Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: Book review

Publisher/Year: March 1st 2016 Quercus Children's Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Passenger #1
Pages: 496
Source/Format: e-arc | NetGalley
(Thanks NetGalley/Quercus!)
Rating: 3/5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.


New York City, present day
In one night, Etta Spencer is wrenched from everything she knows and loves. Thrown into an unfamiliar world, she can be certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles, but years from home.
The Atlantic, 1776
Captain Nicholas Carter is tasked with delivering Etta to the dangerous Ironwood family. They are searching for something - a stolen object they believe only she can reclaim. But Nicholas is drawn to his mysterious passenger, and the closer he gets to her, the further he is from freedom.
The Edges of the World
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey
across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by a desperate thief. But as Etta plays deeper into the Ironwoods' game, treacherous forces threaten to separate her not only from Nicholas, but from her path home - for ever.

My review

I have such mixed feelings about this book. After hearing nothing but rave reviews for months beforehand, I did have quite high expectations, especially coming from a renowned YA author. Am I missing something? For me, this book was way too long, slow-paced in a bad way, and I just couldn't click with it. I do admit to being scared by the hype that follows this book, and that may have made me apprehensive, but I REALLY wanted to love this book.

I do not mind a slow-paced book by any means, but this book dragged so much. For something like a 500-page book, the story has to be written in a way that makes the pages fly by, and this was not that. It may just be the writer's style, which sadly would mean I probably wouldn't enjoy her other series too.

Nicholas and Etta as main characters didn't really intrigue me. I feel like they maybe could have developed further, because to me they didn't feel like raw, imperfect human characters. Etta played the part of confused teenager thrust into another world fine, but there was not much more to her. Nicholas as well was also just fine; I never felt myself rooting for him to get together with Etta like I normally do in books.

However, saying all this, I am still intrigued. This book was not the worst I have read by any means, and I'm going to give the sequel a go. I feel like I should give this author a second chance, but if by the end of Wayfarer I'm still not a fan, then that's fine too.



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