ARC Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (Violin Prodigy and Time Travel)

Posted April 11, 2016 by Sophia
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ARC Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (Violin Prodigy and Time Travel)Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher


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.

The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.

My very first taste of Alexandra Bracken’s works didn’t go bad after all (which means I don’t have to mope or panic about wasting 99 cents on the first two books in her other series).

Passenger was a little hard for me to get into, at least in terms of characters – everything else is on good terms with me. The traveler world is a delight to read about – Bracken reveals some tidbits from significant events in history I’ve never actually known about unless I decide to dive into the nit picky details of world/American history or do research for fun on my own. I also love how Bracken integrates music into the traveling world.

Then there are the characters, especially Etta and Nick, who are pretty much the only characters throughout the entire novel. Everyone else appears every so often.

I’m a huge character person – I’m very nit picky about the characters I read about and is unintentionally weighed heavily on whether or not I become fond of the book or my continuation of reading the book. *cough* The Fifth Wave didn’t bode too well, and that’s an understatement.

We have Etta, part one of two main characters/views. She’s a violin prodigy, a loner (violin is everything after all), acts superior, and pleases her mother even when she doesn’t want to.

Problem? Yep. The girl acts quite bratty and thinks she’s everything.

Then there’s Nick. He’s from another time period, bitter, and blames himself for Julian’s death constantly.

What a lovely duo to contend with.

But this is when Bracken just introduces Mademoiselle Superior and Monsieur Bitter into the story. Over the course of being a passenger in this wonderful book – the pun is totally intended – that doesn’t sound so wonderful as of right now, saying Nick and Etta are horrible characters is a complete understatement.

Etta is not just a violin prodigy thrown in the world of time travel, a loner, and acts like she’s better than every other violinist around her. She is also someone who is fierce, stubborn, and has no problem standing up for her beliefs or speaking her mind. Perhaps she’s not bratty after all.

And Nick… well… he’s secretly sweet among that internal bitterness.

I’m completely fond of the two characters by the time Bracken takes me through several time periods on Nick and Etta’s journey to take back the astrolabe her mother hid from the Ironwoods (who is apparently thirsty for power and creating a familial empire through time). Passenger is a power struggle among families and a revenge rolled into time travel adventure and romance – it’s going to be interesting to see where Bracken takes the series in future novels.

Sophia is a socially awkward Communications major who has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House Crisis. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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