I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Also by this author: Brightly Woven, Wayfarer
Series: Passenger #1
Also in this series: Wayfarer
Published by Disney Electronic Content on January 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance
Buy on Amazon
Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragic accident has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn't even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time. Etta wakes,confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies—the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has mysteries ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have snared her in their web. Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light—threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home... forever.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken was my first read of 2017. I am so glad I decided to make this book my very first read. It’s one that I’ve been anticipating but have been holding myself back from reading. However, after a few pushes from emails about the sequel – Wayfarer, I decided to finally dive on into Passenger and make it book number one for my reading challenge. Overall, this was an excellent life choice.
Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger opens up on an exciting prologue note. Nicholas is in Cambodia with his half brother, Julian. Alas, Julian falls off the mountain side and dies. We are then catapulted into present day. Etta lives with just her mother, she does not know her dad. She spends the majority of her time practicing and playing violin. Etta is a bit of a virtuoso. As we open the book, she’s about to perform at the Met on one of those super fancy, super expensive antique Italian violins. Unfortunately, Etta hears a strange noise, leaves the stage, and then ends up pushed through a passage through time by this girl named Sophia.
There, Etta learns that she comes from a family that has the ability to time travel. Unfortunately, she’s never been trained in any of the time traveling. Also, Sophia is from a different family – the Ironwoods. They basically rule over time travel with an iron grip. Cyrus Ironwood is the family patriarch and he wants Etta to retrieve the Linden family astrolabe, the last of the time travel astrolabes. Only, Etta’s mom has hidden the astrolabe and it is a race against time to find it. So, Ironwood orders Nicholas to help Etta and to make absolutely certain she gives him the astrolabe by promising Nicolas his safety and a fortune so that he may free his other family members.
Etta, main character of Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger is fiercely loyal and dedicated to her mission. She’s a smart girl who is tenacious in the face of danger. She uses all her skills to decode her mother’s messages and races through the passages to find this astrolabe. She’s also slowly unraveling why maybe it wouldn’t be a great idea to give Ironwood the astrolabe in exchange for her mother’s life. Basically, Etta is incredibly awesome, but even her character isn’t as nuanced as Nicolas.
Nicholas is the other main point of view character in Passenger. He is a romantic interest for Etta, but his role goes beyond that. You see, Nicholas is Black. This adds a very interesting layer to Passenger. In fact, privileges are examined. We see that not every time period is safe for Nicholas as it is for Etta. We see that in his original time – the 1700s, he did not have freedom and was subject to the whims of Cyrus Ironwood. Even when Nicholas is adopted and takes on the seafaring life, he still has different societal expectations from that of a white man. I thought the way his character navigated these hardships was so interesting. Also, you just end up getting really attached to Nicholas’s character and root for him throughout the whole book. And also end up just shipping Etta and him.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is a long book and does require a bit of a time investment. The chapters are long and this nearly clocks in at 500 pages, but just misses the mark. If you’re looking for something to whip through in a matter of hours, skip this one. However, if you want a book that will captivate your imagination, populate it with superb characters, and enhanced with fascinating world building – grab a copy of Passenger. As I type this on January 8th, 2017 – it’s only 99 cents on Kindle and will yield much more in return for your investment.
Other reviews of Passenger by Alexandra Bracken:
- Gone With The Words – “you won’t want to put it down“
- Nice Girls Read Books – “it was just so damned SLOW to begin with“
- The Young Folks – “definitely worth checking out for fans of fantasy and historical fiction“