Rating:  3.5 Crickets

Title: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: January 2016

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 first caught my eye as I was scrolling along book accounts on Instagram and the photo appeared before me. I loved everything about the cover! The whole ‘boat in a bottle’ idea, tied in with the city vs boat reflection along with the fancy writing… it’s simply wonderful. Finding out that it was a book about time travel (which is something I haven’t read a lot of) I was sold! Passenger quickly made it’s way to the top of my TBR pile and I made sure to keep my eye out for it. Unfortunately I still don’t possess my own copy, but I did find it in the library (hence why the book looks a lil’ battered…)

I had mixed feelings about this book while reading it. On the one hand I loved it and was enjoying the journey that it was taking me on. On the other hand, there were times in which I found the writing a bit simple? I’m not really sure how to explain it. While this did cause me to be a tad bored at times, overall it remained a book that I’m eager to place on my shelf, and one that I definitely recommend reading.

Again, I found the time travel concept of the story interesting, and I loved all the questions that it brought up. The laws and rules the revolved around the system of travelling through time and the whole area of ethics that it opens up was quite exciting to delve into. This is explored throughout the book, looking at the possibilities and the consequences of choosing to time travel – such as with trying to save a loved one and how this might affect others. There was also the idea that the decisions you make could completely alter the timeline and erase a certain “time” (it and you still exist but things are different, such as you may not be friends with the same people). It certainly opens up a lot for discussion. The other great part about this was exploring different eras and countries as Etta and Nicholas made their journey. The descriptions were amazing and it felt like I was right there with them.

Another concept that I loved was that Etta had to solve a series of clues left by her mother in order to reach her goal. While I wasn’t able to completely figure out the clues, it was fun to give it a try and to watch as the characters themselves tried to figure them out. It was also great that each challenge that presented itself was different and dealt with in a new way. Some of the tasks were short and simple while others took a lot longer. The variety was great to see since it is easy to get repetitive or predictable in these types of situations.

The relationship between Etta and Nicholas was an interesting one. It was certainly a special bond that they shared and it was amazing and wonderful to see – it is not often that a relationship like that is seen. But, to me, it also felt kinda sudden – a ‘love at first sight’ kinda thing, although they didn’t completely hit it off right away. It was good in that they fell for each other due to their characteristics, it wasn’t simply an attraction type thing, it just felt like it happened a bit too fast. There were complications, such as it was an interracial relationship and they were travelling in a time in which that was not yet socially acceptable, and the fact that they were born a few hundred years apart (thus had their own lives to return to). And while these complications held off the intimacy of the relationship for a little while, they spent a fair bit of time pinning for each other, and giving slightly repetitive excuses as to why it would never work. Despite all this, they has a unique relationship and worked well not only as a couple but as a team, taking each other into consideration and possessing something most will only ever dream of.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Passenger and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, Wayfarer (another note, Passenger does end on a bit of a cliffhanger). The whole world that was created, from the time travelling to the characters and the lives that they lived, was a unique and interesting experience.

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Other Reviews
The Guardian

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Nice Girls Read Books



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