This review was originally posted on Goodreads on March 18, 2012.
I haven’t read a graphic novel in a very long time (or even a comic book, for that matter), so I had forgotten just how enjoyable something like this can be to read. There is a downside, though. I read through the first five chapters so quickly I decided it was best to set it aside for a bit and read something else, so as not to finish it too quickly. (If you’re a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, you can easily understand why I would wish to linger a bit before finishing the story!)
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I will simply say that reading the story from Murtagh’s and Jamie’s perspectives and being able to see things through their eyes, rather than Claire’s, was quite interesting. I was horribly disappointed to reach the final panel and see that dreadful phrase… “the end”. I wanted to see more, for the story to go on, to perhaps reveal something that was known only to Jamie and never revealed to Claire! Ah, well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. (But there’s no harm in wishing for more, right?)
The story itself was, of course, very well written. I was very impressed with Ms. Gabaldon’s ability to condense the many events that happened and make it fit within the framework of a graphic novel. Of course, this would not have been possible without the beautiful artwork of Hoang Nguyen. Mr. Nguyen is incredibly talented, and his illustrations truly made the story come alive. His artwork combined with Ms. Gabaldon’s writing made The Exile enjoyable to look at, as well as enjoyable to read.
I highly recommend this to fans of the Outlander series… it is definitely a must-have addition to your Outlander collection!
Title: The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel
Series: Outlander #1.5
Genre: Graphic Novel
Published: September 21st, 2010 by Del Rey
About the Book
Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in her first-ever graphic novel, Gabaldon gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen.
After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir.
And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his compassion . . . and arouse his desire.
But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.
Step into the captivating, passionate, and suspenseful world of The Exile, and experience the storytelling magic of Diana Gabaldon as never before.
About the Authors
Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck’ comics.”
The adventure began in 1991 with the classic OUTLANDER (“historical fiction with a Moebius twist”), has continued through seven more New York Times-bestselling novels— DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, VOYAGER, DRUMS OF AUTUMN, THE FIERY CROSS, A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, AN ECHO IN THE BONE, and WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, with more than twenty-eight million copies in print worldwide.
The series is published in 26 countries and 23 languages, and includes THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volumes One and Two, which are nonfiction (well, relatively) works which provide details on the settings, background, characters, research, and writing of the first eight novels in the Outlander series of novels. Gabaldon (it’s pronounced “GAA-bull-dohn”—rhymes with “stone”) has also written several books in a sub-series featuring Lord John Grey (a major minor character from the main series): LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER, LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE, LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS, and THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.
Returning to her comic-book roots, she has also written a graphic novel titled THE EXILE (set within the OUTLANDER universe and featuring the main characters from OUTLANDER), but told from the viewpoint of Jamie Fraser and his godfather, Murtagh. The graphic novel is illustrated by Hoang Nguyen, and published by Del-Rey.
The eighth and most recent major novel in the OUTLANDER series, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, was released on June 10, 2014 in the U.S.A. and Canada. The book made its debut as number one on the New York Times bestseller list in the hardcover category and combined e-book and hardcover category! And the book is also a bestseller in Canada.
Diana is serving as a Co-Producer and advisor for the popular Outlander TV series, produced by the Starz network and Tall Ship Productions and distributed by Sony International, which is based on her novels. She has written a script for an episode of the series, also.
Her main current writing project is the ninth major novel in the OUTLANDER series, GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE.
Dr. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology, (plus an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters, which entitles her to be “Diana Gabaldon, Ph.D., D.H.L.” She supposes this is better than “Diana Gabaldon, Phd.X,”) and spent a dozen years as a university professor with an expertise in scientific computation before beginning to write fiction. She has written scientific articles and textbooks, worked as a contributing editor on the MacMillan ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMPUTERS, founded the scientific-computation journal SCIENCE SOFTWARE QUARTERLY, and has written numerous comic-book scripts for Walt Disney. None of this has anything whatever to do with her novels, but there it is.
Diana and her husband, Douglas Watkins, have three adult children and live mostly in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Author photo and bio via author’s website.
Hoang Nguyen was born in Vietnam and emigrated to the United States at the age of nine. He has worked for Marvel, Dark Horse, and other comic publishers, and his original project Metal Militia was optioned by Dino De Laurentiis for feature film development. More recently he has worked in the videogame industry, having contributed to such well-known titles as the Elder Scrolls series for Bethesda Softworks. He was the lead artist and character designer on Dead to Rights for Namco and is currently a consultant for Namco Bandai Games.