Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: YA lit fantasy/romance
Features: Time travel, pirates, music  

“‘Know this, pirate,’ he said his hands gripping the railing, ‘you are my passenger, and I will be damned before I let any harm come to you.’”

“But she wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life—that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment.”

“…a flower is no less beautiful because it does not bloom in the expected form. Because it lasts an hour, and not days.”

What do you get when you mixed equal parts time travel, pirates, music, and romance? Passenger, of course! This book had many fresh and interesting ideas that I don’t often see in YA lit, and it had more descriptive language than most books for young adults. I’ve read the reviews, and some people couldn’t get into it because the book seemed to drag. I, however, enjoyed the slightly slower pace and descriptive language. It was refreshing after reading many YA lit books written in present tense and short, choppy language. 

I almost thought of adding historical fiction to the genre listing for this book. Although the book isn’t about a historical event in the past exactly, the main characters do travel through different places and times like colonial America and WWII-era London. This adds a very unique element of conflict to the characters. Nicholas Carter, a main character, is the son of an African American slave woman and wealthy, powerful white man. He faces the prejudice and social constraints of the 1800s placed on Negro men. But because of time travel, a white girl from the 21st century is thrust into his world, which makes for some very interesting and unique relational struggles. Can love overcome society’s laws and expectations? This is much deeper than the source of most tension in YA lit couples. 

I loved that, as a reader, I was thrust into the world of ship sailing and pirates through the eyes of Nicholas, and the world of music through Etta. I found both worlds fascinating and enjoyed the descriptions and terminology unique to each. I’m pleased to say that Alexandra Bracken made her characters interesting, and the romance, for the most part was full of page-turning chemistry.
The questions I had about time travel and the characters, and the electric chemistry between the characters, kept me swiping left (as one does with an e-book). 

However, when I got about two-thirds into the book, the plot started to drag. The character chemistry was not as palpable and the explanations of time travel and the rules of what can/can’t happen and why began to bog down the story. I’ve decided that although I enjoy time travel reads, I’ll just have to accept an inherent element of confusing and unresolvable characteristics that comes with the beast.

Overall, this was an interesting book with dynamic characters and descriptions. Of course, Alexandra Bracken left Book 1 on a cliffhanger, so I’m onto reading Wayfarer now to see what happens to the characters.

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