Title: The Outlander
Author: Gil Adamson
Summary: In 1903, two vengeful brothers and a pack of bloodhounds track a mysterious young woman across the western wilderness. She is nineteen years old. Half mad. A widow by her own hand. So begins The Outlander, an original and wholly satisfying read.
My Rating: 9.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: This book had a hold of me from the first paragraph, and from there I couldn’t put it down, I would have read it in one sitting, but I needed sleep. What a spectacular book! I look forward to seeing what else Gil Adamson has up her sleeve.
First of all the author has done a wonderful job at setting the scene, with lovely descriptions of the wilderness you could almost smell the trees. Also, the author is able to set up the mood of the scene with incredible prose, making the reader feel like they are standing right there at the sidelines, watching it all play out, feeling the emotions of the characters while doing so.
The story itself had me gripping the edges of the book with anticipation, as I waited to find out the truth behind what happened to the widow, what caused her to murder her husband, and will she ever be free from those who hunt her and her self. The reader follows along as the protagonist, usually referred to as the widow, tries to survive in the wilderness of the Canadian West, and the people who help her along the way, including the inhabitants of a mining village and of course the Ridgerunner.
The characters were also incredibly done, the author made them to be very believable and I found my self constantly wondering what would happen to them, rooted for some while others, I hoped for their untimely demise. The Ridgerunner intrigued me, he was an interesting character to say the least, and I wouldn’t mind reading a book solely about him. Also, watching the widow be able to survive in the wilderness, with little resources at her finger tips was incredible. The author is able to have her characters struggle and persevere through the harsh wilderness, but she does it in a way, that is believable.
Finally the ending I was both surprised and happy in how the book ended. I think if it ended any other way, I would have been disappointed, but it was done well. My only problem is also the ending; some things were left up in the air, there were a few lose ends I wanted to know more about the out come of. But that was such a small part of it, the rest of the ending, especially the last page I absolutely loved, and I wasn’t really expecting it, which was a bonus. Superb read!
Would I recommend it to read: Well, if you haven’t already guessed from my review, I would highly recommend the book. In fact, I think I’d even say this is a must read. I can definitely see some people who would be frustrated in how the story is told, the characters a generally referred to by “titles” such as the widow, the Ridgerunner etc. But I found this element to be different than what I usually see, and at times it kind of added an extra element to those characters, because I found for the most part, when the author did this, it was for characters who still were trying to find out who they were, lost identities I guess you could say. But well worth reading.
What to read next: Plot wise I’m not so sure, but I would suggest looking up some Canadian Women Writers, as I find there’s a lot of talent out there, and not with the big names either.
Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge, Countdown Challenge, RYOB Challenge
Also, I was able to meet the author a few months back at a London Reads event at my library and got to sit on on an author reading and discussion, and managed to talk quickly with her afterwards, and a bonus, got my book signed.