Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken


Title: Passenger

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Time Travel

Date Published: January 5, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Series: Book #1 in the Passenger duology

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Passage, n.

i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

mythoughtssign“It’s our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises.”

This hurts. This hurts me so bad to write this review. Being a huge fan of The Darkest Minds trilogy, I honestly was so sure that I was going to love this one. Or at least like it but that certainly was not the case.

I have no problem with slow burner reads but this was entirely too slow. Things don’t pick up until more than halfway through and by that point I had stopped caring. This book was all build up to the sequel and that’s definitely not okay because this book is almost 500 pages. That’s another gripe, this was way too bloated and long to be so boring. This could’ve been shortened by 200 pages. I also think the way the story is told makes it read really hollow. It was hard to get attached to the story and characters and I never felt emotionally involved.

The plot had potential but it didn’t work for me. I was just lost for most of the time and whenever I wasn’t confused, I was bored out of my damn mind. Also, there was a lot of telling and not showing and that is no fun to read.

I didn’t like the characters at all. Etta was void of any type of personality and I had no connection to her. She had nothing about her that stood out and I just didn’t care what happened to her in the end.

Nicholas was just as dull but I will say that I love the fact that he’s black (hurray for diversity!) but other than that he was really, really boring. Sure, he was a sweet character but that one characteristic doesn’t make a character. There was nothing else to him.

The romance was cringe worthy. It was insta-love and just really rushed and unbelievable. I didn’t see the connection between them and so I was just sitting here really annoyed at them both. I gagged at every lovey dovey line they exchanged.

The one positive I can give is that the writing is good. I like Alexandra Bracken’s writing and it is still impressive here even though it was bogged down with everything else.

Overall, as long as this stays a duology I will read the next book. If it expands to a full length series I’m gonna have to bail.   

My Rating:


If you’ve read this book what did you think about it? Did you enjoy it? I would love to know!


Author: Jamie @therebelliousreader

I run on words and coffee.

8 thoughts on “Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

  1. Yikes! My book club is reading this this month and now I’m worried I’m gonna hate it haha. Do love that there is finally some diversity in this book, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like I’m in the minority. A lot of people really love this book so it’s more than likely just me. LOL. And yes, I was very happy to get some diversity! I hope you and your book club enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I tend to be the same when it comes to hyped books. I never enjoy them as much as everyone else does. That’s actually what the book club is lol. Reading over-hyped books and discussing it to see if it’s really worth all of the hype.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m usually always on the disagreeing side when it comes to hyped books. Lol. That’s a great concept for a book club. Have you read The Darkest Minds? I feel like if you have and didn’t enjoy that one then you really won’t like this one.


      • I haven’t but I’ve been wanting to! I’ll keep that in mind though if I end up not liking Passenger.


  2. Eep, sorry you didn’t like this one! Passenger was on my TBR for a while too but I dropped it temporarily because I just wasn’t that interested anymore. The cover is so gorgeous, it’s sad that the story inside doesn’t measure up. Too bad the characters are boring and the plot is slow – that would’ve bothered me too. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • The cover is so stunning and that makes it even worse. Lol. I hate that I didn’t enjoy this one because her Darkest Minds trilogy is one of my favorites. Oh, well. Whenever you get around to it I hope you have a better time with it than me. 🙂


  3. Pingback: Monthly Rewind: April 2016 – The Reading & Blogging Slump Edition |

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