January 25, 2016

Travel Through Time • Passenger

Passenger book cover
I loved Passenger a whole lot, a fact that most of you may be well aware of now since I've mentioned it more than a few times on social media. But I'm struggling to figure out just where to begin talking about it, because so many parts of this story are fighting to be the center of my attention. But I suppose I should begin by saying that I think the work Alex put into creating this book - the plot flow, the detailed settings, the nuances of each character - is incredible. It is, by far, one of the most cleverly constructed tales I've ever read, and that's definitely no easy feat. The combination of her writing prowess and the actual story basically made my heart and my brain explode with how awesome it turned out to be. If that doesn't convince you to give this story a shot, I have no idea what will.

Still not convinced yet? Well, allow me to address your doubts and double my efforts to convince you to give Passenger a fair shot. Here are a few of the things I really liked about this story, in no particular order (and I can guarantee that there are no spoilers here):

TIME TRAVEL | It can be tricky to explain the ins and out of time travel, but Bracken does it wonderfully. She makes sure all the basic questions are addressed at some point in the narrative, and these answers create a cohesive explanation for time travel. The set-up is really well-done, and I never felt lost for a minute once things were explained. There's really only one question I have left (and it's actually something Etta brings up), and I'm hoping it gets answered in the next book.

SETTINGS | It's probably because I'm a not-so-secret history nerd, but I loved the variety of settings that Bracken chose for her story. Each locale switch resulted in a different tone for the story, with Etta and Nicholas remaining the only constant element. It was definitely entertaining! Little details were included to differentiate all the locales. Though it was done with a light hand, it was still enough to bring each place and time to life.

PLOT | I'll be completely honest: there were things that I guessed right away. But there were still a lot of moments and things that I didn't expect at all! There was plenty to mull over - histories, intentions, relationships - but there was also plenty of action to keep things exciting. Admittedly, the beginning is a bit slow, but the pace definitely picks up and stays steady till the end. I was hard pressed to set this one down once things got going, and I've no doubt many will feel the same way.

CHARACTERS | While the secondary characters in this story are a fun and diverse bunch, I'm going to be talking mostly about our main characters, Etta and Nicholas. Etta is a talented violinist, who suddenly finds herself transported to a different time and not of her own volition. She might not know what's going on, and sure, she's scared. But she's a survivor, someone willing to do anything she can for the ones she loves and she also happens to be pretty damn smart. It was a treat to see her grow more confident in herself as the story continues! On the other hand, we have Nicholas, a young man who just wants the freedom to captain a ship of his own. He's smart and serious, yet manages to be utterly charming at turns too; it's no wonder I developed a soft spot for him straightaway. Even as he deals with his own personal demons, he still manages to retain a sense of deep goodness and unwavering strength. He's a complex guy, but that just endears him to me even more.

RELATIONSHIPS | Family ties. Friendships. Romance. Enmity. Each type of relationship is a part of this story. And each affected the plot in a different way. While all the elements I've already mentioned are really cool, I personally don't think this story would be as special without the development of the various character relationships. Obviously, the highlight of them all is the Etta-Nicholas relationship! There's a great progression from being strangers, to becoming friends, to eventually the taste of something more, even though it admittedly develops faster than it would have if they weren't under duress. I can't wait to see how the relationships grow and shift in the next one, too (especially since there are going to be new characters brought in).

Clearly, I loved this story an obscene amount. Passenger is a triumphant blend of time travel and history, made even better with the inclusion of smart, opinionated characters and well-organized plot threads. It does take a little time for it to build up properly, but once it does get going, the story is awesome. So, here's what I think you should do: Buy the damn book, read it, and then find me on Twitter so we can gush about it together. Okay? Okay.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Source: ARC from the publisher (Thanks!)

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer finds herself thrust into an unfamiliar world, one that happens to be years away from her own. She's inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of.... until now. Now, she's found herself charged with finding a stolen artifact of untold value, an object only she can get her hands on. And her only aid comes from a young man she meets in this new world, Nicholas Carter. 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.

I'm so excited to be dedicating an entire week on the blog to celebrate the fabulous novel Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. It's a time travel novel like nothing I've ever read before, written with Alex's fabulous storytelling skills, and I'm head over heels in love with it! Rachel of Hello Chelly and I are going to be sharing posts inspired by the novel all week, so you should definitely look out for that! (Speaking of which, go on and check out Rachel's review!)

And today, in tandem with our reviews, we're presenting you with a pretty damn awesome giveaway. (Thank you, Alex, for your generous prize donation! <3) Rachel & I will be picking a total of three winners for this event's giveaway. Prizes are listed below, and all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form!

One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Passenger, a notebook, mug & print.
Two (2) winners will receive a mug & print.
Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.


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