Completely Captivated by Outlander: Book 3, Voyager

Image from Diana Gabaldon©

Image from Diana Gabaldon©

SPOILER ALERT. This blog post contains spoilers from book 3 of the Outlander Series, Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.

So I was mistaken, Frank didn’t die of natural causes. In Dragonfly in Amber (book 2) I assumed that was the case because he was just “dead”. It had been 20 years after all but we find out in Voyager that he died in a car wreck. If you really want to read into it, Claire technically killed him. He took off after an argument with her but it was also his fault for being a big baby and storming off in the middle of the night. Everyone got over it quickly.

At the end of the last book, Roger discovered that Jamie lived and the story continues with Claire leaving the 20th century to go back to him. She would leave her grown daughter Brianna behind and go back to the life she left on hold for the past 20 years. My initial reaction was if she goes back then Jamie would still be young and she would have aged 20 years. Not to disappoint, Diana Gabaldon was able to work out this little hurdle. When Claire traveled to the past the first time, she spent 3 years with Jamie and when she returned 3 years had also passed since her disappearance. If she were to travel again, then 20 years would have also passed for Jamie and that’s what happened.

Apparently Jamie just can’t keep himself out of trouble. He was wanted for murder in the first book, among all things. Then, he was convicted for treason when he rebelled as a Jacobite in the second book. Finally, turning into a smuggler/pirate in Voyager. He doesn’t entirely lead a life of solitude either. He does remarry, and you wouldn’t believe to whom… that bitch Laoghaire! Then again, he only did it upon his sister Jenny’s insistence and he didn’t know it was she that sent Claire to be tried as a witch.

A character from the previous book who we thought was insignificant returns in a big way. The English soldier boy who Jamie tricks into disclosing the enemy position is now Lord John Grey. He befriends and falls in love with Jamie when he becomes governor of the prison Jamie is held, eventually saving him from being shipped to the Americas into indentured servitude. I had hoped for Fergus’ story to continue and it did, but not until (what I thought was) a long time. Last we heard of Fergus, his hand was cut off by British soldiers when he was a child. Fergus was alive and still loyal to Jamie and I was happy. He was now (or then) a handsome grown man with a hook for a left hand. Very pirate-y.

I thought Dragonfly in Amber would be the last that we heard of Geillis Duncan but she pops into this storyline. 20 years later, it turns out she did not burn as a witch. Dougal helped her escape when she threatened to kill their newborn child. She fled to France and eventually ended up in Jamaica. She made her fortune by marrying men only to kill them for their money. It was undeniably cold-hearted when she killed her first husband and used him as a blood sacrifice to travel back in time through the stones. Her goal was to change England and Scotland’s history by changing the results of the Jacobite rebellion. I don’t know the technical term, but she was psychotic.

The only frustrating part about this book was as a reader I knew what Claire knew and sometimes knew what Jamie knew, but they didn’t always know what each other knew. I know it’s supposed to be that way but it was still annoying. The quarreling between them made me just want to jump in and say, “Hey! Here’s what happened, now you two just chill!” If they just told each other what the other knew then they wouldn’t have experienced half of the grief they experienced. Going back and forth from first-person to third-person writing was a little distracting too but I understand it had to be written that way to tell the story. I was able to follow along but it just took a little bit more brain power to process.

I’m looking forward to starting book 4, Drums of Autumn. I read a little of the summary… American revolution.

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