I have been sucked completely and headlong into a new book series: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I stumbled across the first one - Outlander - on Amazon through a series of "if you like ___ then you might like ____" links, and was impressed with the 4.5 stars averaged over 1,200 readers, not to mention what the rave reviews actually said. I got it from the library and then got busy and almost returned it without reading, then changed my mind and renewed it. Nice choice.
Holy cannoli, talk about a gripping story!!! We are talking time travel/adventure/romance all set in Scotland's highlands and spun by a natural storyteller. I'm sorry, I am not an experienced book reviewer so nothing I say can do it justice, but wow!
Quick summary: While on her post WWII second honeymoon in the British Isles, strong-willed Claire touches a boulder that hurls her two centuries back in time to the formidable Castle Leoch with the MacKenzie clan. Not understanding the forces that brought her there, she becomes ensnared in life-threatening situations with a Scots warrior named James Fraser. But it isn't all spies and drudgery that she must endure. For amid her new surroundings and the terrors she faces, she is lured into love and passion like she's never known before. Torn between fidelity and desire, she struggles to understand the pure intent of her heart. But don't let the number of pages and the Scottish dialect scare you. It's one of the fastest reads you'll have in your library.
Here's another nice and more detailed plot synopsis.
I am a slow reader, and I did speed through it; I was totally hooked. I got the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, as soon as I could, and just finished it today. I was going to post a 5-disco-ball review after finishing Outlander, but hesitated because of one point. Being a romance, a fair amount of the first book is spent on love scenes that would have made me blush and cringe before I was married. But now that I am, and the love is between a husband and wife, it all added to the intensity of the story for me. Love the Scottish accents, love the characters (especially Jamie, what a gem of fiction), love the setting (I can just smell the misty pines and see the craggy hills), and love the adventure!
I just ordered Voyager and cannot wait to start it, right where Dragonfly left off. If you're looking for a new book or series, and don't mind the paradoxes that time travel can imply, I humbly here submit my recommendation.
This book (and series, so far) receives:
(5 out of 5 disco balls)