Blog · Book Discussion · Book Review

book review + discussion: passenger – alexandra bracken


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
: Passenger (book #1)
Pages: 496 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Adventure, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion, January 2016

Links: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

Overal Rating: 4/5 stars

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


*spoiler-free zone*

1. Plot
I really liked the idea of this book. Time traveling, romance, violin player, it sounds great! I think it’s very unique and has a lot of potential.
2. Characters
I found that both of the characters were very likable. Etta and Nicholas were unique in their own way, which was great. I wasn’t particularly annoyed with any other characters. Also, I very much appreciated the fact that Bracken gave some diversity to her characters with having Nicholas.

1. Pacing
Honestly, the beginning of the book was great, but soon, I felt like it dwelled too much on some events that it made me not want to continue reading.
2. Characters (interactions)
I honestly did not feel the chemistry between Etta and Nicholas. I will save the rest for my discussion section.

I did enjoy it, but I was definitely disappointed. I had started off the book feeling like I’ll really enjoy it because I liked the character. But the different aspects of the book such as the pacing and characters interaction fell apart for me making it not as enjoyable as it could. However, if you are a fan of Bracken or are interested in a time-travel reading, I would still recommend you check out this book!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Pacing: 3/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Book Cover: 5/5


This following section contains spoilers, if you haven’t read the book yet, please don’t continue! Come back again when you have read the book.


I have never included a discussion section in my reviews before, but there was a lot about this book that I wanted to say (but couldn’t because SPOILERS) so I decided to start this. I hope you guys will join along, also be mindful of what you say in the comments  to avoid spoilers for anyone who hasn’t gotten a chance to read it yet! 🙂 If you want to chat spoiler-y stuff, be sure to talk to me on Twitter or something.

Anyways, away we go with this discussion. Please don’t be offended by anything I say. I just need a place to express my thoughts.

Okay. I honestly REALLY liked Etta and Nicholas. But I didn’t like the action or lack thereof for me. It just felt like they were running the whole time. After she left through the passage and Nicholas chased after her, there was such a disconnection in their relationship for me. I honestly felt like Etta was getting a little too sappy about Nicholas too. NO.

Their whole traveling-through-time trip was just getting too long for me, considering how slow time was passing. They only ended up going to a few places and it took literally hundreds of pages. I wanted more time traveling, less of the useless details and non-plot-driving stuff.

I really wanted to be okay with Nicholas and Etta’s relationship, but when they kissed I was just like…. no. This is too angsty, I can’t. I’m really sorry. I do like them, but I felt like they didn’t have enough chemistry. I would see glimpses of it, but then it would get lost again for me.

“You cannot fathom the distance I would travel for you.”

Also, ROSE, WHAT THE HECK? WHY’D YOU DO THAT TO ALICE. NO. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. I can’t believe it. It just adds another level of no to Rose’s character. I just wish we knew about her character more. She literally pops out of nowhere while Nicholas is crying his butt off and drops a bomb like this. It just doesn’t make sense for me.

“Good ideas had in the dark were generally best left there.”

Besides that, I looooveeee the time-traveling aspect of it. I loved the imagery she used, it definitely is the best part of this book.

Although I am not on this Nichetta(?) // Etolas(?) ship, I hope I will warm up to them in the next book… that’s if we EVER EVEN FIND ETTA AGAIN. /sigh/


What were your thoughts on Passenger? Will you be picking up the next book? Let me know below!!


9 thoughts on “book review + discussion: passenger – alexandra bracken

      1. Haha it’s like when someone tells you not to press that button and then you want to press it super bad just to see what happens. That’s what happened. My thought process: “it can’t be THAT spoiler-y, let me glance at the last sentence”. It was spoilery. MEEEEEP. YOU LIVE AND YOU LEARN. Amirite or what.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I just finished this book, and will be doing a review soon. And I have to sort of agree on the Nichetta (adorable name BTW, might name a future child this lol) relationship. I like it, but I feel like its a bit rushed. Plus, he’s 20 and she’s only 17 and there was that…one scene where they went a little too far in my opinion. Great review!! Can’t wait to read more. 💙💙💙


  2. I absolutely and totally wholeheartedly AGREE with EVERYTHING in your review.

    I felt like I had more questions than answers at the end of the book, than when I started despite the 400+ pages.

    I really didn’t feel that “love” between Nick and Etta, to be honest I felt more emotions/interaction between Sophia and Nick eventhough it wasn’t love…their hatred really shun through more for me than Etta and Nicks.

    I am trying to write a review for this and cannot seem to put pen to paper on HOW I feel about this book!

    I’m glad I found your review as I’ve been seeing others and it’s all just LOVE for this book!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s