Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (January 5, 2016)
Rating: 4 stars
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, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick 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.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken has everything that I’m looking for in a 2016 YA book: fantasy, diversity, a great concept, plus a fantastic cover. Yet with all that combine I found myself not all that interested when reading. It felt has if something was missing.
What was missing you ask?
That I can’t tell you because the simple fact of the matter is that I don’t know but it need a little more boom, bang, pow. Especially for a book that is 486 pgs. Yes people this is one hell of a book. I myself don’t have problems with large books but you have to keep me interested from beginning to end. And that is where the real problem with Passenger comes from. The pacing is pretty sporadic. One minute you’re excited to keep reading to know what is going to happen next and then the story completely slows down to a halt. You keep reading and reading hoping the pace picks up and that excitement you had at the beginning of the book comes back. Eventually it does.
Harsh, I know but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. I have to give major credit to the author for the meticulous amount of research she put into this book plus I found the characters of Etta and Nicholas awesome. They pretty much saved the book for me. Along with the descriptive details and world-building. From present day New York to the 19 century, Alexandra Bracken out did herself with her attention to details. You feel like you there, on the ship as the salty, briny water mist against your skin. Hear the creaking of the ship as the wave bash against it. I love the feeling when reading a book. And the author does a great job of doing that.
Now what would have made this book the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) would have been finding a way to explain time-traveling without taking the reader out of the story. To mesh the theory of time-traveling and the story into a seamless flow.
Basically, time-traveling books means a lot of info dumping so you can understand what it going on at times in the story so you the reader won’t get lost, but most often than not you get lost and confused along the way. It happened to me and that explains my problem with the pacing as I stated earlier.
Overall, I liked Passenger. I truly enjoyed the two main characters: Etta and Nicholas as they travel through time. I love the concept that is Passenger even though it’s was poorly executed in the end. Will I read book 2? Yes, but I won’t be clamoring for it. Still I recommend this book to lovers of time-traveling fantasy, who love a bit of swoony romance thrown into the mix.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my twitter (@creatyvebooks) for your chance to win a copy of Passenger. Open to all.
*I received a copy of Passenger via Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.