The Passenger.

TITLE. The Passenger
AUTHOR. Alexandra Bracken
RELEASE DATE. January 2016
PAGES. 464
SOURCE. ARC from NetGalley, thanks Disney Hyperion for the approval !!!

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

This is the first book in The Passenger series, from what I can see on Goodreads (and after reading) there will be a second part too. 

WHY this book.
Because I really liked The Darkest Minds, and when I saw it for request on NetGalley I had to try !! And miraculously (I’m just an unknown) I got accepted !! I was so happy with that, doing a little dance around the room and having everybody look at me funny. But I was just so happy that I got a change to read it before it is published, it is my first ARC !!

So original ! I really liked it ! It did take me some time to get into, there is a lot of world building going on, but when I was into it I just kept reading ! It is so exciting, and I wanted to know what was going to happen, it kept me on my toes. And the ending had so much potential, makes me yearn for the next part !

So the story is told from two points of view, our female main Etta and the male main Nicolas. It starts with Etta in the present, about to have a violin solo, when everything goes wrong and in the chaos of it all she gets transferred into the past. She lands on a ship Nicolas is taking over, and he has to deliver her to the Ironwoods. Here we find out she is not “normal”, but she is a traveller. One of the last from her lineage, just as her mother, who turns out has been kidnapped by the leader of the Ironwoods. The Ironwoods are the strongest travel family still intact, mainly because they killed all the others. The leader wants Etta to find something stolen from him by her mother, a powerful object, and she has to travel through different times to find it. If not, her mother will be killed. Ironwood also makes a deal with Nicolas to accompany her, and together they set on a journey to safe Etta’s mother and retrieve the object. Only it turns out the object is very dangerous and they are not the only ones after it…

The beginning of the story had a slow pace, everything about the Travellers world was explained and characters were introduced. Because of this I had some trouble getting into it, but at 30% I finally got more feeling for the story and I flew through the rest of it. I dislike that I got not right into it from the beginning, but looking at it objectively, it is a new story with a completely new universe, and to make that work properly you need some world building. Otherwise I would be complaining about it not making sense. So I prefer it this way, with a solid build. 

The plot itself wat sometimes a bit predictable, of course Etta and Nicolas fall in love, that was clear from the beginning. It was also clear that at some point Etta would find out about the deal Nicolas made. BUT the way it was done was not predictable.. How I LOVED that Etta not made a big deal out of the deal ! There were some awesome plot twists in it as well and some questions still unanswered that makes you want more. Really enjoyed it.

Ok√© it was to be expected that they would fall for each other, but they did take their time. It was kind of instalove, because they did fell right away. But they did not act on it right ahead, they did not let it overrule the story or the importance of their quest, which made it better than a lot of other books I’ve read. They came both from a different time with different rules, but that only made it more exciting when they finally did get together. She let it build into something beautiful, with no unnecessary triangles or anything, and I loved it.

It is set in a lot of different era’s, in a lot of different places. Wow it must have taken a lot of research to get it this way. Respect. She made the history intertwine beautifully with the quest and I really enjoyed that. You had your legal pirates with their rules on the sea, the war with the Britain’s in New York, World War Two in London, in the Jungle, in Damascus with their religion, just awesome !!
And of course, the whole Travellers World as well. Within the families you have Travellers and Guardians. They have their own rules about traveling, what can be done and what cannot. Like you can’t intervene with death, you cannot meet yourself (wander what would happen), and of course, how you cannot travel randomly threw time, but you have to travel threw certain passages to get from one place to another. They are located all over the world in different times, and some passages are closed or collapsed. And you cannot just travel to any kind of date of the year, but it just keeps going. It is good to have some ground rules, nicely done ! 

Etta. Main female character. Very brave and independent (in a good way). She does not need others to do everything for her, but she also excepts help when necessary. I love how she is logical and sees the bigger picture (the quest and saving her mom). Very likeable person, with her own mind and not afraid to stand up to others.
Nicolas. Main male character, he is very protective of those he holds dear and knows what he wants. As the son of a slave and it’s master he had let a rough life, something he desperately wants to rise above. He is also very cute.
Sophia. A relative of the Ironwoods, but because she is female she cannot be heir. Which is something that bothers her a great deal. She’s the one that takes Etta from her time in hope of pleasing the leader of the Ironwoods.. but it does not seem to accomplish much.
Rosie. Etta’s mother, the one who made the quest for the object so only Etta could find it. She has been hunted and fled from the life of travellers before they caught up to them.
Alice. She is like a grandmother for Etta, her violin teacher and friend. She tried to stop Etta from travelling, but got hurt in the process.
Mr. Ironwood. A bitter old man with too much power. And even though he already has a lot he still wants more.

I will go for our main female character Etta. I don’t think there was any moment in the story were she disappointed me. She was strong and brave and very passionate. I loved how she reacted when Nicolas told her about the deal, how sober she reacted and did not go all drama queen. How she went for what she wanted and tried to be her best. Very likeable character. 

Sophia. She was just really mean. I get that it was hard to be looked upon as someone less, just because she is a female. But that does not mean you have to take it out on others and make bad decisions. Sometimes you just have to have a hard look at yourself for the things that happened, and not blame everybody else.

Like I already mentioned with the plot, it took me about 1/3 of the book to get into it, I had to push myself to continue reading it in the hope it would get better. Of course, it did and it was absolutely worth it, but that was the downside of this book.

“Careful, madam, blasphemy is still a sin-“
Even if Nicolas had been the gambling sort, he never would have wagered a single coin on her next words being, “Then I guess I’ll see you in Hell.”
“I cannot help but think, it matters not who you love, but the quality of such a love. And so what I wish to say to you is… a flower is no less beautiful because it does not bloom in the expected form. Because it lasts only an hour, and not days.”

So yeah, in the end I really enjoyed this new book from Alexandra Bracken. I loved the whole new (and really original) world she build and her characters. I would love to read more about it, because it ended really exciting and was definitely worth it. But because it was a bit slow at the beginning I would like to give it 4 stars, with room for improvement in the next instalment !!


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