Dragonfly in Amber Book Review

Dragonfly in Amber: Book Review by Dinh

4.5 stars

 

Dragonfly in Amber Review

 

 

 

 

 

After finishing the first book Outlander I was very keen in reading the second book Dragonfly in Amber and finding out what happens next.

Here’ s the video book review or continue reading by scrolling down.

Synopsis

We ended the first book Outlander, of the Outlander series with Jamie recovering in the abbey, finding out that Claire was pregnant and them setting off to France to thwart the uprising of 1745 and the battle at Culloden Moor.

In Dragonfly in Amber, we start off in the book not at that point in the story where we just left off in Outlander but in the future, in 1968. This left me for a loop as I was expecting  a straight forward continuation of the story.

I had to get my head around the fact that we just found out that Claire was pregnant and now twenty years later, she has a daughter and living in the present time!

Claire and her daughter Brianna are in Scotland. Claire’s husband Frank Randall has died and Claire is free to tell her daughter who her real father is.

Claire had promised Frank that she would not tell Brianna that Jamie was her biological father while he was still alive, and that she would not look into what happened with Jamie after she left him.

Now that Frank is dead, Claire is at liberty to tell Brianna the truth.

So in order for Claire to tell Brianna and make her understand the truth, she takes Brianna to Scotland and with the aid of Roger Wakefield, adopted son of Reverend Wakefield, to try and tell her the incredible fantastical truth.

I was very confused at first with the two story lines going on but after the initial setup of the explanation, the book resumed with Claire’s and Jamie’s story and it all panned out nicely.

Dragonfly in Amber follows Claire and Jamie to Paris and then back again to Scotland whilst they try to change history and outcome at Culloden Moor.

Review

On reading the prologue I was very excited to find out what was coming up in the book, especially when it promised to explain the purpose of Craigh Na Dun. Here’s an excerpt that got my heart pumping:

“Some say the hill is enchanted, others say it is cursed. Both are right. But no one knows the function or the purpose of the stones.

Except me.”

 

What didn’t I like?

The start of Dragonfly in Amber was a bit slow for my liking especially when the first book Outlander had left on such a high note.

The continuation of Claire and Jamie’s life did not even start until page 71. Part one was all about why Claire and Brianna were in Scotland.

It was just a bit too long for my liking. I would have rather got it got into the nitty gritty of the book and just focused on Claire and Jamie.

I suppose it was necessary as we need the explanation of the time lines and how Claire has a daughter and why they are at the present time.

The flash back and flash forward together with the two story lines made sense at the end.

While reading it, the plot was disconnected and was unbalanced and it didn’t have the flow I was looking for. I was specifically thinking of the part after Jamie had a duel with his mortal enemy and Claire came to intervene.

Claire is in a difficult emotional and physical state and we don’t know exactly what happens. That whole part of the book was vague and was hard to put together all the missing pieces.

There are numerous new characters and the abundance historical details meant that I couldn’t put the book down and remember where I had left off. I had to re-read some parts again to remind myself what was going on.

 

What I liked

I enjoyed Dragonfly in Amber overall, but did not find it as good as the first book Outlander.

Although it had all the aspects of a good novel that I like: beautifully written, good strong characters and great story line, I found that I was not as captivated as the first novel.  Perhaps this is symptomatic of sequels.

Dragonfly in Amber is another hefty book with 743 pages in the hardcover version with many new characters and plots with deception, lies and intrigue. The amount of pages didn’t bother me only the fact that too many of them were spent on Claire and Brianna at the beginning of the novel.

 

The characters

The fantastic characters in the Outlander series make the books really enjoyable.

What I liked best was the strained and difficult relationship that Claire and Jamie has in this book. Marriage is difficult and sacrifices are made but somehow they always come back to each other.

I was happy to get to know more about Jamie. Jamie’s character really comes into focus in this book. We see him run his cousin’s Jared wine business while at the same time trying to stop the Bonnie Prince’s plans to invade and take back the crown against the British.

Jamie’s skills are endless as he mingles with the nobility and other influential people of King Louis’ court to get information that may help them with their goal of stopping the rising of ’45.

What’s not to love about Claire? Claire’s strong personality is also evident as she adapts to another new environment.  We see her struggle with the need to be useful and have a purpose and her ups and down with the pregnancy.

Claire voices her needs and finds a solution for her problem. She volunteers her time at L’Hôpital des Anges, the local hospital to avoid the boredom she feels and her desire to help and use her skills in the process.

Roger Wakefield is also a good character in this book. Roger was in Outlander and Claire had met him when he was a young boy. Now, Roger plays a main role in the story. It is very clever of Gabaldon to have side story lines involving different characters.

Other interesting characters include Raymond, Mother Hildergarde, Mary Hawkins and Alex Randall.

In summary, I enjoyed this book immensely because it was nicely written and there was great character development and it left on a cliffhanger. Voyager the third book in the Outlander series is on my to read pile!

 

Get a copy of Dragonfly in Amber here. Or listen to it for free with Amazon Audible trial.

Check out Outlander Book Review!

16 thoughts on “Dragonfly in Amber Book Review

  1. Sequels can be a hit or a miss. I am glad that this one is worth reading. 🙂
    Do you have a trilogy/series that you have have loved and would recommend?

    1. Hi Susan,
      I agree with you that it can be a hit or a miss with book series. Somehow the first book is always good and then the following books are not as satisfying.
      I read A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire series) and have found that all the books are fantastic. I am looking forward to his next installment and will probably re-read them again to get into the new book. I would recommend anyone who likes this genre to read it. They are hefty books, some over 1000 pages but once you get into the books you actually wish it would not end.

      For those who are put off by the length of the book, try watching the HBO show Game of Thrones. That will get you into it. Also there’s the audio version. You can try it for free here:http://amzn.to/1sz18wJ

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Although this one was a little slow in some places, it did seem to be just as exciting in terms of plot and character as the other first book was for you. These books are mammoth long but I really do want to try this series for myself as well at some point 😀

    1. Hi Olivia,
      thanks for your comments.

      I wouldn’t let the size of the book hold you back. The Outlander series (so far) are excellent. The story line is impressive and the characters are wonderful and so is the writing.

      Once you start with the first book Outlander you’ll want to read Dragonfly in Amber.

      Thanks for popping in and I’ll talk to you soon. 🙂

  3. Dinh, It’s so great to see all the comments and love for this book–this series. So, I was watching your review video with my sons and as soon as you spoke, my youngest said, “What is she talking?” Translated…he meant to really say, “What language is she speaking?” Apparently, he’s fascinated with your accent, too. Ha ha.

    I completely felt how you felt about DiA. While, I did feel the need for Gabaldon to go into the details of the daughter, all I wanted was to read about Jaime and Claire’s story. Great review!

    1. Hi Lonna,
      I guess I do have an accent whichever way anyone sees it. It can’t be helped 🙂

      I am so in love with Claire and Jamie’s relationship. They are so well matched and it’s just great following them in the books. Gabaldon does a great job in making their relationship realistic and yet so likable. What’s not to love about this ‘true love’ relationship?
      The TV Outlander series are also really good. I am glad I finished the second book before the series started.

      Thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club and I look forward to speaking with you again!

  4. This is a really great review! I’m loving your style and how thorough your reviews are. I’m used to read a lot of reviews about the positives of a certain book and leaving out the negatives, but yours is a truly honest review. Learnt a lot from your posts!

    1. Hi Basem,
      thanks for the nice compliment of my review of Dragonfly in Amber.

      I do try to give my honest opinion even though others may disagree. I think that the book reviews should reflect my personal opinion. I am not a professional critic and my views are honest. I am not paid to promote any book so I can be honest.

      Thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club and checking out my review!

  5. Hi Dinh,

    Your review of Dragonfly in Amber makes me want to pick up a copy right now. But I would have to start with Outlander first.

    I love reading books with a little bit of romance, historical setting and myth so thanks for your great review!

    1. Hi Yvonne,
      thanks for your comments on Dragonfly in Amber.

      I would definitely recommend you reading Outlander and see if you enjoyed as much as I did. The book is excellent.

      Dragonfly in Amber is also a very good read and follows on from Outlander but with a new environment. They are in France and the book moves into more about Claire and Jamie’s as they try to change the outcome of history. This book has more political and historical plots lines going through it as well as romance.The romance is very realistic and believable which makes the book so much more enjoyable.

      And did I say Ms. Gabaldon writes beautifully? The Outlander books just flows.

      I hope you enjoy the Outlander series and please let me know what you think when you’re done reading them.

  6. I love how you reviewed the book- a great idea to add a video as well. I was suddenly flown into the story line. I never thought that this book could get my attention before reading your review.

    Now I have to get both books to enjoy the long story. I love to unwind with a good novel and this book might do a good job.

    Thank you for bringing my attention to this book.

    1. Hello Arief,
      thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club!

      I am happy to hear that you enjoyed my review of Dragonfly in Amber. The video book reviews are still a work in progress but I appreciate your kind words.

      Diana Gabaldon’s second book of the Outlander series is a great read and once you get into the world of Jamie and Claire Fraser you’ll fall in love with their characters. Ms. Gabaldon does a great job in developing these characters and it’s so easy to like them and emphasize with them. The story line is based on real history so it makes the story that much more interesting.

      Don’t worry about the length of the book. It’s so good that you’ll want more!

      Let me know if you enjoy the Outlander series when you read it. Starz also have adapted the book into a TV series that you may enjoy as well. I think the TV show is also good. 🙂

  7. A great and useful website for book reviews. You really have a lot of interesting information on books and different genres.

    This historical fiction is more what my girlfriend would read so I’ll let her know. It does sound interesting with the political and historical setting.

    I’m glad I found you and I definitely will check out more reviews.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Rob,
      thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      We are all eclectic readers here and so the genres are varied. I seem to be in a romance phase right now. It feels like that’s all I have read but I like to read what I feel like.

      Dragonfly in Amber has a good mix of different genres- it has romance, history, myth and time travel and not just for women to read.

      Thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you soon!

  8. I enjoyed your book review – i liked the video as well. I am a big fan of reading and looking forward to reading this one. Your picture at the beginning of your post is really cool. Keep up the good work. JoEllen

    1. Hello JoEllen,
      thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      I am happy that you liked the review of Dragonfly in Amber in the written format as well as the video format.

      I think that this historical/romance is an enjoyable read and you’ll love the first book Outlander. Diana Gabaldon is an excellent writer and the story line is really good.

      Please stop by at Arlene’s book club again!

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