Passenger - by Alexandra Bracken

My rating: 3 Stars

First, this is book 1 of who knows how many. I did not realize this was going to be part of a series of books until about the last 100 pages and I realized the story was not going to resolve in the pages that were left. I am not opposed to series or sequels but not knowing ahead of time made for an unsatisfied ending.

The story is about Etta, a teen violin prodigy, and Nicholas, an 18th century sailor. Etta is thrust into Nicholas's world and unbeknownst to her, she can time travel. Etta and Nicholas are on a mission to find an astrolabe that has special powers and to try and save Etta's mother. This book is a young adult book with time travel, some adventure and some romance. The first quarter of the book moves slow and is a little disjointed. The rest of the book picks up a little in pace (but not much) as Etta and Nicholas try to find the astrolabe while flitting through time. I didn't think the story was all that original and the use of time travel wasn't very interesting or new. My biggest problem was the lack of an ending. The story wasn't resolved and a new dilemma was created which is the set-up to the next book. For me it was an average book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The story isn't a bad story and it would probably be much more entertaining for the young adult audience it is intended for. This is a good book for the 9th through 12th grade reader. For parents looking for a good book for their child, this would fit the bill. It doesn't have any graphic violence or inappropriate language.

About the Book:

Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn't even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time.

Etta wakes, confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies--the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have ensnared her in their web. 

Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light--threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home... forever.

About the Author:

Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She now writes full time and can be found hard at work on her next novel in a charming apartment overflowing with books. You can visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com or on Twitter (@alexbracken).                

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