I apologize for my negligence of this community. Studies have kept me from updating here… Well. Admitted. Lack of fodder has as well.
Since I’ve just finished reading Diana Gabaldon's 'A Breath of Snow and Ashes', I thought I’d use this for the next discussion.
I’m not really the type who’s into romance at all, but after reading into ‘Outlander’ (also known as ‘Cross Stitch’) – the first novel in the series – I simply couldn’t stop reading. I always wanted to know what would happen next.
Honestly? I never even thought about Mary Sues when reading any of her books, because Gabaldon’s skill at making things interesting distracts from the Sue-ness in her writing.
Well. There have been speculations about self-insertion concerning her series.
The main characters, Claire Fraser, is written in first person, you see, and Claire’s husband, Jaime, has red hair, just like Diana Gabaldon’s spouse.
Some might say Claire is a Sue, others would say: ‘Who cares.’
I belonged to the latter group. At least until now, since there were a few scenes that simply transmogrified Claire Fraser into a Sue. The novel in itself was very good; there was action and drama and lots of humor, speculation and plots and everything. But then there were these few scenes that made me sigh in vexation.
And now I must give a SPOILER WARNING, since what I’m going to say now is a brief summary of a few scenes of her latest ‘Outlander’ novel.
There’s this one scene where Claire Fraser falls ill and nearly dies. She has fever dreams and hallucinates, her spirit rises and floats towards the ceiling. This is where Claire becomes aware that she is dying.
She turns around and looks down at herself – and omg!!!!1 – discovers her own beauty. Gabaldon goes on a bit, describing the beauty of Claire’s hair and her fine-boned face, yadda yadda yadda, and how absolutely hot she is, despite the fact that she’s in her fifties. And yes. This is Claire talking about herself – to herself.
If you have read the scene, you might understand why this annoyed me a bit.
And please recall – for those of you who have already read the novel – that only a few chapters later, Claire sees herself as something different: an old woman with sagging breasts.
But it’s not the only reason why I chose to bring this topic up, and it’s only a tiny reason as to why this book annoyed me.
There is another scene, this time with Brianna McKenzie, Claire’s and Jamie’s daughter, and a young man called Ian – Jamie’s nephew.
Ian tells Brianna about his wife’s miscarriages, and his worries about his stillborns not having been baptized. They both fall into one another’s arms, sobbing and bawling, and Brianna calls out to her dead step father, Frank Randal, and ask him to take care of Ian’s babies.
Now. This isn’t really necessarily Sue-ish, but it’s the kind of lolemodrama I simply don’t want to see/read/hear about. Especially not from an author of Diana Gabaldon’s skill. I am convinced she could have done better than that. Yes. Even after six novels in one series.
There are a few other scenes like this scattered throughout the book, but before this post gets even longer, I’ll get to the bottom of it all.
My questions now are the following:
Have you ever read a series you thought was great, but thought the author slacked off after so-and-so many novels/episodes? And by slacking off, I don’t only mean horrible character-development, but writing style as well as plot, setting, etc.
How do you deal with it? Did you give up reading the series? Or do you still continue, despite the fact that the quality is getting worse with each new book?