Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger, #1
Pages: 496
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 5th 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.

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“She was shoved forward, and the world shattered. A blackness ringed the edges of her vision, clenched her spine, dragged her, tossed her into the air with a crushing pressure.”

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.

Rating: 3/5



20 thoughts on “Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

  1. I gave Passenger a three stars too! I definitely agree with you on the too fast relationship between Nicholas and Etta. I felt they just had one meaningful conversation and then suddenly they were soulmates..I also think I would have felt more invested in the story if the side characters were more developed. I thought it was just ok and I was rather disappointed considering how much I loved Her Darkest Minds trilogy :/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, cool, finally a more balanced review of this book. I never really trust the initial wave of 5-star reviews when it comes to hyped-up books (and this one seems to be everywhere).
    It looks like it might be a great book, though your mention of insta-love does put me off a bit. I’m going to keep this one in mind and grab it if I get a chance… but I’m not in a hurry, really. 🙂

    Um, I also tagged you for the Unpopular Opinions Tag ( – I don’t know whether you’ve done it already or if you do tags at all, but I’m curious about your answers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hype often makes me apprehensive to pick up highly-praised novels. I was also rather reluctant since I’m not a big fan of the Darkest Minds novel. Love to hear what you think of it when you do pick it up. Thanks for the tag, I have actually done this particular one before, but I appreciate the tag nonetheless 🙂 Checking out your post now!


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