Hey guys, as you know from my last post, I promised to do a book review on Passenger. This book was just released early this year, so it’s still pretty new, however it’s been getting so much attention – and rightfully so.
If you haven’t heard of Passenger it’s about a girl named Etta who is a violinist, and has no idea that she has the time travel gene, she’s also unaware of the time travel history of her family. She finds out about this time travel capability at a rather inconvenient time in her life however the reader is taken on an adventure through time following her as she tries to accomplish her mission – which is acquiring this artifact called the astrolabe. She meets Nicholas Carter and develops a strong romantic connection to him and I don’t want to spoil the rest so you’ll have to read it to find out more!
I really loved both Etta and Nicholas both as individuals and as a team. They’re both intelligent and relatable. Etta has a very strong personality which I really liked, she knows what she wants, and she sets out to achieve her goals. Nicholas seemed to be a little bit more mysterious, the reader finds out about a certain traumatic event that has shaped Nicholas into the person he is, and I found that part quite interesting as well. Their romance I didn’t find to be too much of an “insta-love” they did seem to have a connection and romantic interest in each other right off the bat, but it wasn’t the kind of “insta-love” that was overly unrealistic. Their relationship as the novel progressed did have some complexities and challenges which I really loved about the book, and it added another level of realness to their relationship and to the characters themselves.
The Time Travel:
I thought the time travel in this novel was done very well. Alexandra Bracken has proven herself to be quite brilliant in her ability to create this time travelling world with passages that time travellers can hear and escape through. The author included a lot of detail on how the time travel actually worked which I thought added to the storyline in a positive way, and really contributed to the world building. I have to say, my absolute favourite part of this book was when Etta and Nicholas ended up in the WWII era amongst the chaos of the day in London. Another time period that I liked was 1685 Angkor. I thought this era was written very well, and I actually learned more about Cambodian culture during that time.
The writing was done beautifully. I won’t deny it, I’m pretty sure I started to tear up when I read, “He would not surrender to the disaster of loving her.”
This is the first book I’ve read by Alexandra Bracken, and I can say that I do really love her writing style. It evokes such profound imagery and really transports the readers to the time period and the location in which it is occurring in the novel. What made me enjoy this book so much was both the characters and the historical elements. The history wasn’t too overbearing or even the main or central theme of the novel so if you don’t really enjoy history, you will most definitely still enjoy the book.
However, I will say that when first going into the novel, I did expect the setting to be more focused on the water and also on pirates and I did think that there wasn’t as much of that in the book than I thought there was going to be. I would have liked to read more about Nicholas’ journey as a pirate but there is good news! Passenger is not the only book in this series, a sequel will be coming out, so I hope to see where Etta and Nicholas go on their adventure and also maybe find out more about Nicholas as a pirate!
A note on the themes of the novel …
One of the things that I absolutely adore this novel for, is presenting the issue of racial inequality through a historical lens. I think Alexandra Bracken did this very well, and it really brought awareness to the issue.
I give this novel 4/5 stars! The world-building was brilliantly done, the history was such a fun aspect as the reader gets to learn more about different cultures and time periods as well as be entertained through the quest to obtain the astrolabe. I am so excited for the next book!
P.S. This book is gorgeous! I just love the cover so much. I was surprised because halfway through I decided to take off the dust jacket, and I absolutely love the tree design on the front cover of the book I also liked how that ties in with the story!