Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is a book about time travel and classical music, both things I love dearly. I read this as part of the Booksplosion Book of the Month hosted by Kat @katytastic, Christine @ polandbananasbooks and Jesse @ jessethereader from YouTube.


This cover. I can’t-


Rating- 4/5 stars

Publisher- Disney-Hyperion

Pages- 496 (Hardcover)


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.


This book was a bit difficult for me to get into. I picked it up because of the hype and the gorgeous cover, the time travel was a bonus that I really enjoyed. The story doesn’t pick up at all until about 200 pages but I was super happy I didn’t leave it before that because it was more than worth it. The action was excellent and even though there are massive holes throughout, and I mean massive holes, I’m pretty sure Alexandra Bracken will build on this and write an even better sequel.

The concept of the book was, I felt, similar to what happens in Doctor Who with replacements. The travelers would be Time Lords, the time passages the time vortex that respond to particular a musical note’s vibrations. That was probably my favorite part, the way the passages are detected using music. I’ve loved classical music all my life and Etta being a violin player and using Bach to calm herself more than made me happy.

Nicholas was an interesting character and also, might I add, the first EXPLICITLY STATED LOVE INTEREST OF COLOR WOOHOO!!!!! There is such a LACK of PoC in books and in the past few months there’s been a greater inclusion of them and Nicholas being of African American descent was just awesome. It would be awesome to further learn of his ties to the Ironwoods and how they unfold further.

Etta, dear Etta, I was not impressed by her other than her musical talent. She grew on me but not so much that I was dying over her. Her character growth was lovely to see. She’s not a typical kick-ass character, she has her fragilities, fears, incapabilities but to see her cope from time passage to time passage despite that was wonderful.

Sophia Ironwood was gorgeously written. A woman, fighting for her rights, proving to her grandfather that she is worthy of inheriting the Ironwood legacy, my goodness she was strong from the beginning. A woman with ambition and a spirit that burns with strong desire- loved her.

Cyrus Ironwood is supposed to be the big bad but he’s too ambiguously written. One point he’s threatening Etta and the other he’s planning to save his dead wife- there isn’t necessarily evil here but more of a self-serving guy. His temper will be something to see in the next book.

The biggest thing I loved about this book was the historical accuracy and the majestic descriptions of each era. They were vivid, stunning, gorgeous, and made you feel like you’d lived there before. Ugh! It was so good and amazing.

Rating- 4/5 stars.



3 thoughts on “Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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