It's been about 3 years since I read the last book in the series, and I honestly have no idea why I waited so long to continue! I just finished watching the 2 seasons of Outlander that deals with the first two books, so that's what prompted me to pick where I left off... but I honestly couldn't remember a single thing about the 3rd book except that it involved pirates and they washed up on the shores of America... even after reading the wiki for book 3 I still had trouble remembering, though I'm 100% sure I read it and enjoyed it! Luckily the wiki reminded me enough to not be completely lost, and there were also a couple of references and reminders in DoA, so at least I don't feel like I have to re-read it to know what's going on... not that re-reading it would be a bad thing, but my Reading Challenge would suffer immeasurably.
DG is a brilliant storyteller and has such a way with words that you don't even notice the pages flying past. Even though this was another monster sized book, I didn't feel like it was that long. Not a lot of huge exciting stuff happened, though at the same time, a lot of exciting things happened in a normal run-of-the-mill daily life in the 1700's kind of way...
Drums of Autumn picks up after Jamie and Claire wash up on American shores, and chronicles their years there. You've got slaves, Red Indians, Immigrants... and all the drama that goes along with it. It's another fascinating look at the history of a place, and this was very close to the beginning years of modern America. Generally it's a well known history, so it's nothing that you didn't really know, but DG goes into much more detail for a closer look at customs etc.
The characters are still lovable and it felt like catching up with old friends. Jamie is still his hard-headed self and Claire is still feisty. We're also seeing much more of Brianna and Roger this time around, while other characters like Fergus fades into the background. That's the one thing that GB does that I don't really like -- she spends a lot of time building characters, and then she discards them. I guess I can live with that as long as Jamie stays front and center <3
There was a lot happening in this book, and I'm guessing that I'll probably forget a lot of it over time as I did with Voyager. There were scenes that made me cry and Jamie made me laugh more than once. The part where (view spoiler) was so well done that the tears were rolling down my cheeks while I was laughing and my heart filled with emotion. I wasn't that worried during the "stressful" bits because you kind of know that nobody is really in life danger, but still... I actually really want to read the next book and find out what happens with Ian and his situation. Ian and Rollo has definitely grown on me and I hope to see more of them in the next book.
On the other hand, we have Lord John who I never really liked, though I don't actively dislike him either. I think he's a cool dude though, and his actions during this book did endear him to me quite a bit. He's definitely a more complex character than can be addressed in Jamie and Claire's books, though I've read a couple of the Lord John stories, but they weren't great tbh...
Jamie Fraser is still my favorite book-boyfriend, and although I usually don't like the female characters, I find myself really liking Claire. Even Bree is pretty cool. I think what makes them so likeable is the fact that they are flawed. Jamie is high-handed and stubborn and I would sometimes like to kick him in the shins. Claire is hot-headed and doesn't think before talking or acting, and sometimes you just feel like shaking her. But at the end of the day you love them, and the love they share feels more real than many other "romances" out there.
I would really recommend this series to pretty much everyone, though I wish DG would cut out some of the excessive stuff. It really doesn't need to be these huge long books, and most of the time they can probably be split into various other books! Still though... read it!