Book Review: Passenger

Book Review: PassengerPassenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 5, 2016
Pages: 496

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.
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here


Passenger was a very slow read and one that at times towards the end got a bit confusing as the time travel started to get a bit out of control. I really liked getting to know our two main characters, Etta who is a violinist and has to learn about all this time travel stuff without preparation. Nicholas is a sailor who wants his freedom from this family, but cannot quite grab hold of. He is also black and suffers injustice in many of the time periods that he travels to.

I liked the premise, but it took a long time to get the story moving and then when the action rolled around it was the last 100 pages of the book. I felt like I had to push through reading this book and took me a lot longer than a fun, romantic time travel adventure normally would. I’m intrigued to see what will happen next, I just hope the pace is picked up in the next book.


A slow paced time travel fantasy with a cliffhanger ending.

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