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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 82 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 October 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    She's back!

    And I've never been happier! Don't get me wrong, this is a massive tome and should not be undertaken lightly, but that doesn't stop me from recommending it to everyone I know. Diana's writing is as strong as ever, with her beautifully drawn, only-too-real characters and her sometimes meandering path into heart-pounding action. She's up to her usual tricks, tying you up in emotional knots and leaving you there in agony, but I'm not complaining. I thought she was able to strike a healthy balance between history and personal moments for the characters. Honestly, I was expecting to see more of the war, and I was pleasantly surprised that we instead took a trip back to Scotland.

    I see from other reviews that some readers were as stunned by the ending of the book as I was - as though everyone was mid-action and suddenly the curtain dropped. She's always left you with questions when previous books were over, but never so abruptly! I'm still getting used to it, but I'm not saying it's a terrible thing. Just different and unexpected.

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2009

    An unexpected pleasure

    I can't wait for this latest book. As a man in his 60's I avoided "historical romances" like the plague but a friend whose opinion I respected introduced me to the fourth book in the Outlander series, saying it would surprise me. I devoured that book and immediately searched out the other 5 in the series. I loved them all.

    To classify these novels as "historical romances" does them no justice - they do swash a lot of buckles and there is certainly convincing romance and sex but, like all good fiction the character draw you in so that you care about them. Wonderful excapist reading!

    11 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    Another well-written Gabaldon book, but I can't believe the ending (or lack thereof).

    I have loved Diana Gabaldon's books since they first came out and have read and reread all of them. She is my favorite living author. She has a clarity and depth to her writing which is rare. Her characters and scenes spring to life in my mind with her words and I feel myself to be a part of the story. Her writing is vivid and evocative and intelligent. I own two sets of her books; the old set got loaned out so much that the books are now in pieces so I replaced them but couldn't bring myself to throw out the old ones. This book contains DG's high quality of writing and extensive background research that have been present in the rest of her books. But, and this is a huge "but", the ending is not an ending at all and gives no closure whatsoever to the book. Each of the other books in the series left me wondering a little bit about where the story could go from there, but at the same time could stand on its own as a satisfying and complete tale. Echo in the Bone is a cliffhanger and not just an "I wonder what will happen to ...". This book leaves beloved characters in very dangerous situations of high dramatic tension with no glimmer of resolution within its pages.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2010

    Saddened at incomplete ending

    Since Jamie still has 4 more semi deaths and one final death to go, I figure there will be at least 5 more books to wait for the ending. I really, really enjoyed this series until the seventh book. How long can you drag out the same characters. I am a senoir citizen and will probably be deceased when the final chapters come out. I think eight books was enough to complete the series and I don't think I want to wait even though I was totally hooked on all of the characters. What a great series! But so sad and let down when she left every character in book 7 a cliffhanger.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good book, bad ending!

    For anyone who follows this series, the book is beautifully written like the previous Outlander installments. Not only does it expand on the characters introduced and loved from earlier books, but it spirals the core story of Claire and Jamie ever closer to the inevitable conclusion while leaving room for the series to continue with the next generation.

    The one thing that annoyed me as a reader was the ending. I shall not spoil it, but will say that it made me want to throw my book against the wall and vow never to buy another one. Whether or not I actually hold to that depends a great deal upon the direction the next Outlander book takes.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Worth the wait!

    For those of us that love Jamie & Claire and their adventures, this was worth the wait. My only criticism would be that like Dragonfly in Amber, this is full of historical details. I found it challenging to cope with the 3 or 4 different plot lines during the bulk of the story. Would have loved much more Jamie and Claire, although it was nice getting to know William better. By the end of the book it all came together and what a thrilling ride it was!
    My only complaint is having to wait another 4 years to pick up where she left off all the loose ends!
    This is a keeper and a must read for anyone that loves a great epic romance!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sort of Ok

    I love all of Diana's books and have re-read the whole series several times over because Jamie and Claire are my favorite characters but I felt a little cheated in Book 7. I think Diana dragged on several storylines in the book and rushed the ending. I wasn't very into the details of the battles that went on and wanted more of Bree and Roger and Jamie and Claire. I do love all the books and my favorite will always be Outlander and Voyager but Book 7 was ok. If you are looking for something to read on down time I suggest starting with Book 1 and then you will emerse yourself in an amazing story of two people who genuiely love each other until the end of time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Love all her books

    For me this started out very slow but the second half more than made up for it. She is amazing and tenacious with fact finding. Such a wonderful way to feel actually involved in history. It is like you are right there with Jamie and Claire. Of course she leaves us desperate for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    An Echo in the bone.....fantastic

    Great book, I have read all of the previous novels and this one was as good as the others. The story continues.....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    An Echo in the Bone

    This book is like visiting old friends, memorable and leaves you wanting more. I have read the Outlander Series several times and enjoy it every time. The settings are rich its like you are there, traveling with Jamie and Clair. I just hope Diana Gabaldon continues this wonderful story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    Not enough

    While I love Diana Gabaldon's books, this one left me saying "Is that all?" Jamie & Claire's fates entwined with William's nicely, but overall it seemed to drag on, much like the American Revolution did. There also wasn't enough Bree & Roger to suit my taste. Just when their story got going, it ended. I want more. I just hope I don't have to wait so long for it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I thought it was over

    I was really hoping that when all was said and read that I could just sit back tak a deep sigh and say that was a very good story. Glad it is finally over and everyone will now live happily ever after. But no, Diana decided to take the low road and try and suck us in to another sequel or more. Come on Diana let it end, put this story to rest, haven't you milked this story line enough. When I did get to the end I did not have a warm fuzzy that is for sure. I was mad, disappointed, hurt and a bit betrayed. After all these years of reading this series, (I have read them all, some twice) just to find she is going to drag it out. I will most likely not read any more on this series, unless you can promise me the next book is the last.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2009

    Big Fan

    I too am very excited about this new book. It's a story you don't want to end, but need to end for closer and answers to situations and historical events Gabaldon teased us with, but hasn't told us why or how? She has thrown so much at us with 6 books! I was so frustrated with the last book...I was hoping for all those answers...then realized I would have to wait for the next one! AAAHHHHHH! I'm so excited!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2014

    Good

    I tried to skip this book and go on to the last book, like I skipped Book 5 because the reviews said it was boring and had nothing to do with Jamie and Claire, but when I purchased Book 8 and started reading it, I was totally lost, so I read this book, it was okay, kept my interest. Be sure to watch the 2nd Series of Outlander on the Starz Channel starting in April!!!!! Loved the Jamie in the 1st Series!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2014

    Great book

    Love this series

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  • Posted May 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reminder read before new book in series comes out in june 2014!

    Forgot how much I like this series and author. Can't wait to read the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    I am a relatively new fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series a

    I am a relatively new fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and can certainly sympathize with those that have followed her from the beginning. As many others can say for themselves, I fell in love with Outlander. I haven't been so involved in a series since George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Despite many other disappointed reviewers' feelings, I was surprisingly pleased with Echo in the Bone. I will agree that Jamie and Claire's story is more sparse than I'd have ultimately liked, but I don't totally regret the tangents. When Willie first came to be in Voyager, I completely despised his existence. Those feelings stayed with me all the way up until this book and I'm actually glad that Gabaldon has given him more of a voice and character. At least for me, it helped put him into perspective as a person and I found myself actually able to like his character. I'm totally confused about 80% of John Grey's associations, so I won't even try to go there. I just hold out hope that possibly they will be explained in further detail in the future. Ian is endearing and lovable as always and I'm so glad he's found Rachel! Laoghaire and Jaime's ridiculous feeling of responsibility toward her is sickening (though whenever she comes up I do have a lovely time going back in my mind to when Claire nearly clawed his eyes out for marrying the [insert appropriately degrading term] in the first place. As for the cliffhangers, they are abundant and maddening. Not quite so much so for me as for those who have been waiting YEARS for #8, but maddening all the same. Overall, I cried, laughed, and became infuriated at various intervals throughout the book and any novel which can evoke emotion out of me is a good'un. I'm anxiously awaiting the release of Written in My Own Heart's Blood and recommend this series to any lover of fiction and adventure.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    I'm not going to be a critical as some were of this book. Altho

    I'm not going to be a critical as some were of this book. Although some of the back and forth of the different story lines got to me, I still love the series.
    I do feel that so many unanswered endings will be too much to bear if Ihave to wait years to find out what happened. Please tell me there will be another book to find out what happened!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Left lost

    Ok i did like this book just like the others BUT I feel like Im left hanging. I think I missed a chapter. What happened with Roger,Brie, and Jem? Did I skip a chapter. HELP IM CONFUSED

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Good one

    Good one

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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