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A sweeping romance across the ages, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is a story rich in history, drama, and love.
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
Bracken has beautifully captured a most unlikely pairing between two people who would normally never have met. Born centuries apart, Nicholas and Etta seem destined to be together — even as forces beyond their control conspire to keep them apart, and destroy the threads of time itself. Their romance is the fire that fuels this story, propelling Passenger towards its dramatic and gut-wrenching finale. Rest easy, though, folks. This is the first in a series — and the dramatic ending leaves readers hoping and desiring the next chapter in this saga.
Bracken has built up a deep and well-planned universe in which a select few possess the gift of time travel. But just as richly imagined as this time-traveling world is, so too is each real-life time period Etta and Nicholas visit thoroughly researched. Bracken’s historical acumen shines, with each time period coming to life within the pages.
Perhaps my only complaint about this book is just how slow it is to get started. As richly imagined as this world of time travel is, Bracken certainly takes her time establishing it. While this sets a solid foundation for the story — and subsequent books in the series — it does make for a tedious first half of the book, since much of what happens in that first half is described much more concisely in the flap copy.
That said, the slow start is worth it — because once Etta and Nicholas really embark on their journey through the ages, Passenger truly shines. The adventure, the action, and the romance — oh, the romance! — sweep you up and refuse to let you go even after the very last page is done. Passenger is in stores January 5th.
- Title: PASSENGER
- Author: Alexandra Bracken
- Release Date: January 5th, 2016
- Pages: 464
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
- Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She now writes full time and can be found hard at work on her next novel in a charming apartment overflowing with books. You can visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com or on Twitter (@alexbracken).
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