In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.
Passenger was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and it was also one of three books I pre-ordered too. This is my first Alexandra Bracken read and as far as the writing is concerned I was not disappointed! This story is written in third person which I thought was a refreshing change of pace as most of the books I read are in first person. Regrettably I did have more.. criticisms about Passenger than I desired going into the book, and while I could very easily avoid those criticisms it wouldn’t be fair not to be honest about my opinion.
I should start off by saying that the book is a slow burn, but I did not find it to be as slow as others may have mentioned, the reason being it took me next to a whole month to finish it due to college starting and being mildly overwhelmed and pressed for time. Because of my time constraints I did find the pacing to be helpful in not losing interest due to my own lack of reading.
Here’s where I get opinionated, turn back now if you can’t handle opinions.
I’m not one to let a little “insta-love” get in my way of enjoying a book, however the romantic interest between Etta and Nicholas was not only instant but I thought it took the spotlight away from the time travelling and the real reason behind Etta’s adventures. The chapters are by no means short and sweet, and I found a good chunk of each chapter involved some inner dialogue about Etta or Nicholas’s feelings towards one another when what I really wanted was more detail about the locations in history they went.
That being said my only other complaint is reserved solely for my dear Miss Spencer. I thought she was a bit too accepting of the whole time travel thing. As amazing as I would think it is to find out that time travel is actually possible (hello, obsessive Whovian over here) I would have a barrage of questions that I demand some sort of answer to.. even if that answer is that “time travel is more like a big ball of wibbley wobbley, timey wimey.. stuff”.
That last chapter though.. man, tiny little plot twist there. Alex, sweetie never do that to me again! I nearly tossed the book across the room.
Overall I give Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger a 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it, but as you can tell the book did not survive the journey unscathed. I am however 150% wanting Wayfarer in my hands ASAP, because I need to know what happens next!