Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken book cover and review
While I enjoyed the premise of Passenger, this book really dragged for me.

Etta wakes up in an unfamiliar place after witnessing the murder of her teacher and friend. It turns out Etta can travel through time and she didn't know it. She and her companion, Sophia, are in the middle of the ocean on a ship that's just been taken over by pirates. The new captain of the ship is Nicholas. He's also a time traveler. He's been commissioned to bring Etta to New York to meet the head of the family, Ironwood.

Etta is very confused, of course, but soon begins to figure out some of what is going on. Her only goal is to return to her original time and save her teacher's life.

Ironwood has other plans. He's in search of a device that can help control time travel. Etta's mother has hidden this device in an unknown time and place. Etta must find this device and return it to Ironwood to save her mother's life. But in doing so, she gives Ironwood power to change the course of history. Nicholas ends up accompanying Etta on her journeys to protect her and also protect Ironwood's interests. Etta realizes that her mother has been giving Etta clues for this journey for her entire life.

The story is a bit jumpy at the beginning (time travel and all) so it took a while to settle in. I felt Passenger to be very repetitive. Too much lamenting by Nicholas about how his brother died and Nicholas feels responsible. Or by Etta about how she is going to save her mother and also keep the device from Ironwood. Or about how their romance is doomed. Over and over, the same soliloquies. It took me forever to read this book because I had trouble wanting to go back to it.

What I would have liked more of is world building. Nicholas and Etta travel to several exotic, beautiful, and dangerous places. I would have loved to be able to feel those places. Their trips in and out of these times/places were too short. Then back to the complaining and lamenting....

The ending was exciting, if a bit incomplete. Huge cliffhanger here; nothing is resolved. (Another of my pet peeves.) I did like the premise. The time traveling was explained well and the tension certainly (finally) built up. I think the execution could have been improved.

Published by Disney-Hyperion, January 5, 2016
eARC obtained from NetGalley
496 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. Interesting review. I didn't manage to finish this one. I kept finding that my attention was straying so I gave up on it.

  2. cliffhangers is a big one for me too. I do think the premise is interesting so I do want to give it a try. I love the cover too.

  3. I've been SO excited for this one! Sorry it was disappointing. I think the premise sounds very intriguing, but sounds like there are some big problems with execution, darn it. I'm still going to read this one. Hopefully, it won't drive me too nuts!

  4. I've been curious about this one since it has gotten so much hype. While I do want to read it, I think I'll wait for the hype to die down a bit.


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