Passenger – Alexandra Bracken

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A time travelling novel that will keep you turning the pages. Etta is a violinist and has been training for the day she plays solo for years. She has given up her social and school life for her debut which goes horribly wrong as she is taken through a corridor in time. Waking up on a ship which is then boarded by pirates she is taken aboard the new ship bound for New York. On board the ship she meets Nicholas Carter, a man who lives his life on the sea and is running from his dark past.

Nicholas has been hired by the Ironwoods to transport Etta to New York to meet Cyrus Ironwood, the head of the family. Upon arrival Etta is tasked to delve not only into literal history but her mother’s history, a seemingly distant woman who up until this point Etta knew very little about. As Etta tried to escape and solve the mystery presented to her Nicholas follows her with a different goal in mind.

I haven’t read a time travel book before and most of my experience with the subject comes from Doctor Who and science fiction films. While I could look to find fault within the logic of the time travel I won’t delve too deep; the idea of time corridors makes more sense than some of the films I have watched in the past. I enjoyed the problem solving element to the novel and how Etta worked through the clues that had been left for her. Not only did it help with plot progression it also moved the story to different times and places which was a delight to read.

The novel has clearly been heavily researched and I loved the detail that was written into each era and setting. As a reader I truly got a feel for what it must have been like in those times and places. Bracken has managed to make each place feel alive with people and events. The Blitz in London, one of Britain’s most trying times was handled with such sensitivity and Bracken managed to incorporate the great British spirit into it through the power of music and how it can bring people together.

There was no insta-love which I was pleased with; there was attraction which developed into something more as the novel progressed. I wouldn’t call it love but it was natural after two people have shared dangerous experiences together.

Although the ending to the novel was foreshadowed, I still didn’t see it coming. I was fully engrossed and the ending pained me, I can only hope that it is rectified in the next book which I can’t wait to read. Time travel, love and a quest to find a time alternating weapon, what more could a person want?

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