Monday, October 18, 2010

Review of "The Exile" by Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen

The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel Holy cow, "Outlander".. the book that made me speechless for weeks, is not a graphic novel! AND this is my first graphic novel review ever!

Disclaimer: This book is a library item. I was not given this book in exchange for a review, but I am an Amazon Affialiate - yay me!

Type: Graphic Novel, Time Travel, Historic Scotland, Outlander, Romance

Why this?: I read "Outlander" a few months ago.. and as I mentioned, it left me speechless, breathless, etc. And I saw a few other bloggers review "The Exile" and I couldn't help wanting to check it out. Yay for libraries!

About the book: "The Exile" is basically "Outlander" from a different perspective. Instead of following Claire from the beginning, the reader follows Jamie Fraser from France back to his homeland. Claire, accidentally sent back from World War II era gets caught up in the constant struggle between the Scots and the Brits, as well as the tension between clans. Claire and Jamie meet, and the only way to keep her safe from immediate capture is to marry her to Jamie. But that doesn't stop trouble from finding the couple, heartwrenching trouble, over and over again.

Let's start with the artwork - at first, I wasn't sure if Claire or Jamie really looked like what I pictured. I mean, of course no one or thing could come close to the image of the characters I had in my head while reading "Outlander," but the more I read "The Exile," the better the artwork seemed. I had some issues with Claire's busom, but otherwise, I thought the artist did well in depicting these rather infamous characters. The art really is beautiful, and the action scenes were very well done. Sometimes that can be tough, since you're really just getting stills of a complicated fight scene - but everything seemed clear and the reader was given some excellent shots.

It was nice to get more characters' thoughts - In "Outlander" we only get so much thought process, and only for certain people. Other characters have to get their ideas out there by way of the plot, so it was nice to have the thought bubbles giving the reader a hint of what the other characters want. However, I was a little upset that one of the scenes "Outlander" is infamous for is not in the book at all - Jamie has his share of bad history that he shares, but the scene that made the end of "Outlander" so heartbreaking was left out entirely. I can see how, space-wise, some things had to be left out, otherwise "The Exile" would be way too long. But a scene that powerful, that IMPORTANT, part of what makes "Outlander" famous? I would have liked to see it.

Finally, the graphic novel really lacks the punch and heart of "Outlander." "The Exile" was a good read, but no where close to the book. I felt so connected to the characters in "Outlander," I cared about them, I worried for them, I nearly cried during the last half of the book. But I got none of the emotional tug on the heartstrings during "The Exile." I used to read graphic novels and mangas by the truck loads, so I know these books can make the reader feel, worry, etc. But I just did not get that from this book.

I'm going to give "The Exile" by Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen a THREE out of FIVE (3/5). It didn't have the connection with the characters that you get in "Outlander." I would recommend "The Exile" to die-hard fans of the "Outlander" series, either to just complete their collection, or to see the story from a slightly different perspective.

But what are your thoughts? Have you read it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments. Want to buy it? Get it from via the link to the left!

Have a great week!
~!~ MG

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