Book Reviews · Young Adult Books

Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

4.5 stars

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

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. Although I shouldn’t be surprised because I love Alexandra Bracken’s writing, pacing, and characters.

This is a beautiful book, the first one of a duology, that follows a talented violinist named Etta who discovers that she has the power to time travel. This power is inherited through genetics, and there are very few known travelers left in the world. A powerful family called the Ironwoods are responsible for destroying many of the time traveling families, including Etta’s. The leader of the Ironwoods, Cyrus, forces Etta to follow clues and travel through time in order to find a powerful object that Etta’s mother hid from the Ironwoods.

This book has something that not enough YA books, or literature in general, has: a black man as a main character and love interest. And Bracken did a great job writing Nicholas’s character and his romance with Etta. Sometimes the romance aspect outweighs the focus on the plot but personally I did not mind this.

This book is not just about fantasy and romance, but about society. Traveling through numerous different countries each at different points in time, Bracken writes through the eyes of Etta and Nicholas. Etta was fortunate enough to grow up in the 21st century where women are granted more freedoms. She is shocked when she visits other centuries where she is expected to follow strict social rules. Nicholas, as a young black man, has spent most of his life not knowing what it’s like to feel accepted by those around him. One of my favorite quotes from the book was:

“What a privilege it was to never feel like you had to take stock of your surroundings, or gauge everyone’s reactions to the color of your skin.”

My only complaint would be that sometimes the rules of time traveling in this universe seemed very confusing and unclear to me, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

I can’t wait to read Wayfarer!

Read more of my reviews on my Goodreads page

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