Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, Book Review on trishajennreadsBook: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Genre: Teens, Action & Adventure, Fantasy



Passage, n.
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.


My rating: 4 stars

This book immediately intrigued me.

I kept seeing Passenger on social media and on other blogs. The cover is gorgeous! That, was the first thing to grab me. And then I heard that it was about time travel. And a mystery. With a bit of romance. And lots of adventure.

And I had to read it.

Seriously, a book about time travel was enough to intrigue me. But once I started reading, I fell in love with Etta. First, her name. It’s lovely and fun and quirky. And, I fell in love with Nicholas too and immediately wanted to know more about him and understand his situation. As I read on, I liked them more and more.

The concept of people who can travel through special passages that only they can find to different points in time is already great. But Etta’s sudden entry into this world and it’s politics allows the reader to learn about it with her, slowly, while in the midst of some crazy adventures.

I felt like I was reading a flowing body of water.

title pages of Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, on trishajennreadsBefore I talk about more characters, can I take a moment to talk about the writing? I really liked Alexandra Bracken’s style! The language is beautiful. I felt like I was reading a flowing body of water. At times, it wasa smoothly trickling stream, and then suddenly it would be a swift river. The pacing and the stakes changed so suddenly, intensified, and moved me along the story frantically trying to find a place where I could stop reading and go pee, but I couldn’t find one. I had to keep reading. It was a physical need. At a few points, the river hit some rapids. Boulders popped up out of nowhere and took this book from a solid five stars down to a four for me. I loved the franticness of Etta’s journey and search, but at times these rapids, bits of information of super fast pacing confused me and pushed out of the story to ask what happened or what was going on.

I had to keep reading. It was a physical need.

A big part of wanting to keep reading this book were the antagonists. There are a few of them throughout the book and they are intriguing and whole. They have real motivations, as all the characters to. And they have fabulous dialogue.

The world that Alexandra Bracken has created, with certain families able to time travel through passengers, and with their own battle for dominance amid the realities of history, is incredibly interesting and felt well-researched. This story left me wanting more. Bracken has masterfully given us readers just enough information to follow along and be gripped in a deep attachment to these characters and their stories, but not enough that we can be satisfied. We need more.

When I finished, I experienced, for the first time in some time, a severe book hangover. I wasn’t ready. I had to tweet (and you’ll notice she responded! :D).

Have you read Passenger


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