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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander Series #7)

Average Rating 4.5
( 1419 )
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(900)

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(239)

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(147)

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(73)

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(60)

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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 November 15, 2009

    a disappointment

    I've been waiting for this one since I read the last page of A Breath of Fire and Ashes, the sixth in the Outlander series. However, I found myself, for the first time in a Gabaldon book, disappointed. The plot moved slowly, and there seemed to be far more attention to William and Lord John than was necessary. I'm glad I read it, and maybe this will grow on me as I think back on it; but I felt let down. In fact, there were times when I wished I could skip 50 pages at a time, because nothing seemed to be happening. The real disappointment, however, were that there were, for me, no "aha!" moments as the two time periods could have intersected, but didn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2009

    Another Piece to the Story, & another long wait ahead

    I am a HUGE Outlander fan and am proud to admit that I've probably read the series more times than necessary...but hey, it's a great story!
    Diana Gabaldon is an amazing author who has the ability to create characters that are not only interesting but also endearing. I for one am in-love with Jamie & Claire's story. While the series is basically about them it also includes the stories of other fabulous characters through different time periods and Echo has introduced a few more.
    I must say that this book was pieced together quite differently from the others and did find myself a little frustrated with the slow beginning and the jumping around through the different story lines. It wasn't until around the 100th page that I finally found myself really immersed in the story, (which is strange for me). Although there was plenty to enjoy throughout the book, the real action happens in the last quarter of the book, which not only seemed rushed but ended on several frustrating cliffhangers. Normally that wouldn't bother me because it's proof positive that there will be at least one more book. However, being familiar with Gabaldon's writing timelines, this means waiting 3-4 years to find out what happens! "Frustrated" doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling.
    On a more positive note to Gabaldon fans, there are several interesting subplots that answer quite a few mysteries from the series as well as including aspects from the Lord John stories.
    There a few new mysteries and questions to be solved & answered and there is plenty of drama and touching scenes to be read and enjoyed.
    I guess my recommendation is to keep in mind that Echo is merely "part" of the whole story and that Gabaldon never writes anything without a purpose. If you love and have followed the series then you've already proved to be a patient and devoted fan so a little frustration won't deter you for continuing the journey.
    I for one will be sticking it out because I've got faith in Gabaladon delivering an amazing conclusion to this amazing love story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    Some Good, Some Not So Good

    Gabaldon's writing style remains wonderful - flowing, smooth, natural, witty and so on. In some ways Echo is the best so far - because she seems to be handling the emotional content of the characters with more depth and real understanding than in the previous books of the series. If you enjoy all disaster/danger all the time, here it is, combined with excellent suspense in the romance department.

    BUT - the editing is worse than ever. Events that should flow seamlessly don't connect with each other at all - this lack has been troubling before now but with Echo the inability or refusal of the author to employ a strong content editor is glaringly apparent. At least one character in the series since Voyager has changed his name in every book since. An event occurring in one chapter will be completely forgotten and contradicted two or three chapters later. These occurrences are jarring, interrupting the suspension of disbelief to such an extent that it can be difficult to get back into the story. Scenes that were apparently completed and over with in a previous book are back and presented in a completely different way in this book.

    If you have read all the books since Outlander you, like me, are probably hooked and will buy the books and read to the end of the story, or until we die, whichever comes first. But I really hope that somebody will deal with this editing problem.

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  • Posted October 7, 2009

    Not as good as the others

    I've read all of her books, this last one left me unsettled, Loved reading about Jamie & family, not so much about John Grey his travels, The later part of the book came with way to many surprises and twists in the story, not enough explainations as to how the players got to where they were in the store. The fact that Jamie was thought to be dead and then shows up with no ground work as to how he got saved. And the ending left me wondering what happen to Rodger and his search for his son. Hopeing this will be solved in the next book. The ending was blank and without feeling for the reader or the players in the book. She can do better I know.
    Wanting more meat to the story, better reading I hope is yet to come.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    curious

    Hmm... I truly felt like she ended the series with that sixth book. She brought back and tied up the story lines for so many characters. I loved how it ended with the message to Bri in the future. I really felt closure. So I'm anxiously awaiting this book, but wondering how I'm going to feel about it. I truly love her writing and will love the book, but can't help feeling the story is already done. I'm only giving 3 stars now because I have to put something in. I'll come back when I've read the book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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