Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger, #1
Release Date: January 5th 2016
Passenger, Alexandra Bracken’s newest novel, is a whirlwind of an adventure, that takes its protagonist and readers on a tour, not just of the world but through time itself. Etta’s life has been ruled by one desire: to reach her potential as a violinist, but her life plan is interrupted when she is kidnapped from her own time period and plunged into the 18th century. Etta must face the reality that her mother has kept an important secret from her, that her family, along with several others, have the ability to time travel. Cyrus Ironwood, the patriarch of the most powerful of these gifted families, has spent years manipulating timelines in order to gain wealth and prestige. He threatens Etta into using her gift in order to help him find an important relic from the past, one that may make him utterly unstoppable.
Passenger starts off rather slow as Etta is taken from present day New York City and shoved into an era so unwholly like her own. She spends a large portion of her time traveling on a ship toward an uncertain destiny. The action doesn’t truly pick up until Etta does a little time traveling of her own, which doesn’t occur until you’re nearly half-way through the novel. I enjoyed the second half a lot more than the first as Etta and her companion, Nicholas, travel to different eras and historical landmarks. For me Nicholas Carter is the more interesting of these two characters. Nicholas’s relationship with the Ironwoods is a complicated affair, his mother was one of the family’s slaves and his birth father bares the name of Ironwood. Nicholas once believed he could be part of this family, but quickly discovered Cyrus was only interested in using him. Desperate to cut ties with the Ironwoods for good, Nicholas is prepared to go to any length to accomplish this.
The romance in this one was probably my least favorite aspect of the book. Nicholas and Etta’s immediately attraction to one another really put me off as they both became rather too preoccupied with the another far too early into their acquaintance. I would have felt more invested in their relationship if the author had laid out a foundation of friendship first. There are a couple of minor characters I wanted to see more of. We’re told that Sophia is more than the ambitious and hostile granddaughter of Cyrus Ironwood, but she isn’t really given the opportunity in this first book to be anything else. Time travel is always a fun premise to explore and for the most part I enjoyed Passenger.