Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Friday, December 18, 2015

Passenger #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: January 5th, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: ARC Trade
Pages: 464

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

First of all, I love Alexandra Bracken's writing so much! She is just utterly amazing. I loved that this is historical fiction. I loved the world building. I love the attention to detail in the way that the people of different eras and places dress and act. I enjoyed the way the concept of how time travel and passages work was really easy to follow. I liked the characters. I just really enjoyed everything about this book!

Etta is, as mentioned, a violin prodigy, but she is also a traveler, unaware of her abilities until she is pushed into a passage by a strange girl and wakes up to find that she is no longer in Manhattan in 2015, but on a ship headed to New York in 1776. She learns that Sophia, the stranger who pushed Etta into the passage, was given the task of finding Etta and bringing her back in time to her Grandfather, Cyrus Ironwood. On the ship, Etta manages to make friends with the crew and especially Nicholas, the legal pirate and captain of the ship. Once she meets with Ironwood, she is blackmailed into going on a scavenger hunt all over the world through time to find something he claims that her mother stole from him and hid. She accepts the challenge, but has plans of her own when she finds the very important artifact that Ironwood wants so badly.

I really liked Etta! I think that my favorite thing about her is how shamelessly flirty she is with Nicholas. I love it. I don't even know what to say about her. She is smart to be able to figure out the clues her mom left her to find the next passages that she needs. She's brave. She's willing to do anything for the people she loves. I just found her to be a really fantastic heroine!

Nicholas is the perfect gentleman. He follows Etta on her journey through time to find what Ironwood wants. He has his own reasons for tagging along, but he is very helpful to Etta. He claims that he can be Etta's protector, but she just wants him to be her partner. He's really got some conflicting feelings going on in this book, but I really like him as well.

Etta and Nicholas are obviously the romance in this novel and I really liked their romance. Etta doesn't have any qualms about Nicholas in the romance department, but Nicholas has some hesitation about it due to the fact that they are from completely different times and I think a little bit because of the difference in their skin color. But they're so so so good together, I think!

There isn't anything in particular that I can think of that I didn't like about this book. It didn't leave me feeling completely and utterly wowed, but I did enjoy this book quite a lot!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book! If you love Alexandra Bracken, historical fiction, and time travel, I think that this will be the book for you! It's an EXCELLENT book and I can't wait to read Wayfarer (SO FAR AWAY) so I can learn how that cliffhanger gets resolved! Definitely get this book in January when it comes out!


  1. I cannot WAIT to read this book! I haven't read Alexandra Bracken before (hangs head) but I'm hoping to remedy that with Passenger! And that cover <3 Isn't it just the most beautiful thing ever? Nicholas sounds great tooo! And time travel is the fastest way to sell a book idea to me!

    Thanks for the review, Cyra :D

    1. Ahhhh! You need to read The Darkest Minds! It is my favorite series ever! Alexandra Bracken is such an amazing author! Nicholas is pretty great! This whole book is pretty great! I hope you can read it VERY SOON! It's so good! :)

  2. I've already seen a few mixed reviews for this one, so I'm so glad that you loved it so much! I love historical fiction and I'm always curious to check out a time travel book- so this sounds awesome. Great review! :)

    1. I have seen mixed feelings on this book as well, but I would read Alexandra Bracken's grocery lists!! This book is most definitely awesome and so so interesting! I hope that you love this book when you get a chance to read it! :)

  3. So glad you liked it! I am so excited to read this book!!! I already know it'll be fantastic since Alex Bracken wrote it.

    1. I hope you get your hands on it very soon! It is sooo fantastic! It was everything I could have hoped for!

  4. Yaassss, so glad that you loved this book and it did not disappoint you! I thought it was lovely as well. Wayfarer, Wayfarer, wherefore art thou! Hehehehe. :D

    Fantastic review, Cyra!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I need Wayfarer, like yesterday. Because I want to know what happens next!


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