Sunday, October 14, 2012

LaLa Books: Review of The Exile by Diana Gabaldon

The Exile by Diana Gabaldon:   
An Outlander Graphic Novel

When you’re a huge fan of a series, you often take the characters any way you can get them; this is why fan fiction is so popular and spin-offs and video games, etc, etc. 
The Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon, started about 20 years ago and has been going strong ever since.   When I saw that Ms. Gabaldon had penned a story for a graphic novel version of The Outlander, but a whole NEW story told from a different perspective, I about danced with joy and squee’d at the same time.         

The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel
You know how you hear about readers (ok, women) who say they “fell in love” with a character?  That if they could find that character in real life, they would have died and gone to heaven?  You hear that about say, a certain sparkly vamp who shall remain nameless and about a man who likes gray?  For me, it was always Jamie.  And honestly, a 6-foot-something red-haired Scottish man was not on my list of to- die-for men but then, I fell in love.  This man was….complicated!  Mature at a young age.  An educated gentleman that would snap your neck for looking too closely at his Claire.  He could load a gun with one hand and hold a book written in French, reading it aloud with a perfect accent, with the other.  He was loyal, no-nonsense, smart, persistent, had a great sense of humor, sensual and fierce…..

Where was I? What was I saying?  

Oh right, Outlander.  So the characters are complicated and then, well, so is the plot.  And we’ve followed the characters through love, sex, war, murder, secrets, family, sickness and health, torture, revenge and time travel for God’s sake!  There are betrayals, politics, grief, distance, persistence and ingenuity---how this all came out of one brain is beyond me! 

The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel

         But now, I can see the story but with pictures??                             

Yes.  Ten copies please.  

The artwork is lush.  I love it.  If you’ve read the books, at first, you’re resistant to the depictions of beloved characters that have resided in your mind for twenty years because, well….they don’t look like that!! But then, you read and there’s the sprinkling of Gaelic, the familiar crackle between Jamie and Claire, there’s Murtagh and fighting and then you’re sucked in and it’s your favorite story and the depictions don’t matter;  they meld with the story and enhance it.  

I read this in 40 minutes.  I devoured it.  It is the meeting of the main characters all over again.  The disbelief of where Claire is, the confusion of clan politics, the winding of several plot lines into one with a young man who has fallen in love at first sight in the middle of it all, stubbornly refusing all advice.  And yet he does it.  Jamie moves through his life with purpose and goals.  He knows what he wants and he deftly maneuvers in political intrigue he wants nothing to do with, protecting others along the way, to reach a momentary spot of safety before the next thing hits him.  

How can Claire not fall in love with him? 

How can you not? 

Ya can’t. So just go get a copy already. 

You’re welcome.  

P.S.  ...and if you prefer a traditional novel to a graphic one, give this series a chance.  Starts out a little slow but will suck you in and spit you out dazed and confused.  And there are about 8 titles now I think, so plenty to keep you busy! ;-)    


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