    I am deeply saddened.

    I LOVE the Outlander Series. I waited with baited breath for this book to come out. Only the excerpts added to the author's website could, in a small way, alleviate my anxiousness for the newest book. As a reader, I truly appreciate the craft of writing and have often thought to myself that it is unique that most of my favorite authors also are Ph.Ds in different areas. Ms. Gabaldon's research and story crafting far outshines many of the mainstream authors. And...basically, I LOVE this series. However, I truly disliked this book. That, for me, colored my opinion about the entire Outlander series.

    I know from the her website, Ms. Gabaldon has had a lot of irons in the fires - so to speak. However, getting caught up in extra activities is certainly no excuse for putting out a book such as an Echo in the Bone. This book was clearly written with little forthought to previous story lines - and continuity. I am deeply saddened at the quality of the craft in this book.

    First, this book gives every appearance that it was written in snippets. As time allows, an author may write a scene or chapter then leave it to do something else. While that may often work, it takes some editing and crafting to put it all together. Other books in the series had that appearance also. There was none of that crafting apparent in this book. The story jumps all over the place. I felt truly saddened for those folks who have never read the Lord John books because much of the story line in Echo begins with events that took place in that mini-series of novellas and short stories.

    Second, I am not sure that Ms. Gabaldon understands that we LOVE the series because we can feel an affinity with Claire and Jamie. Like another reviewer stated - it felt like they were the after thought in this book. The touching story of Jamie and Claire is why we read the books. The extraneous and historical events are interesting (at least I think so); however, in this day of drive by divorce and hatefulness - it is comforting to read about a relationship based on caring, respect, and true love. This is our escape and why the books have been successful.

    Now, the cliffhangers...in my opinion, none of the cliffhangers were that effective. Why would Claire leave Jamie in Scotland to go back and take care of the children? Why would she and Lord John get together? I can understand the issue with the boat sinking and all - give the 18th century form of communications. There needed to be more chapters or they should have been restructured. And the business about Bree, Roger, and Jem and all in the 1980s is just plain stupid.


    PLEASE....I agree with everyone else - this is just a blatant attempt to sell more books. I am afraid that the customer base for the next book may have been significantly reduced because of this book. I certainly won't wait with baited breath for the next one. If and when it comes out, I will likely read it but....I won't go out on its publication date and purchase it as I have done for the last four books.

    I wish that I could recommend this book to new readers. I have shared this series with most of my co-workers and all of my family(my sister-in-law got me started on the series). However, I would only recommend this book to die hard fans. I didn't even purchase this book for a good friend and my two sisters in law as I had originally planned to for last Christmas. So...I guess the jumping around paid off for the publishe

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    LOVE Outlander HATE HATE HATE An Echo in the Bone

    I have loved the Outlander books from the beginning. The history, the adventure, the romance...all of it. I loved every page...until this book. It is awful. Its manipulative and the writing style is just nowhere near the previous books. Gabaldon seems to meander her way through the first 3/4 of the books confused and all over the place and then starts to verbally vomit every plot possible. Its ludicrous and enough with JOHN GREY!! and enough with Willie's wandering and really Ian fell in love in about two minutes? really? I wanted to burn this book when I finished but I will continue to read and re read all the previous books over and over and over. I won't be a spoiler but that business at the end with John and Claire was so perverse and so unbelievable. WHat a terrible way to end a book your readers have waited years for.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    :(

    I love the first six books! Outlander is one of my favorite books Jamie and Clair are amazing. Having said that I do not care for the this book. I have had it for two years and am still not finished. It is very dull and has far to many characters coming and going. If you are a Lord John fan you will be happy he is all over the place I dont like is character so it is a bit annoying how much time that has been spent on him. Would have loved more William and Ian. Sense I still have yet to finish the book I can't comment on the end, I am not sure if l ever will finish. :(

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What happened?

    Not satisfying at all. What the heck is going on? I know I won't purchase the next book in this series before i read the reviews. Like another reviewer said; I want my time and money back. Loved the other books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    a big disappointment

    this was to be about jamie and claire and it was not I was very dissapointed in the whole book. if I wanted read about lord john I would read his books but I dont because I dont Like lord john. please write about jamie and claire.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2014

    Gave me a headache trying to get through it. Being a devoted fan

    Gave me a headache trying to get through it. Being a devoted fan and loving the first 3 books, I ran out to get this one as soon as it came out. I was still optimistic, hoping this one would get back on track and revisit the tone and "can't put this book down" experience of the others. I was getting more and more disappointed with each book after "Voyager." I felt Diana was spending way too much time dumping historical facts instead of telling a story of people and their lives. Full of emotion, she made me really care about these people and what was going to happen to them next. Each book seems to have less and less of that which I fell in love with, and more and more historical dogma simply strung together. It's not Jaime, Claire and the other members of their extended family and friends stories in an exciting historical background. Instead it is a history lesson (a dull one at that!) with these beloved characters planted here and there. making less and less sense as chapter after chapter goes on. I couldn't finish the book, when it came out. Possibly because I was still so hopeful it would be good and the other books were still so fresh. but I recently decided to revisit it. because the next book has come out and I have no idea what is happening. I got though it, just finished it in fact. but it was difficult. I totally agree with the poster who said the last 1/5th of the book felt like a mad dash to sun it all up and get it finished. Her characters are no longer believable, they are no longer true to themselves. I also agree about Lord John/. She is obviously enthralled with this character, she had written an entire series for him. Why then does he take such a starring role in the Outlander series? Trying to force people to read the Lord John books so we have a better idea what is now going on in Outlander? I am so disappointed in this series. But I suppose a book a remarkable as Outlander, could not be expanded on forever. I will continue to read it over and over. but will never pick up some of these others a second time. Perhaps Ms. Gabaldon needs to let the series die a respectable death. Maybe as a writer she could find her excellent voice in something completely new, if she would just take time to rediscover whatever it was that got her to write the way she did at the beginning of the series. And btw. Ms. Gabaldon, please stop overusing a new word or phrase you've discovered. If I read the word "grampus" one more time I will scream!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2014

    I too waited eagerly for this book to come out and snatched it r

    I too waited eagerly for this book to come out and snatched it right up as soon as it was available.  When I got to the thoroughly disgusting part where Claire sleeps with Lord John (How could she do that! Has she forgotten all the misery this man put Jamie through! Ugh!) I almost threw the book across the room in dismay.  I had gotten my granddaughter hooked on the series but I told her not to read this book, that it was too revolting.  So, here I am, stuck because now the next book is out, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, and I'm torn between going back and finishing Echo or not.  Am I going to be spending most of my time spent reading Blood trying to figure out the gaps in the story line if I don’t finish Echo? 




    This is such a complex series and there has been a long time between reading Snow and Ashes and Blood that I’ve been thinking about getting the Companion.  However, the reviews on that are not good either and it only covers the first 4 books.  Do I want to spend $19 for the Nook version of the Companion and then spend $12 on Blood?




    I have gotten my husband hooked now on the story as we are watching the original series that is new to Starz.  I subscribed to Starz expressly to watch this series, and that may turn into a several-year thing because they have stated that they are going to try to cover a book a season.  It is quite good, BTW, and even my hubby is enjoying it.  The series is now up to episode 3, and full of Scottish flavor and Claire finding her way around the folks in general, and Jamie in particular.  I am still waiting for the situation between Claire and Jamie to heat up romantically though.  




     So, what to do.  Finish Echo or not before reading Heart.  I'm really torn.  I think I’ll go over to Diana’s website and post this there also.  I hope other folks are doing that as well.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Done

    It's almost 5 years since you wrote this and neither of the books coming out have anything to do with Roger or Bree. Your a waste of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Very disappointed in how the book ended. Left too many unanswere

    Very disappointed in how the book ended. Left too many unanswered questions and no real conclusions. What happened to Jemmy (is he still in the in the little train waiting for someone to rescue him),
    Roger and Buccleigh (did they go through the stones or not?) What happened with Jamie and Claire, Lord John and William? 1158 pages and no ending to tie it all together. Is there going to be another book to be written to tie all of the pieces together?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    The help

    Stupid assy book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2012

    Uyurfdhdncvcduyfhd dcxxur ii

    Ceeeuyuu

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    This book rambles from one plot to another without resolving any

    This book rambles from one plot to another without resolving anything. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed all of Ms Gabaldon's other books but this one left me feeling betrayed and royally ticked off. A published author has a responsibility to her readers to give them at least a good read for their money. This book falls far short of the expectation. I do not recommend it at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    SKIP THIS BOOK

    Ms. Gabaldon clearly forgot about the core relationship of Jamie and Claire that drew the readers in. If anyone cares about Lord Gray, they can read Gabaldon's series about him, but fans of Jamie and Claire did not need to be subjected to endless pages of Lord Gray, nor should we have to endure the painful fact that Claire would sleep with Grey only a month after Jamie's supposed death. I am totally discusted with her and with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    don't bother

    I've been an "Outlander" Fan for years, and like others, waited anxiously for this. How disappointing! I bought it the day it hit the stores, and two years later, I still have not made it past page 150.....I just can't! Who cares about William and Lord Grey. Didn't we all fall in with the story of Jamie and Claire? Isn't that why we continue to buy the books? Bring em back Diana!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    Don't waste your money.

    Have enjoyed previous books. Skip this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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