Musings on A Breath of Snow and Ashes and the amazingness that is Diana Gabaldon

I finally finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes last night. And I’m feeling a little weepy.  I already cornered the husband this morning and spent 20 minutes telling him all about the ending. (He knows practically the whole storyline now and even has his own theories as to what will happen next – “did they capture Jamie and put him on a ship back to England yet?”- not that he would admit that to anyone.)  

I don’t know how to write a review of this book, or any book from the Outlander series, for that matter. There is just too much detail and the storylines are so convoluted and complex that there is no way to summarize without giving too much away. Also, when I start to talk about these books, my mind slips into that happy place where I unconsciously clutch my bosom,  my eyes drift skyward with a dreamy glaze, and a huge goofy grin spreads across my face and the only adjective that seems to come to mind is “amazing.” Well, this book is definitely amazing.

So far, Drums of Autumn is still my favorite in the series, but I must say that  A Breath of Snow and Ashes is a close second. There is a rescue scene (don’t worry, there will be no spoilers in this post) in this book that is easily one of the most dramatic things I’ve ever read. Diana Gabaldon is truly in a league of her own when it comes to making the reader feel completely immersed in the storyline and as if the things you are reading are REALLY HAPPENING. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.

There is non-stop action in this book, which is an abrupt departure from The Fiery Cross, and honestly, it sort of wore me out. I get really emotional when things happen to the Frasers and the MacKenzies. During the horrendous scene with Roger in The Fiery Cross, my heart was beating so fast that I was having trouble breathing and I practically had a heart attack, followed by piteous weepage. Seriously. I’m going to lay all my nerdiness out on the table here and say that I am so attached to the characters in these books that I truly feel like they are living, breathing people. To me, these characters have souls. When I’m not reading, I rest assured that they are just living their day-to-day lives in North Carolina, going about their business until I get back to the book.

I had a minor panic attack at work a few days ago when it hit me that Jamie Fraser is probably going to die very soon. Possibly in book 8. He’s already old in book 6 and he’s clearly breaking down physically (don’t get me wrong, he’s still as heroic as ever, but it’s much harder on him). And what is the life expectancy for someone in the 1700’s? Especially for someone who has lived through the abuses that Jamie has had to endure? Even though Claire is older, I feel pretty confidant that she will outlive Jamie, which means that she will have to bury him, which means that it will be the most tragic scene to ever exist. I had to talk to someone about it, but since I can’t talk to Bridget or Angela because they’re so far behind me in the series (pick up the pace, ladies!!), I broke down and called my dear, sweet, most-patient-human-being-ever husband. He was clearly miffed about being forced to endure my premature anxiety about a fictional character, but he took it like a champ and cracked me up by concluding the phone call with “Wow. Um. Well, I guess I’m glad that I could be here for you(??).” Love ya, babe.

So now that I don’t have book 6 constantly calling my name, I have no more excuses and I really must attend to the so-far non-existent squid costume that has to be finished by tomorrow night (my own personal goal). Dragon*Con is in less than a week!!! (As a side note, my boss cracked me up yesterday by asking what dragons had to do with squid and I had to laugh and say “I don’t really know, I’m just rolling with it.”) I know that I must sew…but I REALLY want to start An Echo In the Bone…(fist waving in the air) damn you, Jamie Fraser!!!

12 comments on “Musings on A Breath of Snow and Ashes and the amazingness that is Diana Gabaldon

  1. T.Y. says:

    I love this review! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks these characters are real either. I vote this series as having the most “real characters” and I talk about them to my boyfriend as if they were my old friends! Echo in the Bone is just as exciting and, not to spoil things, but the cliffhanger WILL make you hypeventilate!

    • I talk about them like they’re old friends too :) I actually started Echo last night and I was kind of thrown off by it being from Lord John/William point of view. Would you recommend reading the Lord John books (I haven’t read any yet) before starting Echo? I don’t know how I’ll be able to wait another year (or possibly two) until book 8 comes out! How do you cope?

    • Allie says:

      I AGREE!!! I finished Echo a couple of weeks ago and I feel like I lost a part of my family…seriously!!! I’ve been trying to find other books to fill in the void, but NOTHING comes even close to Outlander!!!!

      • Hi Allie! I started Echo this weekend and there’s a part of me that wants to read it as slowly as possible to postpone the dreaded void until book 8 comes out! I’m sure I will start re-reading them (it will just feel weird not having them around at all, you know?) but if I come across any other amazing books or series in the meantime, I will definitely share. Have you read the Lord John books? Also, I hear that she is coming out with a book about Roger’s parents sometime in the next year and I am super-pumped about that!!

  2. Rachel says:

    Darling Bri, I have to say that I understand your love of a series, but it does make me laugh. Your boy is very understanding, you now must embrace his inner nerd too.

    I am up before 6 am! Cause that is when this damn star trek dress is being made!

    Dragons and squids?!!? I really need to go laugh about this now

    • You know you love me for my craziness! And I do have a most understanding hubs, I should keep my mouth shut when he’s hogging the TV with soccer games.
      Yay for finishing the Star Trek dress! Please send me pics when you’re done.
      I only had one shot of Scotch (sipped over a considerable span) and I was done! It is so strong! I don’t know how Jamie and Claire did it ;)

  3. Bridget says:

    I’m trying to catch up! :) Too bad Brandon is off on both of my days this week or I would devote an entire day to Outlander! As is, we have a bathroom to finish and I doubt I’m going to get any peace and quiet this weekend! :(

    • Boo for no days to yourself!! Are you finishing the bathroom that he ruined? Oh goodness, I hope it goes smoothly but you should reward yourself with a few hours of reading. Lock yourself in the bathroom if you must!

  4. […] Remember my review of ABOSAA in which I said that upon finishing any Outlander book, the only adjective that seems to come to mind is “awesome?” Well, expect a lot of that. And there will be spoilers, because I simply don’t see how I can talk about this book without them. […]

  5. Jayne says:

    I just had to take a moment to say how much I enjoy your posts and, especially, the funny remarks you share regarding your husband’s reactions to your love of Outlander. I just discovered the series about a month ago (where have I been?!!!) and have just started DoA. My husband is on book 2, and only started reading the series to see what I was going on and on about. When I found out about *spoiler warning* Jamie’s marriage to Leghair, I actually screamed and threw the book across the room. Needless to say, I was kind of hateful for a while. My poor, long-suffering husband took it upon himself to apologize for maddening fictional male characters everywhere. Perhaps the spouses of ladies who are in love with Jamie Fraser should get together and form a support group ;-)

    • Hi Jayne! Since you are only about a month into the mania, you must be experiencing that newbie euphoria that I just described in my latest post! Ah, Drums of Autumn…that’s my favorite one. And I too was beside myself when I found out about Jamie’s marriage to Leghair! My husband refuses to read the books and at first I was irritated by this because I just knew that he would get sucked in and invested in the storyline as well if he would only give it a chance…but I’ve since accepted the fact that it’s never going to happen. But bravo to your husband for wanting to share in your excitement! Is he in love with them as well? I’m really curious to know his reactions to it all! Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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