The first time I “read” Outlander I listened to Davina Porter’s unabridged narration and loved it. I read Dragonfly in Amber the first time and was disappointed. It was good but it wasn’t as good as Outlander and parts were honestly irritating. When Claire and Jaime reach France the court intrigue and sexual interactions started to grate. There is a lot of drama between Jamie and Claire but also regarding their ability and decision to sway the capricious Bonnie Prince Charlie. The sexual interaction felt excessive and while Gabaldon was just as detailed in various liaisons in Outlander it felt like it didn’t take anything from the story. This is a romance absolutely, and I don’t snub romances, but the level of storytelling wasn’t as strong as in her previous book.
I tried to reread it because I felt I had missed parts of the story but gave up – because I wasn’t paying attention and just could not get through it. I thought if I listened to Davina Porter’s interpretation it would be better. It was, but not as much as I hoped. I was able to finish it and got the information I needed, but it’s just not as good as some of Gabaldon’s other books. This is what I will say. Some parts are fantastic, others you just have to get through. You do, however, have read this so you can enjoy her other books. Davina Porter improves the experience and I would say the audible version is the way to go.
*Just so you know, the third book Voyager, is totally worth it.