I received this book for free from Disney Book Group 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
Series: Passenger #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 5th, 2016
Genres: Historical, Time-Travel, YA
Source: Disney Book Group
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i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.
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 AKA the much awaited, highly anticipated time travel romance. I had hoped it would be everything I wanted, I had hoped I would swoon and die because cuteness, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Passenger was by no means a bad book, I just had a hard time relating to the character and getting behind the romance (which is kind of a big deal given that it is a time-travel romance.)
Etta is really my biggest problem with the book. It isn’t that she is fundamentally flawed, I just couldn’t get behind her as a character. Her privilege, growing up the way she did and in the century she did, is so blatant and her ignorance of it really bothered me. Being with Nicholas did make her realize that she was a 100x better off but sometimes she’d say something that didn’t sound genuine. Like at one point, she mentioned that things weren’t that much better in her century because as we all know, the 21st century isn’t perfect but it didn’t seem like SHE felt that way but rather she was saying it because it’s the truth. She seemed to be parroting all the right things as she underwent character development but these revelations didn’t –to me– imply she had grown as a character.
The romance could be amazing. Time-travel romances are some of my favorites and have the ability to make me swoon but this one wasn’t everything I wanted. I didn’t hate it. I just had a problem with the fast progression. The first day (or the second) they meet, someone tells Nicholas that he and Etta are soul mates (simply by observing one conversation they had.) That, to me, was weird. Then they fall in love over the course of a week and that didn’t work either. I will say that given the situation, the development is actually pretty decent but I didn’t buy into their love. I would have liked if they had developed strong feelings for each other but hadn’t yet fallen in love since I believe that would have been more realistic, but alas.
So, those two issues out of the way, I loved the world building in this book. Bracken did such a fantastic job with it and I love the details she made sure to account for. I love the idea of passages and I love the way she explains ripples in timelines and how she builds a hierarchy within the world of time-travellers. The dynamics between these groups of people is so important and it is so interesting to see the way their interactions can affect an entire timeline. ALSO THE WARS. THE HISTORY. YAAS. It was also really cool travelling to different places in time and it was clear that Bracken had done her research. Side note: When ‘we’ were in 18th century New York, I really hoped Hamilton would show up and then everyone could hang out and be BFFs.
The plot-line of this book is also engaging, although I do think the book got to be a little longer than it needed to be. At almost 500 pages, it was almost a pain to read sometimes because so many scenes could have been cut, and I wanted the fun stuff to start already.
The book ended on a very exciting note and honestly, my problems with the book aside, I am ready for the sequel given the cliffhanger. So…the book has a cliffhanger and this is the kind of cliffhanger I know will bother some people. I was mostly okay with it because I am–at the moment–optimistic about the future but you never know what could change.
So read the book, for it’s pretty cover if nothing else. Or don’t if you don’t want to. Who am I to tell you what to do with your life?
3 Hot Espressos
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