Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken || Romance fail and misplaced priorities


Passenger #1

Alexandra Bracken

book review 29

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.

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Published: January 5th 2016




“But she wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life—that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment.” 

I remember being so excited for this book. The cover was my background on my phone, tablet, etc. I refreshed my nook constantly waiting for it to download; I mean, I could not wait. Then, I started reading…. It felt so long. I was so bored. The characters irritated me

I put it down for a day (these were the days where I just couldn’t DNF a book) and didn’t really know when I was going to pick it back up. The disappointment was heavy.

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Etta, violin prodigy, loses her grandmother during her performance. She ends up time travelling herself to a different era into the hands of dangerous people. Now she must find an important item that the bad people are willing to kill for yes, I’m being petty with this summary. Nicholas, desperate to be free of his servitude of said dangerous people, joins her on her journey.

Yes, that was a pretty crappy summary, but it’s been a while since I last read this book. I don’t know, maybe me and time travelling books don’t vibe. This premise sounds interesting, but most of the book is Nicholas mooning over how perfect Etta is and Etta looking for her grandmother and the artifact while mooning over Nicholas.


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“This was the danger, the seduction of time travel, she realized—it was the opportunity, the freedom of a thousand possibilities of where to live and how to start over. It was the beauty open to you in your life if you only stopped for a moment to look.” 


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Towards the beginning when we first meet Nicholas, we have a whole passage on how flawless Etta is. It was a weird mix of instalove, yet it take 80% of the book for them to get together. This whole book is filled with long inner monologues on small details that leads to infodumps.

But despite this, we don’t know what Etta is going to do for about 150 pages. We get that she dropped into this very racist, misogynistic time era with little to no time to adjust and she has no idea how any of this happens, but a lot of this book felt like filler from the start.

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“You cannot fathom the distance I would travel for you.” 

The two main characters had no chemistry and the only good thing about the romance is that it’s interracial in a time where racism is  again heavily present. I don’t really get how the time travelling works and though we do go to some interesting places… The cover is gorgeous, though?

But nothing here really excited me. The characters didn’t really feel like they were in danger from the not-so-scary villains, though I, again, didn’t really care about anything once I got to a certain point in the book. 

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There was a scene towards the end that kind of angered me; I saw another person mention this, but it must’ve slipped my mind. Nicholas asks Etta what’s so great about the future while he’s sick and close to death I’m paraphrasing and out of all the things she could’ve said— black president, more rights for minorities, etc… she says they can be together. THAT’S WHAT YOUR THINKING ABOUT? THAT IS THE LEAST IMPORTANT THING TO MENTION FFS. I wasn’t expecting to be as angered about this as I was, but that right there was freakin’ ridiculous.

There was an event towards the end intrigued me enough to pick up the next book, though I’m not rushing or anything. Overall, it was a boring, lengthy instalove/slowburn romance that put me to sleep. I’ll still read book two, though… wish me luck.

6 thoughts on “Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken || Romance fail and misplaced priorities”

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