Monday, January 25, 2016

look at her go: reviewin' reviewin': passenger

Passenger (Passenger #1) – Alexandra Bracken



synopsis: 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

full review of this awesome novel under the cut!

"He would not surrender to the disaster of loving her."  

Alexandra Bracken just does not disappoint! Going into this book, I really didn't know what to expect. I knew three things about it. 1. Time Travel (obviously) 2. Violin 3. Revolutionary War-era. I don't know that I even really read the synopsis before I started the book. But honestly, I think that was the best way for me to do this, just jumping in with no expectations and no clue of where this would take me. 

First: I thought the concept and execution of time travel was awesome... it wasn't too complicated, but it felt fully developed, meaning I could follow it while still being kept in the dark about some things. I loved the eras that we got to visit, from WWII London to 17th century France to 14th century Syria and of course the West Indies in the 1770s, it was a wild ride with some nice surprises, and I liked how, though we went to some times that were familiar to me, there were also some surprises thrown in there. That being said, I can't wait to see where the next novel will take us, because now that I know how creative the locations in the first novel are, I have high expectations for the adventures of the second one! I don't know if the timeline change/ending of this first one will affect the traveling in the second, but I suppose we shall see. 

The concept of the Ironwoods is actually my nightmare. Ruthless and cunning and willing to do whatever it takes to further their own ends is a terrifying picture, but now that they're splintering into factions, with Grandfather on one side and Sophia on the other and then the live-up-to-their-name Thorns as a wildcard: that is a lot of people who would alter and perhaps destroy the whole of human history without a second thought. I really hope that this doesn't turn into too many antagonists, but I have a feeling that Alexandra Bracken is going to do something with Sophia's character... in the end, I think it is going to be the thorns that will be in the final battle with Nicholas and Etta and Rose. 

Speaking of Rose, let's talk about her. Can you say *complicated*??? Like, on the one hand, she is Etta's mom! And she's eluded the Ironwoods and the Thorns for a long time, which speaks to her strength of character. She also knew that Etta would be strong enough for the truth, and she got away from the Ironwoods in time to go back and help Nicholas when everything went down in Syria. However, she also kind of sucks. She's cold to Etta, her own daughter, she basically lies about her entire life, she was a part of the Ironwoods and also the Thorns, so basically all of this conflict can be traced back to her, and she also killed Alice. So what are we supposed to think about her? I think, in the end, she is on the "good" side of things: she wants the astrolabe destroyed and to preserve the timeline. However, there is a lot about her character that is murky or that we simply do not know yet. I think that we will get a better look at her in the second novel, and perhaps we will get to see her grandfather, the professor, as well. 

As for secondary characters, I loved the cast in this novel. From Nicholas' Captain Hall and Chase to Alice and Hasan, I loved getting to know all of them. I hope that we will see Alice more in the second book, becuase I loved the scene where Etta and Nicholas visit her in the 40's in London. In fact, I really hope we see all of these characters again, somewhere in the travels of our main characters. Like, I want to see Alice, alive and well, sometime with her husband, Oskar, living in the prime of their lives, happy. I want to see what happens to Chase after the war ends, if he continues to sail or if he settles down somewhere. I want to meet Hasan's wife? And his mother? But then, I am also excited about the possibility of new supporting characters, perhaps people that Rose has met over the years. Then, there is the thought of Henry, who I totally did not see coming as Etta's dad, and I think he might be the most dangerous antagonist of them all. All in all, A+ characters here, can't wait to see more. 

Lastly, Etta and Nicholas. Oh, how these two tugged at my heartstrings. I love each of them separately, and even more together. Etta is this strong, surefooted, creative soul that I want to be friends with but also like she could kick my ass, and Nicholas is deep and caring while also being the ship-shape sailor that he was raised as, and I want to protect him at all costs. I love how they complimented each other, truly partners, as Etta said. I loved seeing the different eras through both of their eyes, Etta as someone who has always existed past them and Nicholas both as someone from the past and also as a minority. This was a really interesting part of the novel, always being aware of race, both with Nicholas, who is always thinking about it, and with Etta, who comes to see it through Nicholas' eyes throughout the novel. I truly think that these two are meant for each other, star-crossed loves and all that, and on a very basic level, they complete each other, each possessing traits that the other needs. (the part when they're in Syria on that night and they have a heart to heart about how they can't be together in the future and he tells her about Ironwood's deal and she doesn't even care and they finally decide to just have that one moment in time for the two of them = SOBS) The end, where Rose finds Nicholas and he's so upset because he lost Etta just like he lost Julian and he tells Rose he would do anything to find her and she just goes "my, you're serious" and he says "about this particular issue" or whatever that was a great part. I JUST LOVE THESE TWO!! DORKS!!! Wow I can't wait for Nicholas to literally tear up the time-space continuum to find her. 

SO predictions? What do we think? I def think we're going to see Julian for the first time, perhaps alive, perhaps from the past. Sophia is going to have to turn to the good side with Nicholas and Etta, I think, maybe if they find Julian, she will be okay. Rose is still kind of shady to me, so I'm going to keep an eye on her. Henry is going to be the Big Bad I think, and obviously, after lots of heartbreak, Etta and Nicholas will find each other and be able to live happily ever after in like,  I don't know, early Imperial Russia or something. (RIGHT? PLEASE?) 



  1. I'm so glad that you liked this one! I honestly have yet to see a negative review. IT JUST SOUNDS SO AMAZING. I really need to hurry up and buy a copy!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. Ahh Krystianna you definitely do you will not regret it!!!


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