Passenger – Alexandra Bracken

Passenger – Alexandra Bracken

Title: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date:25th January 2015
Pages: 496
Rating: 5/5 stars

Thank you to HarperCollins for the review copy!


Etta Spencer is a violin prodigy. When tragedy strikes and a mysterious power tied closely to her musical abilities manifests, Etta is pulled back through time to 1776 in the midst of a fierce sea battle.

Her capture was orchestrated by the Ironwoods, the most powerful family in the Colonies. Nicholas Carter, handsome, young, prize master of a privateering ship, has been charged with retrieving and delivering her to the family – unharmed.

Etta learns her fate is entwined with an object of untold value from her past. Ironwood is desperate to secure his future, but Etta must find it first in order to return home. Embarking on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind from a mysterious traveller, the true nature of the object and Ironwood’s dangerous game, could mean the end for Nicholas and Etta …

This book reminded me a lot of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, a series that I loved. Both series revolve around families with the ability to travel in time – not only do I ABSOLUTELY ADORE the idea of time travel, but I love the manipulative old codgers and the family hierarchies.

What I found incredibly unique about this particular method of time travel is that there are specific doors, or passages, which always lead to a particular place. The date of the travellers’ arrival may vary based on when they left their original location – it all got a little bit confusing, but it was STILL REALLY COOL!

Etta is a violin student, completely focussed on making her debut in the professional world of music. But it doesn’t turn out the way she expected when she suddenly finds herself on the high seas. Although she apparently comes from an ancient family with the ability to travel through time, Etta has had no training and is as oblivious as the reader, making her an ideal guide through the story.

The beginning of the book was a little bit slow, but after about thirty pages I was totally hooked and barely breathing from the anticipation. This is the kind of story you fall into without really noticing, but then you are way too invested to stop!

While I really liked Nicholas as a character, I thought the romantic element was a little bit forced. It was fun to see the awkwardness between the two – Etta being a modern woman, and Nicholas incredibly old-fashioned in his manners! By the end, I was a little bit invested in their fledgling relationship (SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION!) but as regular readers of my blog will know, romance isn’t really my thing….. THE WORLD BUILDING MORE THAN MADE UP FOR IT THOUGH!

A great mix between historical fiction and fantasy, Passenger is a brilliant story. My only major issue with the book is that I now have to wait for the next one…….. AAAAGGGGHHHH! What is happening to everyone? (There may be a bit of a cliffhanger and I may not be coping particularly well….) This was my first foray into Alexandra Bracken, but I will definitely be checking out her The Darkest Minds series – if the premise is even half as good as Passenger I am sure to enjoy myself immensely!


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