Redd Becker Book Review
In Alexandra Bracken’s story, Passenger, the protagonist, Etta, is chased through time from modern day theater, to a pirate ship, to WWII London, to Cambodia, Paris and Damascus to find an astrolabe that will allow her to return home to save her mom. The sequences keep you moving but when is it too much. Etta meets varied friends and foes that test her pirate-heart and wits at each time-shift.
Alexandra Bracken Mixes Issue and Story Telling
Alexander Bracken integrates women’s rights, slavery and prejudice through the lens of historical changes in his story. He portrays Etta’s nemesis, a girl who could be heir of her family’s time-traveling heritage as a second class citizen in her family’s eyes, because she’s a girl. The injustice draws them together. And Etta’s traveling companion and potential love interest is a black youth, who is also in line as heir, but is not the right ethnicity to lead the family. He travels with Etta as her protector in search of the astrolabe in order to prove himself, but to who?
The middle of the book dragged a bit for me. Scenes were described in more detail than I like. Bracken described the entire crew of a pirate ship when they weren’t particularly integral to the plot. She could have trusted the action and dialogue of the dinner scene to represent crew-members characters instead of describing them.
Bracken researched each location he depicts well and integrated that information effectively into scenes, but the pattern of Etta’s chase repeated its overall arch. Because of the arch of many scenes repeated they did not add to characterizations or plot. At 486 pages, some condensing would strengthen the story.
With that said Passenger did for me what I ask of a book, I connected with Etta and her story took me out of my time and place. Twists at the end of the story were fun and assure an interesting sequel.
My RatingPassenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Time Travel
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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.
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here