Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken | Book Review

Wayfarer is the final book in Alexandra Bracken’s time travel romantic duology. First, shout out to duologies – I feel like I’ve really accomplished something when I finish them. It’s just nice to have a story that neatly resolves after two books. Second, whoa this is one duology that is absolutely necessary. Believe you me, if you like time travel, historical fiction, and danger with a side of kissing, Passenger and Wayfarer are the books for you. Also, if I were you and I hadn’t already read Passenger, I would stop this reading this review right here and click on the link for my review of Passenger in the previous sentence. Then you can come back once you’ve read Passenger, because spoilers are kind of the worst.

You know how Passenger basically leaves off with what seems like Etta dying, Etta’s mother coming up out of nowhere, and Nicholas arriving too late? Well, Wayfarer picks up where we leave off. Except for the prologue – that has to do with Rose Linden’s past and we see a very brief glimpse of what happens to her parents. FYI, it is not very good at all. So, anyways, Etta is in San Francisco in the 1900s just after the earthquake.

On the plus side, we finally get to meet her dad and it is exactly whom you would think it is. Then there’s Nicholas who is back in the 1700s pretty much with Sophia, trying to get information on the astrolabe. Meanwhile, there is yet another character whom we all thought was dead but is totally not. And so, much of Wayfarer is a race throughout time to find the astrolabe and to stop Cyrus Ironwood from getting it and messing up basically everyone’s lives throughout history.

As you likely expected, Etta continues to develop as a character. We get to see her form bonds and a relationship with her dad. At the same time, she’s working through her feelings of betrayal by her mother. And then there is this whole overarching plan that involves Etta’s mom. Also, Etta is still grieving Rose. I liked how Wayfarer doubles down on Etta being loyal, brave and true. Ultimately, Bracken’s development of Etta won me over.

However, when it comes to Nicholas, I think that I like his parts and scenes best. He definitely has a more complex situation that Etta. Nicholas has spent much of his life being treated like a valet and second class citizen because of the color of his skin. He is not really treated as someone who is worthy of the Ironwood name despite having Ironwood blood. I just felt like his struggles seemed more intense. Also, also, can I say how much I love his bond with Etta even though the two pretty much spend the entire book apart but when they finally come back into each other’s lives it is perfect.

Wayfarer contains a continuation of Alexandra Bracken’s brilliant world building. The travelers move through time via passages. These passages are watched by guardians. Meanwhile, the travelers can have an impact on time and change events. However, if they stray too far, time has a solution for that. I am not normally huge on the mechanics of time travel because it tends to go over my head. However, I did really enjoy how this book portrays time travel. Also — the different time periods selected were so, so interesting.

So what should you expect when reading Wayfarer as compared to Passenger? I think that there’s a lot more action, but also less romance. This book feels just as thick as its predecessor. However, the chapters are a bit shorter and there are more blank pages. It is still a really long read though. There’s more travel to different places. Some of the side characters come into play and actually are much more developed and end up surprising us all in the end. There’s actually diversity in sexuality and race in this book. I can’t speak to how well it is handled because I am not marginalized, but there is some well deserved spotlight. In all, I loved Wayfarer as a follow up to Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger.

Other reviews of Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken:

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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