15 July, 2016

REVIEW: PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Kindle Edition
Pages: 464

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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.
This was a July read for All our TBR's group. I first saw this book by mere chance and the author's name popped up in my head like "hey I know this name... oh wait it's The Darkest Minds!" and to be honest I haven't read them yet but they've been on my TBR for really long so I wanted to check the author and when I got this book I was so excited to start it!

THE WORLD: We are time-travelling all the time to different parts of the world and eras. We start in present New York and go through Nassau, London, etc.

CHARACTERS: The main character is Henrietta "Etta" Spencer, a 17 year old violin prodigy from New York. To be honest there is barely anything about the violin thingy since the book starts with her being thrown into a portal (to another place and time) so don't expect any violin scenes/descriptions. Etta is completely clueless to the fact that she has a time-travelling gene (well, let's call it a "factor") because her mother kept it from her for reasons we get to discover about midway into the book. While travelling she meets Sophia Ironwood, another teenager who was born in a different time as well and might come off as frustrating because of her attitude but just wait, she's actually cool. We have Nicholas Carter a.k.a badass and fierce cinnamon roll who handles racism very well (not sure about his age... I think still teenager but a bit older, maybe 19?). He was also born in a different time than all the rest, his mother was a slave so you can imagine how good his life was and how much hate he has to handle in every century...
The plot of the book basically goes like this: a very ambitions and tyrannical old man pulls the strings from the past and wants full control of time-travelling, "invites" Etta to his place and time. He has her go on a mission with Nicholas to find a very valuable object long ago stolen and hidden. So yeah Etta has to find this object and give it to him but obviously we don't want bad guys get what they want so expect treason and plotwists!

LOVE: Looks like we have slow-burn romance! (kinda...) It's not about the romance but it's there and it doesn't feel like insta-love even though it is, nor there is a triangle. I am happy so far.

PLUS: Okay, things I liked where: a) the descriptions! Once the time travelling begins there are several beautiful descriptions of every country in different time periods and it was very interesting to read! I could imagine myself on all those places and travelling from one to another... omg what a life.
b) I also enjoyed the characters. At first I didn't really connect with them but eventually at the 30% mark more or less I started to appreciate them more and I found myself suffering when they suffered.
c) the ending! it's a cliffhanger so we have a love-hate relationship but I will include it in the pluses.
d) the villain being a bit unconventional. Hmm I've seen evil step mothers, evil friends, evil dads, evil siblings but this one I think I haven't seen before.

MINUS: My main minus is that the beginning felt a bit... odd? odd is not really the word. What I want to say is that the beginning even though has action and it's not boring, it didn't really pull me in either. I couldn't connect with the story and the characters at first. Maybe flat is a better word to describe it.

I also don't get the mechanics of time-travelling gene, x factor, whatever... but that's another story.

OVERALL: 4 stars. I took off 1 star because at first I couldn't really get into it, I had to "work" for it if that makes sense. I still liked the book and it gets very interesting at the end specially with the plotwist! I recommend everyone to give it a chance and see if is your kind of book. Can't wait to read the sequel, Wayfarer, coming January 3rd 2017!

What did you guys think about PASSENGER?