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
Title: Passenger (Passenger #1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Expected Publication Date: January 5, 2016
I want to thank Disney Hyperion for approving me for an early copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
I'm pretty sure this is one of the most anticipated books to be coming out in 2016. I don't know anyone who wasn't a fan of Bracken's Darkest Minds series. Her writing is just fantastic and she can tell quite a story. So, given the opportunity to read this, and the rave reviews of my fellow bloggers, I jumped in with both feet. I don't even think I read past the first line of the review. I didn't care because I was convinced it would be fantastic. And, while in the end I did enjoy it, I will say it was harder for me to get to that point than I would have liked.
I will say this review will be hard to write without spoilers. And I really don't want to go in that direction. So I'll give the bare bones of characters and background to try and put it in perspective.
Etta is a musical prodigy. She's spent her life learning to play and be an expert at the violin, though she has yet to have a debut. I found Etta to be easily relatable in this book. She certainly had much of the teen angst you expect, but at the same time she was mature beyond her peers. I think this is due to the fact that she has put all her focus on her violin career and not allowed any other distractions in her life: friends, boys, other activities.
Nicholas lives long ago. But he's not just your ordinary boy. He is able to travel through time. And he's sent on missions to find things for the family that has taken him in. But he's never treated as an equal, because he doesn't have the same color skin as they do. I really love Nicholas. He's determined to make a life of his own, to own a ship and be it's captain despite the color of his skin. And he wants no distractions when it comes to this. So when he's sent on a mission to collect a girl and return her to those who took him in, he doesn't question it. He's loyal, strong and stubborn, but he's also more emotional than he lets on.
This book is written in third person, which was perfect for how it was presented. I haven't read many authors that can truly do this point of view justice and Bracken did a terrific job. I love that you can get a truly organic picture of the characters through her writing. There is lots of background given helping you to understand exactly who the characters are and why they are essential to the story.
I will say I was a bit disappointed that more of the book didn't take place on the ships. Just from the cover I thought it would be so. And I found it a bit slow going until about half way through. There was a ton of narrative. I don't mind this when it's world building, but that wasn't truly the case with this book. Also, there are flashbacks within flashbacks. Often times I had to re-read things to know exactly what time period I was in and figure out when I was back in the present story of the book. This distracted me. I like stories to flow easily. To be told well enough that I don't question what is going on. This is the reason for the 4 star rating.
Time travel is always a huge hit for me. But it has to be done well. And not all authors can pull it off. I have to say that Bracken did a pretty good job. I had a few areas that confused me with explanations, though. And the time travel part wasn't as prominent as I thought it would be. Most of the book takes place in the past without us even getting back to Etta's actual time.
I wasn't hugely keen on the romance and almost felt it was a bit pushed in the book. I think the story could actually have had more build up in that department. The attraction was too quick for me. I think a slow burn would have made it more believable.
In the end I really did enjoy the story/plot. There is really no predictability in this story. Well, aside from the romance that you know will bloom. And the characters were done very well, each with their own personality and way of being. I will certainly be reading the next book in this series to see what happens because with that kind of cliffhanger there is no way you could not want to read on!
THE SHORT ONE
I’m Alex. I write about telekinetic teens and floppy-haired wizards. I love Star Wars, classic rock, and 18th century gentlemen. When I’m not up at 4 AM writing, you can find me running around the DC area, where I now live and write full time.
THE LONG ONE
I was born in Phoenix, Arizona and spent all of my life there up until college–I miss it all of the time, but primarily when I’m forced to deal with ice/snow/mass transit/or some combination of the three. I’m a middle child, which supposedly means I’m full of angsty feelings of neglect, but, in reality, it just means I’m always sandwiched between my older sister and younger brother in Christmas pictures. On a whole, I had a pretty typical childhood, with only one big exception: my dad was a big time Star Wars collector, which means I went to more antique shows, toy stores, and Star Wars conventions then you could ever imagine! No, really, I’m up to six conventions. I will now pause to let that soak in…
I recently graduated with a degree in History and English from The College of William & Mary in Virginia. (Four years in Colonial Williamsburg is enough to give anyone a sense of humor about life, trust me.) I began writing Brightly Woven there during my sophomore year as a birthday present to my dearest, darlingest friend Carlin… and finished six months AFTER that date. The number one question I get asked is how I wrote a novel while I was still in school. There are two answers to this: sacrificing a social life and a depressingly effective will to see even the most futile projects through. I signed with my agent on my 21st birthday, and sold it later that year. I spent a good portion of my senior year buried under edits, and the rest of that year trying to figure out what else I was going to do with my life.
After graduating, I left my colonial bonnets behind and moved to New York City, where I attended the Columbia Publishing Course and worked in publishing for five years. I now write full time.
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