Ok, so I knew this was going to be a graphic novel. Not my favorite but I honestly didn’t have a problem with that format— starting out that is. The biggest thing about this book to me was that it advertised that it would be telling Jamie’s side of the story. And for those of you who don’t know who Jamie is I’d stop reading this review right now, there’s no point in reading this book or review without having read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon or you will be completely lost.
The Exile is a graphic representation of Diana Gabaldon’s first book, Outlander. The basic premise of the story is that a mysterious woman, Claire, travels back in time in Scotland and gets caught up in events that force her to marry a young Scotsman named Jamie. They are constantly managing to get in trouble but tend to fall in love with each other despite themselves as well.
Since this is a graphic novel I’ll focus on the art first. While the pictures were very very pretty, they completely don’t fit my original thoughts on what everything would look like. Gabaldon tries to explain this with a footnote at the end explaining why some things had to be the way they are, but my thought is that if you can’t make it like the book and true to it, why bother? I was mostly disappointed in Claire, who really did look like a tart throughout the whole book and who’s cleavage grew larger and larger with each page. I was half surprised she didn’t float away. Jamie was ok, but still didn’t really look like I pictured him to be.
Because this book boasted that it was from Jamie’s perspective, I was much surprised to see that it really wasn’t. It had scenes primarily with him of course, but the whole book was just a very scant retelling of Outlander with no new information that I could see. And since it had been awhile since I’ve read Outlander, I even had some trouble lining up the storyline for a bit. There were also side stories involving other characters and in this type of a book I thought they were out of place because there wasn’t enough information shared to keep it from being confusing.
I just wasn’t impressed by this. It had the opportunity to be something unique and it just didn’t seem to pull it off real well. The artwork was nice but that was about the only thing that was done well in this book.
Review by M. Reynard 2011