Book Talk: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Book Talk: Passenger by Alexandra BrackenPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 5, 2016
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Etta is just living her life in present day when suddenly she finds herself falling through time and dropped on a ship in the 1700’s aboard a ship Nicholas, another time traveler, works on. He’s to take Etta to an evil man who he had hoped to get away from and never have to deal with again. He’s looking for something (that would totes give him like Time Travel Overload status) that is hidden by another time traveler and he believes Etta can find it which Etta is like HUH? I don’t even know how I got here but then he throws a little life plot twist her way to make her realize she might have a better shot at finding it than she thought — and the stakes are HIGH. So Etta and Nicholas take off across and time and continents to follow clues, find what he wants and stay one step ahead of Ironwood who will use it for bad.

a2HOW CAN I WAIT FOR BOOK 2?!? Someone please let me time travel to the day this releases!!

a4One of my all time favorite books is The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggar and, to be honest, I haven’t read many time travel books since then.  Passenger made me remember how much I enjoy the time travel storyline in fiction. Particularly from the point of view of a character who is just living her life as a competitive violinist (as one does) and has no idea time travel exists but suddenly is caught up in this high stakes race against the clock because apparently there’s some things she didn’t know about her heritage and now a baddie is holding her hostage to find what he’s looking for.

Watching Etta be thrown (literally thrown) into this world of time travel and dark secrets and power struggles right off the bat is intense but I really loved how she had a good balance of rolling with it because she is a sass and I love it but also the WTF IS GOING ON HOW IS THIS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW feeling. I like how Nicholas’s POV nicely complements her own grappling for understanding as he’s a pretty seasoned time traveler who hails from the 1700’s and helps guide her along the way. He’s a great character whose POV I also enjoyed. He’s been through a lot and really wants to be away from this Ironwood mess but he also wants to help Etta.

Because Etta is thrown into all this from the beginning and the world building is pretty intense the start of this novel was a bit slow for me but SMOOTH SAILING once you get through that first part (about 80ish pages if I recall). I mean, seriously, the world-building for time travel mechanics is elaborate and I don’t know how Alex kept everything straight or even came up with something that was so elaborate yet could make sense.

Once everything got going OH MAN was this intense. I mean, Etta is basically kidnapped (through time!) by a truly evil dude who is basically trying to rule the world and profit even MORE from being a time traveler and basically wants to be like the TIME TRAVEL OVERLOAD. Oh and he thinks Etta can find the tool that will enable him to do so? And she’s all UM HI HELLO I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. But apparently she does hold the answers she didn’t know she held. Watching her and Nicholas try to be one step ahead of Ironwood while looking for this THING is thrilling especially as they often find themselves in perilous situations.  Plus the secrets and the reveals…it is pretty much never a dull moment once this story gets going as they race across the world and through time.

I loved the places that we got to time travel to in Passenger and what really makes the time travel storyline so fun, in addition to the intense race against the clock for answers the characters are dealing with, is how the detail Alex weaves really just drops you head first into all these places to make you really feel like you are there and really getting a sense of the time. One moment I’m on a ship in the 1700’s and the next moment I’m outrunning bombs during WWII. I was so impressed with how she built the physical settings but also culturally and socially she weaved in detail that is important if Nicholas, a black man, and Etta, an American woman, would be dropped in some of these places.

Etta and Nicholas. Oh those two. I went back and forth on if I thought their ~love~ for each other was way too soon considering how long they’ve known each other but I won’t lie by the end of the book I was just SWEPT UP by their romance that I didn’t care. And honestly the more I thought about it after digesting the book I actually think they had a really healthy respect for each other and there was some depth there even though it was quick. I think this ship is going to hurt my heart because HOW WOULD THEY EVEN MANAGE THINGS BEING FROM TWO DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS ONCE THEY GET THEMSELVES OUT OF THIS MESS THEY ARE IN??

Also, my heart hurt in some places. For real. “I’ll be seeing you, in all the familiar places.” THE PEOPLE SHE COMES ACROSS ON HER TRAVELS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO HER. OMG. Rip my heart out, Alex.



factors+ plot, world-building, setting, romance, characters, epic nonstop page-turning action after about ~100 pages
–  the slow start


Should you read it? I definitely recommend it especially if you are into sci-fi/time travel/historical bits. Just be patient if you find the beginning slow! It comes together.

Should you buy it or borrow it? It’s a buy for me! I will definitely be re-reading it before Wayfarer (book 2).

a5fans of time travel books, fans of a good time travel romance (oh man I think going forward that aspect is going to break us), fans of Alex Bracken’s previous books

a8Passenger was one of my most anticipated reads and it didn’t disappoint at all. Aside from a slow start for me, it’s a thrilling & action-packed quest that sends our main characters across the world and through different time periods — settings that Alex exquisitely paints to make you feel like you are dropped right there with them — and a race against the clock to be one step ahead of a truly evil bad guy. The romance is sweet and complicated considering the perilous situation they are in plus the fact they live in different times and I can’t wait to see what happens on all fronts in Wayfarer.




a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless! How did you feel about the romance? Did you have a hard time in the beginning of the book like I did? ALSO, what did you think of that massive cliffhanger? Please let’s talk about all the things!

*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into? Have any questions about it?




The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I am so excited to read this book!! I have never read The Time Traveler’s Wife (it’s on the TBR) and I haven’t read many time travel books. I have heard great things about this one though. I need to read it do badly. I just haven’t bought it yet cause of money and all. Ha. Great review.

  2. I’ve been hearing about this book so much that I’m so hyped up for it, and it’s definitely an anticipated read of mine! I really cannot wait to get my hands on this because it looks gorgeous and sounds just as gorgeous on the inside.
    Fantastic review!

    • It’s definitely SOOO hyped. That’s why I waited a bit after the release date to review it because sooo many people were reviewing it so I figured I’d let the dust settle a little. Once you get through a slower first part (which was making me nervous) it’s so great!!

  3. I can’t wait to read this one! I’ve heard good things about it from other bloggers too, so I’m hoping I love it too when I get the chance to read it!

  4. God I can’t wait to read this!!!! *-*

  5. I loved this book! Great review!

  6. the time traveler’s wife is one of my all time faves as well, so this one is on my list! great review 🙂

    • I really need to read Time Traveler’s Wife. What a great book! I still love TTW more than this one but I was glad to find another good time travel book!

  7. This cover is to die for, love it! I haven’t read a lot of time travel novels, but I am certainly intrigued by this one. And I love the name Etta, too. (puts on future baby #2 name list, tho I’m sure my husband will hate it)

    • I definitely want to get back into time travel novels after reading this one! And omg I know I love the name Etta and I FEEL YOU…Will hates every name I say. In fact, I told my sister the name Genevieve as a possible name because *I* wanted to use that name one day and Will said absolutely not so my sister scooped it up because she loved it!!

  8. I love your rating system metre bar. Just noticed it today, and I definitely need one. It’s a much more accurate way to rate books!

    • Thank you! I decided to do it a couple of years ago, after not liking star ratings for the first few years I blogged, because I really wanted a way to show where it ranked for me without using stars…because they just didn’t explain it for me.

  9. I loved Passenger! I really enjoy how Alex wrote time travel; her logic behind it was pretty darn great. And, of course, I couldn’t help falling in love with both Etta and Nicholas, who are two wonderful characters. So excited for Wayfarer!

    • I FEEL LIKE WAYFARER IS GOING TO KILL US. And same….I’m just in awe with how meticulous with the time travel mechanics Alex was!

  10. If you want another time travel rec, try A Thousand Pieces of You and the sequel (which was better!) Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray. I enjoyed this one too, but Gray’s books are better at describing each world. I wanted more description of each place in Passenger. Great review!

  11. Christina Williams says:

    I started this book, but was struggling with the slow start. Your review made me request it again at the library because it really does sound SOOOOOO good!

    • No I honestly felt the same in the beginning and I was nervous because it was one of my most anticipated. I was like OMG I CAN’T GET INTO IT. I honestly think once you get past that slow part you will love it too! (I hope so! I will feel bad if I steer you wrong)

  12. I’ve been eyeballing this one but always wavered when it came to selecting it for various unknown or unrecognized reasons. You are making me think I should stop wavering and just commit already!

  13. First, I just LOVE your blog design. It’s so much beautiful in PC than in mobile.
    Second, I’m glad I stumbled upon your review. Passenger is one of the books I’m most curious about, mostly because everyone’s talking about it. I feel like I really need to read this book because I love time travel! <3
    Third, I'd like to say something about the structure of this post. There were a lot of unique stuff (your rating system is SO adorable!) and to cut it short, your blog is #goals. 🙂

  14. I just finished Passenger and I really liked it! And I completely agree with you: the beginning was a bit slow, but once the action started it MORE than made up for it! I also agree on your thoughts about the romance. If it had been done any other way I would have thought ‘ugh, insta-love’, but their relationship was just so beautifully written that I didn’t mind one bit.

  15. I’m reading this right now and really enjoying so far! I’m liking both Nicholas and Etta’s voices LOTS. I’m excited to start traveling to all of the different time periods, though I know I’m gonna be distraught by the time this one ends. I’m gonna need that HEA for my ship in the next book!

  16. Same! I hated that slow start but once I knew what the plot was (I had surprisingly avoided the synopsis somehow) I was really swept up in it! I can’t wait for book 2!

  17. If you’re wanting to read more time traveler books you should try the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier!

  18. Thanks soo much for passing this one on to me! 🙂 I also really enjoyed it! I thought Etta and Nicholas was a bit too fast for me as for as their romance goes but toward the end I kind of just accepted it and I liked them together so I’m anxious for the next!! I also thought it was a slower start but loved seeing all the different places! I love time travel stories like this and gah, the wait for book 2!!!

  19. Joanna Morgan says:

    I went into this book thinking it was a stand-alone. I was LOVING it and then it ended on that cliff hanger!! I NEED the sequel.


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