Outlander is a bit of a genre bender, mostly historical fiction with a lot of romance and just a hint of science fiction. It tells the story of Claire Randall, a WWII nurse who inadvertently travels back in time to 18th century Scotland. There's humor, there's action, there's steam...and there are lots of men in kilts, most importantly James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.
Jamie Fraser tops the list of my favorite book boyfriends and not just because he has an accent and he wears a kilt. Jamie is kind-hearted, determined, loyal and brave.Claire is also one of my favorite heroines. She's stubborn, resourceful and funny and, in spite of the situation she finds herself in, she never gets too bogged down in feeling sorry for herself.
Even though Outlander is over 20 years old now, I'd never heard of it before 2010 when I came across it when I was browsing the web for free books. It was a few weeks before I even opened it up, but once I did I was hooked. At that point, I had a 2nd Generation Kindle and all I'd read on it was free books. The second book in this series (Dragonfly In Amber) was the very first ebook I actually paid for. Of course, I've read a lot more ebooks since then, but it was this series that really got me hooked on my Kindle.
It's not so much the plot of this book that makes it stand out (trying to overthrow a dystopian regime with mutant like powers), but the writing style. Mafi has a very rhythmic and almost lyrical style filled with some of the most amazing metaphors and similes I have ever read. The writing is almost like poetry and it takes a little getting used to, especially in this, the first book in the series where there's a lot of text written in strike out, but it's definitely worth the read.
“Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds.
I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hand tick tick tick its final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.”
Natalie is wife, a mother, and a cutter. She's battling depression while coping with the downfall of her marriage and the new found knowledge of her son's medical condition.She's a heroine I started off disliking, but in the end I respected her and understood her choices. She's far from perfect, but she's real.
The story is told in a lovely mix of present tense scenes mixed in with flashbacks to the past showing how Natalie became the person she is when the book starts. One of the things I liked the most in this book was that the issues weren't glossed over. Ryker's PTSD and Natalie's depression weren't magically healed. There was no "all we need is love" mentality. These two characters did *real* work to overcome their issues and I think that's what I liked most about it.
A sci-fi tale with a somewhat darker tone that Quinn call Future noir. I patiently (or not so much) waited for the full season to come out so I could read it all at once and I was not disappointed. Quinn's ability to world build in the short pieces that make up this serial is nothing less than amazing.
Lirium is a complex and well-developed character who struggles with the guilt he feels over being a debt collector. He tries to drown his sorrows in alcohol and sex, but after a brief encounter with Apple Girl, he finds that he still has the potential for redemption. Even when things are going badly and he ends up forced to work for the mob, unsure of who he can even trust and whether he will live to the next day, Lirium manages to do what he believes is right.
Not only does this book realistically portray the life of a fangirl, it also covers in depth topics like alcoholism, individuality and mental illness. Not only is Cath a fangirl, but she's a writer too and I really related to the struggles she went through to balance her life with her writing.
The story is interspersed with pieces of Cath's fanfic and it even made me want to read the (fictional) series the fanfic was based on :-)
I've actually read and enjoyed fanfic. Surprisingly enough I've never written any, but I still really enjoy reading it (one of the best ones I've read was actually a Twilight fanfic).
Before reading this, I had watched a documentary on the National Geographic or Discovery channel called "When Yellowstone Erupts." I found it to be both intriguing and a little scary, but I didn't really spend much time worrying about it. And then I read this book.
The protagonist, Alex, is a 16 year old boy. He's a bit of a gamer, not one of the popular crowd and not a jock. He's just an average kid thrown into an extraordinary situation. Though it seemed a little convenient for him to be a black belt in taekwondo, he didn't magically become some butt kicking ninja. He had to *work* at surviving.
This book is a frighteningly realistic portrait of what the US could turn into in the face of an epic disaster and I absolutely loved this line: "For the first time ever, I felt ashamed of my species. The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles, and our airplanes, but it hadn’t taken our humanity. No, we’d given that up on our own."
If Yellowstone ever erupts, I'm stockpiling bread and flour and heading out to buy some cross-country skis and kale seeds!
This is not a story for the faint of heart. It is dark. It is sad. And it's like "Game of Thrones" level with the character deaths. It is about war and hunger and loss, but it does have some... well, a tiny bit at least... brightness to it.
I must admit, I HATED Tatiana in the beginning.Couldn't stand her. Almost stopped reading.... but then someone convinced me to keep going. And then this book just blew me away. Yes, Tatiana is immature, but she's young and she's forced to do a whole lot of growing up.
There were times that I did have to stop reading because there's a bleakness to the story that is beautiful but really hard to read. This was not a book I read in one sitting and I had to take a break between each book in the series, so this was probably the book series that took me the most amount of time to read.