Have I not sufficiently expressed my adoration for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series?! Because OMG I love it so much. My Aunt told my mom that she absolutely had to read these books (Hi Margie!) I borrowed the books from my mom. They are super awesome. Anyways, Diana Gabaldon recently published a novella explaining the mysteries surrounding the demise of Roger’s parents. If you’re not already familiar with this series, this review is going to sound completely insane and screwy. You’re just going to have to take my word for it. This series is addictive, brilliant, and wonderful. Otherwise I wouldn’t have read this little tidbit of side story novella. Oh, this review is super full of spoilers because I cannot keep my mouth shut. Sorry.
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows tells this story. As you may recall, the story of Roger’s parents is that his father was killed while flying a mission in WWII and his mother was killed trying to protect him from a bomb raid in a London tube station. It was alluded to that the story wasn’t quite so cut and dried, so I was really curious as to what might have happened.
Roger inherited the time travel gene (I guess we can call it a gene, right? I mean, it’s a family tradition basically) because of his long twisty relation to the crazy witchy lady from book 1. She wasn’t a witch in any sense of the word, REALLY. She just happened to come from the future and the story suggests she contracted syphilis and went off her damn rocker in some of the later novels. I’d buy that. She was a free love type from the 60s, but she had no penicillin because she went back in time. No prophalactics either, but I digress.
We start off meeting the famous Jeremiah (who goes by Jerry, which is funny because Roger’s kid who is named for his dad goes by Jemmy, and for some reason even with all the names and nicknames floating around in these books there isn’t a single Jim or Jimmy. That amuses me, because our family has 5…) Jerry meets an MI6 agent, who, regrettably, isn’t James Bond. He’s Captain Frank Randall! Yes! Claire’s first husband! Oh the twisted web we weave! Anyway, Jerry apparently has picked up some conversational Polish and is commissioned to fly over Nazi concentration camps in Poland to get pictures. They’re hoping his smattering of Polish will keep him from getting killed if he crashes and needs to get out of the country, but he’s as good as told it’s going to be a suicide mission. He gets a trip home to visit with his wife and young son, Roger.
He goes back to the base camp thingie where they keep the planes and stuff and is sent out on a practice mission- flying over Northumbria. Right. So major premise of these books is that the standing stone circles that dot northern England and Scotland mark places of power- where people with the right genetic code sometimes accidentally slip through time 200 years one direction or the other. When they locate the wreckage of Jerry’s plane, there’s no body inside… BECAUSE HE’S BEEN SUCKED BACK IN TIME!!!!!! Dun dun dun!
Anyway, at some point he runs into his own grown up son and his random ancestor who are also traipsing through time and Roger helps his dad get home (some two years after he left.) Jerry slips back through time, makes it back to London, and my some weird cosmic twist of fate, into the tube tunnel where Marjorie and Roger are hiding from the bombs. They’re hit and in a moment of recognition, Marjorie passes Roger off to Jerry as she’s being blown up or smushed or whatever. Then Jerry falls on the tracks and cracks his head open. So they’re both still dead, but they BOTH had a hand in saving Roger.
Yeah. So. I wasn’t totally thrilled by this little bit of book. I mean, I love the characters I love the story… It just wasn’t a very strong piece. I’d hoped that there would be something more juicy, perhaps that Jerry was waiting to meet Roger back in time and have significant interaction, or he’d secreted Marjorie away from danger somehow, but no. Jerry just sort of took a time travel vacation and then died. Woops. I guess I can’t fault Gabaldon, she’s already got approximately 8 zillion characters and storylines she’s got to keep afloat. I’m just jonesing for the new book so badly that this didn’t satisfy the itch.
So, Bookworms. Any Outlander fans out there? How stoked are we for the supposed 2013 release of Written In My Heart’s Own Blood?!
Fall 2013 cannot come fast enough for me!
I love the series, I love seeing how all of the different characters interact with each other and how the time travelers affect each other’s lives in the weirdest ways… and things that you thought were certain are not. I mean, really crazy witch lady having a baby then ending up voodoo mistress of a plantation? How fabulous is that? So yeah, I was like you – I wanted more.
Roger as a character has always worried me. He’s so worried about where he came from and not having any background of his own since his parents died. Brianna has this great family history (mixed up and confusing as it may be), and it always seems like Roger is searching to get a little bit of that back. So I was really looking forward to finding out more about Roger’s parents… but I wanted more.
Roger finding his dad was great, but I expected more out of Jerry coming back to see Marjorie and Roger – especially because Roger helped him to get home. I mean seriously! He saves his son only to die at the same time as his mom? Part of me appreciated the romance of it – like his parents got to see each other one last time before they died. It’s sweet and heartbreaking. However, the bigger (and more obsessed with the book series and impatiently waiting for Written In My Heart’s Own Blood) part of me was just mad that it ended so quickly and Roger still doesn’t have the opportunity to know his family. I mean, it was a nice way to distract myself from that looming book date… but it wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy my Gabaldon craving.
Oh, and by the way – when I was reading the part about how they didn’t find his Dad’s body in the plane wreckage, I got more worried for poor Jem in the tunnel!!!!
Words for Worms
Yes!!!! To all of this! I was so disappointed that in spite of TIME TRAVEL Roger still didn’t get to have any meaningful time with his dad! (I am also terribly worried about Jem in the tunnel. He’s hearing the buzzing down there!!!!!!)
Utterly addicted to this series. Glad you weren’t crazy about “Leaf” as I wasn’t either. I think it has more holes than it fills, personally. HOWEVER!! I am very impatiently waiting for Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. You cannot leave a little boy in a tunnel like that!!!!!!!!!! FAR too many cliff hangers in the last book for me to wait with any kind of patience. I’m listening to them all on Audio Book while I try to decide what my personal reading challenge is for the year. Read 50 new books last year, plus a ton of re-reads, so I don’t know what to focus on this year. LOL
Words for Worms
Oh yes, even thought I was wishy washy about this, nothing will dampen my spirits as they await the new novel. Jemmy! Tunnel! Roger! Lost in TIME! Ahhh! This year I aim to read 100 books. I’m concerned that I won’t make it.
Happy New Year Katie!!!
Oooooooooooo must read. Have you read the Lord John spin off? The Scottish Prisioner is great. All Jamie….all the time!!! I’m considering doing a re-read of the series in anticipation for the next book as it’s been quite a few years since I read the early books. I got addicted when I was in University.
Words for Worms
Oh you know what’s funny! The ONLY Lord John book I’ve read is The Scottish Prisoner. I loved filling in some of the holes of Jamie’s long imprisonment… Sigh. Jamie… I don’t care if he’s old and griseled now, I shall always think of him as a dashing 23 year old.
I know. I had read the first 3 books a few months before I actually went to Scotland. I was fully in love with Jamie at the time.
I can’t wait to get this one!!!!
Sarah Says Read
OMG I want to hug you. I LOOOOOOVVVEEE the Outlander series! Like, I think one of my next tattoos is somehow going to use the thistle Celtic pattern from Claire’s ring.
Anyhooooo I read this story a while back and I loved it! I like how Roger basically ended up saving himself as a child, although he also kind of sends his father back to the present just to die, so that sucks. (And I may have teared up a bit near that part…) I can’t wait for the next book, I hope that scene where they meet is in there but you know, from Roger’s POV. Come onnnnn, fall 2013!
Words for Worms
If you get that tattoo (and it’s someplace, you know, decent) you need to post photos because YAY!!!!!! I want to like have an Outlander party, only I don’t at all because the minute I get that book I’m going home and reading for hours and hours on end…. Blissful.
Where or how can i find/buy this book I live in California and it is only available in e books. I know uk has it in an actual book?? Help please
Words for Worms
I’m sorry, I don’t know. I bought it on my kindle! Although, the kindle app is free, I’m sure there’s a way to use it on your computer.
I loved this. But I had very low expectations and I’ve been putting off reading it since it was published. I love (adore to the point of obsession) the big Jamie and Claire books, but the Lord John Grey books don’t hold the same fascination for me. So I was sceptical. But I loved it.
Words For Worms
I’m not huge on the Lord John books myself. Actually, the only one I read was The Scottish Prisoner, because it’s all about Jamie!