Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Synopsis for Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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


I was hesitant to read Passenger. It revolves around time travel and more often than not time travel is described in such a convoluted way that it goes right over my head and I lose interest. That was not the case with Bracken’s writing style. I don’t get to say this often, but Passenger is beautifully written. I love Etta and Nicholas, the diversity, the history poured into the story, but most of all I love the way Bracken describes time travel. I actually understood it and it made sense.

Etta was by far my favorite character. She was thrown into a world she was not familiar with, but she was full of determination and sass and she handled her situation well. I got to know her well through her dialogue with Nicholas, both from her own point of view and that of Nicholas. Oh, and best of all, no love triangle! I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance because of that one.

Sadly though, I felt like there was too much explaining of events and not as much action as I was hoping for in a time travel story. I felt like the story didn’t pick up until close to the end, but even then there were only short bursts of action.

I will definitely get the second book because I think that there will be a lot more action in the second book. Passenger contained so much set up that there just has to be more action coming – at least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

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