Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Pages: 496
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Pub. Date: January 5, 2016
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Brightly Woven
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."
Etta isn't your average teenager. Not only is she a musical prodigy, she finds out on the night of her debut that she possesses the ability to time travel.  A fellow time traveler, Sophia, who essentially forced Etta to time travel against her will explains to her that Etta's mother, Rose, is also a time traveler and has hidden an object somewhere in time that Sophia's powerful grandfather needs.  However, if this object gets into the wrong hands, it could have major consequences.  Sophia and Etta find themselves aboard a ship in 1776 and Etta finds this all hard to believe as she never knew this about her mother.   The captain of the ship, Nicholas Carter, is also very curious about Etta. Etta comes to find that Nicholas is also a time traveler and has ties to the Ironwood family, the very family who wants Etta to find the object her mother has hidden.  Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is a time-travel romance filled with history and adventure.

There were many aspects of Passenger that I loved. Time travels (yes!), historical details (yes!), adventure (yes!), but there were many aspects that I didn't care for.  For example, Etta, although a brave protagonist, wasn't my favorite character. I had a hard time connecting with her, which made the book feel rather long in spots.  

Nicholas Carter is an entertaining character in Passenger  He is African-American and his ties to the Ironwood family were interesting as well as his backstory.  However, his relationship with Etta was a bit disappointing. It felt more like insta-love to me. 

On a positive note, Passenger did keep my attention because of the time travel aspect. I love a good time travel story and Bracken takes us to many interesting locations, such as 1940s London, Damascus, and Cambodia.  I also loved the historical details of each time period as well as the adventure Nicholas and Etta went on.

Passenger ends with a cliffhanger and book two in the series, Wayfarer, is due out in 2017.  If you enjoy an interesting time travel story and don't mind a lengthy read, definitely check out Passenger this winter.  


  1. I love time travel stories so I may have to check this out from the library. Too bad it has some flaws but it still sounds entertaining. Great review!

    1. It is definitely entertaining despite its flaws. I think you would enjoy it, Christina. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Oh, my gosh; as I started reading the blurb and your initial comments, I thought, "this is perfect for Christina!" I guess it was too good to be true - ha! I'm glad you enjoyed it, for the most part; it definitely has some appeal!

    1. Haha. Yes, it does sound like a "me" kind of book. I did enjoy it for the most part...a good book to start off the New Year. Thanks for visiting, Tara!

  3. I read a couple of mixed reviews.. both the bad and good ones. Confused whether to read it or not now. Hmm. Still thinking...
    Great Review by the way :D
    HAppy REading!

    1. I think if you enjoy time travel, adventure and historical fiction, you should give it a try, Ria. Thanks for visiting!

  4. I'm sorry you didn't like this one as much as some other people did. It really sucks when you can't connect with a character. It could be the most beautifully written novel in the entire world, but not connecting to the character will definitely kill it. Thanks for the review!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    1. It definitely was written very well, but I wasn't feeling Etta as much as some of the other bloggers out there. I have read some mixed reviews, but overall, I would recommend it if you enjoy time travel stories. Thanks for visiting, Lefty!

  5. I liked this one, I did, but it definitely holds a different place for me than The Darkest Minds trilogy or Brightly Woven. Diverse and rich, Passenger is a story of a heroine who doesn't let herself be persuaded or forced by expectations of others. Instead, she reaches out and goes after what she wants.

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