Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Published on January 5, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
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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.
“Know this pirate,” he said, his hands gripping the railing, “you are my passenger, and I will be damned before I let any harm come to you.”
I love Alexandra Bracken. I adored the Darkest Minds series. I was DYING to get my hands on this book. I mean, that synopsis… time travel! Have you seen that cover???!!! Okay, based on that awesome quote above and gif below it may seem like this is a book about pirates, and while it does have pirates, it is not the focus. Though if it were I wouldn’t be mad. I love pirate stories. So anyway, this is time travel! And its historical! And there is romance! These sound like the makings of an awesome book, right?
Well, sort of. I hate – absolutely despise – that I am not giving this book 5 stars. I just assumed it would be a 5 star read for me, easily. I almost want to go hide in a corner somewhere. It breaks my heart. But that doesn’t mean this was bad! It was good, so I will tell you why it was good, and explain why it wasn’t five stars good for me.
The time travel element was great. The system is well thought out and I really liked that. It was unique and fun. There is quite a bit going on with the politics surrounding the time travelers as well. I love the way when they jump into a time there is usually a historical event or point in time associated with the place they land. This was definitely researched well. There was action and adventure, along with secrets and mystery. The world was beautifully described. I mean, everything was beautifully described.
The melody of her heart had no name; it was quick, and light. It rolled with the waves, falling as the breath left his chest, rising as he inhaled. It was the rain sliding down the glass; the fog spreading it’s fingers over the water. The creaking of s ship’s great body. The secrets whispered by the wind, and the unseen life that moved below.
It was the flame of one last candle.
SWOON. That is some gorgeous word work right there. That is another thing I really enjoyed about this book -n the romantic moments. They got really steamy a few times. Like bordering the YA into NA line. I wouldn’t even have been mad if it had become that. It surely has the potential. Not that it would have made the book better or worse, just that I found myself wanting more of those hot, romantic moments. I didn’t realize Bracken was hiding that in her. Loved it.
But, alas, I did have some issues with this book. First let me just say that I loved that we had a diverse main character in this book. And I happened to love him, by the way. So while we are talking about characters, lets talk about Etta. For the most part, I liked her. But she is so wishy washy, especially when it comes to Nicholas. That made me so aggravated. Internally, he was slightly the same, but she aggravated me more with it.
Additionally, I feel like I was severely lacking dialogue. I was desperate at times for them to talk or for there to be some conversation, and every time people did start talking, it was over too soon. Especially between Etta and Nicholas. I kept finding myself bored in between.
The last half of the book was much more exciting than the first, which I was happy for. While there was more excitement and I did enjoy so much of the story, something was just lacking for me. It felt longer than it needed to be. I still liked it, I just didn’t love it. I can see many people loving it though, which makes me happy. Regardless of everything, I do plan to read the second (and final) book in this duology (unless it becomes a trilogy suddenly, then I’m out).
Check out Steph’s interview with Alex here.
And if you want to see how the book looks stripped down, go here for the Novel Nudity post!