Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Monday, March 7, 2016
Why I chose this book:
I have heard so many great things about Alexandra Bracken and her work. Though I will admit, I had never previously read anything by her, I chose to read Passenger because it was one of my selections from my Uppercase box in February.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy/Science Fiction
Amazon ||  B&N  ||  Book Depository

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. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:
One thing I appreciated the most about this book was how Bracken wrote about race, since Nicholas was African-American (but in the audiobook, he had an Irish accent(?). Don’t really know how that worked out but whatever). The discussion of race and biracial relationships was a cool thing to cover in the predominantly white YA market, so I enjoyed reading about it; however, that may have been the only thing that made me rate it as high as I did.

Despite the cool facets found in this book, I did not 100% enjoy this book. It was a long read (and I was listening to it on audiobook—I can generally knock out an audiobook in less than a week, but this one took me a few weeks).

I felt like it was rather repetitive, jumping from one time period to another. I was secretly hoping this would be a swashbuckling read in that it would completely take place on a ship on the high seas, with pirates… ahem, I mean privateers. But alas they weren’t on a ship but for the first 30% or so… which was a tad disappointing to me. Not only that, but the only time she plays her violin is at the very beginning! Not fair… I feel like writing about music adds a particular depth to a book, and I felt like after the initial beginning, this book severely lacked in that department.

Final Thoughts:
It was all just a bit chaotic, and the adventure was’t something I really enjoyed reading about, sadly. I don’t think I will pick up the next book in the series. But it was a solid book for what it was, I guess. Just not something that I would spend my money on to figure out what happens next.

I gave this book 2.5 stars.

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