Monday, March 14, 2016

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Passenger (Passenger #1) 
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Released January 5, 2016
Bought on Kindle
Rating: 3/5


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 (Summary from Goodreads).


I absolutely loved the first half of Passenger. I relished in the detail of the writing, which was especially beautiful when describing Etta's violin recital. I thought Bracken's writing in the beginning was a step up from The Darkest Minds. 

If you want more POC in your books, look no further. Our main male character and love interest is Nicholas Carter, an African American sailor who lives in 1776 and serves the dangerous Ironwood family. It is his dream to get away from the clutches of the Ironwoods and own his own ships. However, when Nicholas meets Etta, he finds himself drawn to her and wants to protect her. The initial relationship between him and Etta was well done and I was shipping it.

But once we got to the second half of the book, I think the relationship became forced and cheesy. For example (minor spoiler), Nicholas and Etta made out in a jungle after being attacked by a lion and a snake. Not to mention, the whole time-traveling thing is new to Etta, her mother is in danger, and she has to fight the clock to find the object her mother hid. It was a little ridiculous. Furthermore, characters that get stabbed should not be recovering in just a couple days, especially with treatments from 1699.

Other than these grievances, I thought the book was enjoyable enough and it was clear that Bracken had to do a lot of research before writing this.

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