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This book centers on Etta, a 17-year-old violin prodigy. During one of her performances, she is thrust back in time to the eighteenth century. I have heard mixed reviews about this novel but based on the synopsis I decided to give it a chance. Also,the cover, wow. What I Loved. I will start by saying I love time travel books. I pink puffy heart love them. Ever since I saw Somewhere in Time as a kid I have been obsessed with time travel. I found the locations very interesting (a ship during the American Revolution, Paris in the ninth century, war-time London, Cambodia, the middle east in the fifteenth century). I also did like Nicholas as a character. What I didnt loveWhere do I start? This book was so much work to read. I had to literally push myself to pick it up. The story was that incredibly slow. The first half had very little action in it. It was filled with information dumps. The second part picked up a bit but was still super slow. Also, except for maybe Nicholas, I really didnt connect with the characters at all. Etta was not a typical teenager and she came across as being somewhat arrogant. I also didnt get Sophia. She was mean one minute and thoughtful the next. Next, the time traveling. The method and rules of the time traveling were super complicated and very hard for me to follow. In fact there was more explanation of time traveling rules and back story than real-time traveling. Another one of the things that really got to me in this book was the repetition in the dialog . For example Alice, Ettas music teacher, was mentioned on almost every page. (I read this book on my Kindle and when I queried the character of Alice, she was mentioned over two hundred times. )Some things just didnt make any sense to me. For example, Etta is in a foreign time and in a foreign place with no basic necessities. She also fears for her life and her mothers life. Despite all these issues she spends a great deal of time thinking about how much she loves Nicholas. Finally, the length of this book was way too long. It is over 500 pages. It could have easily been edited down 150 pages or so and not affected the story. It reminded me of The Goldfinch, in that there was so much of the story line that stretched out way longer then it needed to be. My Final VerdictPassenger was just not what I wanted it to be. The story is just incredibly slow. The main plot and characters were interesting but that just wasnt enough. I do want to find out what happens next but most likely will not read the next book in the series. Check it out!
From School Library Journal Gr 9 Up—This series opener doesn’t let up its high-octane pace until the final page. In a matter of moments, Etta, a talented teenage violinist in New York City, goes from making her concert soloist debut to finding herself prisoner aboard a ship in the distant past. It turns out she is descended from one of a dwindling number of time-traveling families who manipulate history in an ongoing fight for power and influence. The captain of the ship, Nicholas Carter, was hired to retrieve Etta and bring her to the head of the most powerful family. Together they must travel across the globe and through different time periods in search of the long missing astrolabe. There are plenty of twists and turns and excitement as they travel—though at almost 500 pages, the story has periods where it drags, and complex plot machinations and world-building threaten to overwhelm the narrative. Luckily, the romance crackling between Nicholas and Etta will keep fans intrigued. VERDICT This strong new series will appeal to readers looking for a time-traveling adventure with plenty of drama and romance.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA –This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Passenger MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged by Alexandra Bracken (Author) Review
Though our main character is a teen, these books read like an adult novel. That is not to say that they are inappropriate for young adult readers, there is just a different tone to the writing that speaks more to adult historical fiction than sassy time traveling ya adventures. The novel is very well written, so each jump through time and space feels authentic. It reads like a historical fiction novel with rich details and time period-specific obstacles for the characters to overcome. The writing is very poetic and descriptive allowing you to vividly imagine what is taking place. You view each time period through two different lenses. Etta is from our time and marvels at the quiet, the rights of the people in that era or the restricting style of dress. Nicholas is from the time of our country’s founding and is amazed by the flying machines or rattled by the loudness and speed of cars. He has travelled before, but not enough to desensitize him or dampen his wonder. It adds this wonderful layer of authenticity to the world we’re being introduced to. Our two main characters are likable, believable people with flaws. You hope that the conflict of interest resolves itself without betrayal, but worry the entirety of the book that their friendship (or potential future relationship) will be destroyed. Even as a reader you feel the turmoil and wonder what you would choose when everything was on the line. My critique is that it feels a little like instalove. Nothing happens right away, but the thoughts in their heads betray the speedy attachment and unexplainable immediate need to protect one another. Highly recommended to young adult/teen readers who enjoy historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy and contemporary novels. This is hard to place in a genre but I expect it to be well liked by most readers as it is wonderfully written. -Read Reviews-
Tags: Action & Adventure, Action & Adventure - General, Alexandra Bracken, Brilliance Audio, Children: Young Adult (Gr. 7-9), General, Passenger, Romance, Romance - General, Saskia Maarleveld, Time Travel, YOUNG ADULT FICTION