Last year a book that was super popular amongst the reading community was Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. Obviously, I had to check out all the hype since the sequel to said book came out recently.
I believe that my experience with the book was similar to those of people who go to the movies after hearing everyone say how AMAZING it was, and then being slightly disappointed because their expectations were so high. I wanted to love the book, but I just couldn’t.
That being said, let’s get on with blog!!
At the beginning of the book we meet one of the main characters; Nicholas and his brother, Julian. We get mentions of a mission that they are on, sent by this family who’s influence seems bigger than life – and time itself. At the end of the prologue, we find out that their mission was not completed and that the cost of the journey was Julian’s life.
Etta is a violinist protege. She is getting ready for her professional debut when she first walks into the story. Etta has major anxiety and she’s young. She’s lived a rather easy-ish life, the only thing lacking is her mother’s afffection (but of course – we can’t have a heroine who has had a perfect life, makes no sense TBH). During the last performance before her big debut, Etta starts hearing a noise. It becomes so loud and distraughting that she stops playing and runs off stage.
The noise Etta is hearing the the feedback from a time traveling portal. This portal lands her and Sophia – a girl who was infiltrating the competition that Etta was participating in, to make sure that Etta went through said portal – in revolutionary colonial times, good ole 1776.
Hamilton, where you at boi?
This is definitely where the book starts to loose me. I just don’t understand what exactly is happening because the author plays the same scene twice, once from Etta’s point of view and then from Nicholas’ point of view. It’s fine though, because the concept of it all is super intriguing and I want to LOVE it so badly that I don’t really care about anything else.
So Etta wakes up on some random boat sailing to England that just so happens to be under attack from pirates! There pirates are manned by none other than Nicholas!
During the scene when Etta and Nick first meet, we find out how important Etta is to Nick’s future freedom. That illustrious family we spoke about before? Well they are basically the head mafia of time traveling and they like to control everyone who has that power and monopolize their lives so that it benefits “The Family.”
What is even happening at this point?
Okay, well Etta wakes up – super confused. And she starts attacking people and then she falls off the boat and Nicholas has to save her. After she realizes that it’s not a dream, movie/TV show set or anything strange like that – THAT WHAT IS HAPPENING IS REAL AND SHE IS IN 1776 – she calms down enough to know that if she starts spewing off crazy stuff, she may just be killed. She agrees to work, albeit begruginly, with Sophia and Nicholas.
Nicholas then escorts Etta and Sophia across the sea and into New York State area of 1776 United States. There they meet with Grandfather (AKA Cyrus Ironwood), the head of the Ironwood household/time traveling world. He turns out to be insane and terrifying and threatenes to kill Rose (Etta’s secretive, lying, and emotionally abusive mother) if Etta does not retrieve this time traveling piece of equipment called the astrolabe.
Etta’s mother has secretly been training Etta all her life to hunt down the astrolabe. Rose would tell Etta stories of her travels and paint beautiful pictures and hang them about the house to help Etta remember how to get to the astrolabe and DESTROY IT. Apparently, the astrolabe is some crazy powerful thing that can create portals (uh, what?) and send you anywhere at anytime that you want.
So Nicholas and Etta end up going on this wild 8 day long goose chase to find this thing and all kinds of crazy things happens but what looses me and makes me not love the book as much as I would like to is how fast Etta and Nicholas fell in love with each other.
Maybe it’s my hate for quick loves or maybe I just don’t understand because I’ve only ever been in love once myself – but I just couldn’t believe they afffection for each other turned so quickly.
THINGS I LIKED ABOUT BOOK
- Etta’s love for music and how even in stressful times she finds peace and refuge in the smallest things that pertain to music
- The endless possibilities that can happen from/while traveling
- Travelers abilities to adapt to different times and situations
- How much Alexandra thought about the loopholes in her time traveling theories – I mean, she even included time zones and how they could either help or hinder a traveler
THINGS I DISLIKE ABOUT BOOK
- How the journey that Etta and Nick took only lasted 8 days and in that time they fell in love (Romeo and Juliet?) and had sex (SHES A MINOR WHY) and went through this crazy emotional turbulence but I feel like it should have lasted longer, like a month or 3.
Overall, I really admire the world that Alexandra Bracken created. She was so thoughtful and caring when introducing us to her characters and the possibilities to time traveling. I’m scared to read the second book though because There is so much hype surrounding it as well that I’m afraid I’ll be peeved or disappointed.
Eventually thought, I’ll need to find out if Etta and Julian actually died or not. And to see if Rose and Grandfather get what is coming to them.
Until next time my fellow time traveling book readers.
Book rating: 87/100