I purchased Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (this is the first book I’ve read of hers) because it was praised by a few book-reviewers I respected at the time.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
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.
The plot didn’t capture me. It’s a story about love/revenge/family feuds/pure bloodlines, but it felt kind of surface-level and full of tedious, unnecessary detail. Plus, I didn’t care about the plot because I didn’t care about the characters.
I think it all boils down to the writing style for me, but I did not connect with the characters. The one thing I enjoyed was that the male-lead love-interest was half-African so at least there was a little diversity there.
This whole book felt like it was just full of description and filler. And not even the good filler, where you learn more about the main characters and their demons and weaknesses and strengths and their inner fire. It just felt too long.
It’s cute that Etta plays the violin. However, for something that’s such an important role in her life it adds nothing to the story. Especially for it to have been so strongly highlighted at the beginning. Also, particularly when I feel like it’s something she’s never going to revisit in the rest of the series.
I get that she’s allowed to have a life before the plot begins, but I just feel like her interests should be relevant in some way to the plot. Sure she loved to play violin, but she probably also loved certain foods and maybe she was fond of visiting certain museums. My point is that literally any of these things could’ve defined her “before” world. There’s no specific reason Bracken chose the violin as Etta’s main interest.
I just didn’t think very highly of this story. It was boring, to put it plainly. There were redeeming qualities, like a minority male-lead. Plus, it was obvious that Bracken did a lot of research into various historical periods. I just didn’t care about it personally.
I give Passenger 2.5/5 stars.
Day 10 of my 14 Day Reading Challenge is complete woohoo! Just 4 more days haha…
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