The second book in Bracken's Passenger duology is absolutely captivating, taking you on a beautiful journey across the centuries. For those of you who are unaware, Passenger is a novel about a girl who discovers she's a time traveler, and then must embark on a journey-- kind of like a scavenger hunt through time-- in order to save her mother. It's not the most unique of premises, but trust me when I say there are a ton of unique ideas inside the story. Especially with the way time travel is described.
Bracken happens to also be the author of one of my favorite series-- the Darkest Minds. (One that I highly recommend), so of course, when her new book, Passenger, came out last year I absolutely had to read it. Unfortunately I found Passenger to be rather disappointing. It was good, but it certainly did not live up to my expectations. This I suspect was because I was unable to really connect with either of the two protagonists very well. The things I loved the most about the first book were the time travel elements and the mystery surrounding the plot. I would have to say the same about this book, though, I would also have to say I enjoyed this book much more than the first.
Somehow Wayfarer did not make it on my TBR list for 2017... Whoops. It was meant to be there, I guess I was just really tired while writing it and forgot this book.
Anyway, for those of you interested in the books and haven't read them yet, I would recommend them to you. They possess some truly unique ideas and really just take you on a journey through time. With that said, there are definitely spoilers below FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT READ PASSENGER yet, so I recommend you people turn away. Spoilers are no fun. For those of you who have read Passenger, you're good, keep reading.
I avoided reading this book for a while, just because I remembered being disappointed by the first and because I've been drowning under a gargantuan pile of schoolwork lately. But finally, though, on my eight hour plan ride home from Spain I picked this book up... and did not put it down until I was done. Like I said before, I definitely enjoyed the second book more than the first. While both novels have elements of mystery in them, I definitely enjoyed the mystery in Wayfarer more-- there were a couple plot points that I was unable to unravel until the book did it for me. Something that does not often happen.
Most of the complaints about Wayfarer are about how the protagonists-- Nicholas and Etta-- are not together for the majority of the book. Personally, I was not overly bothered by this. If you read my review for the first book, you'd know I haven't been particularly attached to their romance, so them being apart doesn't bother me too much. In fact, I found I liked their journeys more when they were apart. It was much more interesting to see their relationships build with other characters.
Another thing I mentioned in my last review-- the characters I was most interested in were Rose Linden and Henry Hemlock. Similarly, these were the characters that most interested me in this book. I just love how Rose doesn't have a clear good and evil line. She blends it quite often, seeing the ends as justifying the means. She seems cruel and cunning, willing to do anything to get what needs to be done. This is one of my favorite kinds of characters. It really excited me to find out more about Rose and her backstory, and honestly I just wanted to read more about her this entire book. Alexander, if you're reading this (which I doubt), I would absolutely love a book just following Rose in her teen years, when she helps to create the Thorns and infiltrates into the Ironwoods. Honestly as interesting as these books were, I think I would be ten times more intrigued in seeing Rose as she goes through all these experiences and becomes the woman that we first meet in Passenger. It has the perfect setup too-- Augustus Ironwood falls in love with her, and so does Henry Hemlock. Two men on two opposing sides of a war.
Speaking of, as I predicted (and so did everyone else), we get to meet Etta's father, Henry Hemlock in this book. I loved his character, and was excited every time we got to see him. I also loved how complex his relationship with Rose is. I just wish we got to see more of it. I really hope that Alexandra writes some spin offs, because she has so much more material in these stories to elaborate on. And I really want it to be about Rose and Henry and Augustus.
I really thought we'd get to know more about Augustus Ironwood in this book, too, but sadly, we didn't. HEY! Alexandra! Please, please, I just need a novel about these characters that came beforeeee. Please. I need it.
We're actually introduced to a whole cast of new characters in this book, which is another reason people have complained about the book. It just crams so much new information in, because it's a duology there aren't more books to carefully set everything up. There are a ton go things that just kind of came up and slammed you in the face-- like none of it had ever been mentioned (or at least, not that I remember) so a ton of BIG plot points in this book just seemed to come from nowhere. Then again, I should probably reevaluate this after I reread both books again sometime.
Because of this whole new number of characters, there were just a ton of plot points that didn't get fully wrapped up. Which is another reason I suspect Bracken might be planning some spin offs (or I hope). This book left me feeling happy, yet a little unsatisfied. There are the fates of some characters and some characters' relationships that I'd really like some more closure on. (Or just a spin off novel or two on Rose, Augustus and Henry. PLEASE)
"Promises are for saints and losers. Most of the time we can't even keep the ones we make to ourselves."
Anyway, Rose and Henry weren't the only characters I really enjoyed in this book, though I did like them the most. I also liked getting to see and know Sophia more. She's a really complex character (they all are), and she turned into a main character in this book, while she was only a minor one in the last book. That was a good choice on the author's part. I really came to appreciate her sarcastic, spunky attitude.
"The whole building quaked as it galloped toward the pooling wine.
'My God,' Sophia said. 'That's an animal with its priorities straight.'"
While I'm on the topic, I should mention that I was really truly impressed with how well woven the web of characters are. They all have extremely complex backstories, emotions and relationships and I LOVED IT.
Anyway, we also meet a new character that was mentioned in the last book that I completely forgot about. I really loved this character and wished I got to see more of them and see how their fate turned out. You'll know who I'm talking about if you read the book.
All the characters go through some major character arcs in the story, something I really enjoyed following because it was so well written.
I'd give this book 8/10 stars, it really was enjoyable and I loved the scraps we were thrown about Henry and Rose. I also really appreciated the plot and just the complexity of the entire story. Highly recommend it.
All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.
Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.
As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.
Anyway, sorry for the all over the place review, but I'm super jet lagged and tired. I just wanted to crack this review out as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!