Audio Book Review | Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio Book Review | Passenger by Alexandra BrackenPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger #1
Published by Brilliance Audio on January 5th, 2015
Genres: Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: The Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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

My Take:

Ah, this book! Just thinking about it gets me excited. And swoon. Because, NICHOLAS.

Passenger caught my eye not only for its cover but because, TIME TRAVEL. I love time travel books, and I am always on the hunt for more. Throw in some pirates and you got yourself a deal.

Admittedly, heading into Passenger had me extremely nervous. Many of my friends all had mixed thoughts on it and honestly at the time, I couldn’t pinpoint whether or not it was be a ME book. But I wasn’t nervous for long because I was hooked from the first track!

When we meet Etta, we get a quiet, reserved violin player that is wholly dedicated to her music and nothing else. She aims for great success for herself, and to make her mother proud. But not too long into the book, Etta’s world is jolted and she finds herself in 1776 on board a ship and no idea how she got there. In short? Her character is nothing short of amazing. At every turn, she is put through more trials, learns more about her mom, family history and the like, but she remains strong. She has so much heart, so much passion for everything she is hard NOT to like.

Nicholas (hearts in eyes) is a “legal” pirate who was tasked with taking Etta to see the head of the Ironwood family, not knowing that his world would also be turned upside down. Having so much of his life dedicated to the Ironwoods, he has sworn off the family and just wants to live his life on the sea. He’s quiet, compelling, smart and like Etta, has a huge heart. He dedicates himself to protecting Etta from the Ironwoods and in turn, sets out with her to travel through centuries looking for an ominous treasure.

Ah, these two together makes me happy. There is so much against them, but they find themselves becoming closer each passing day, and seeing their love deepen was beautiful. They had SO MUCH going against them, but these two make a great team and I love that they worked it though it; finding love and acceptance with each other. I also loved that Etta went for what she wanted.

One of my favorites aspects of Alexandra’s storytelling was how she weaved in history with the hardships and trials of the people of that time. Slavery, race, prejudices and feminism. In Etta’s time, present day, she is use to telling it like it is. She is use to doing what she wants, when she wants; it didn’t matter that she was woman, or that Nicholas was a man of color. I loved that she didn’t back down, that she challenge the times & the rules, she challenge Nicholas. She pushed him to see that there was more to him that what people TOLD him, and it was just ALL well done.

On that note, the travel rules blending in with history I thought, were pretty cool. There were times where I did have to rewind the audio to listen again, just to make sure I was following completely. I also loved that we learn about the rules, the family history along with Etta, because it IS a lot to take in. It’s pieced together throughout the book, giving us little dashes at a time. I thought the end was a LITTLE confusing, because what I thought was going on wasn’t. It makes you question everything that happened up that point, and how much of the time line was altered, or could be altered and WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. I was surprised at the direction it went. BUT. I do think it set up for the next book perfectly.

My other small peeve(s) was how long it took in the beginning for things to GET GOING. Looking back though, it almost feels necessary to set up for things that happen later on. A necessary evil, if you will. There were also a lot of secondary characters that I might not recognize of they are to make another appearance. My brain was overloaded enough to remember everyone.

The Narration

Saskia Maarleveld’s name look SO familiar, I could have sworn I have listened to her before, but I can’t find a book that she has narrated that I have. In any case, with this kind of story, the narrator can make or break the book and she nailed it! The story is told in 3rd person, so that is always tricky for me when it comes to audio books. But she was able to capture the personalities of the characters and even did a fantastic job with the accents.

Overall – if you couldn’t tell, I LOVED Passenger. I am glad I went with my gut and dove in, because this is definitely one that will stick with me for a while. It’s masterfully written; weaving together many elements to create a beautiful, heartfelt and adventurous story. I highly recommend it!

P.S Nicholas = all the swoons. Thank you, for being 19. 😉




Tell me your thoughts

  • Have you read Passenger? If so, what did you think?
  • What are your thoughts on Time Travel in general? Do you love them? Hate them? 

7 thoughts on “Audio Book Review | Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

  1. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Nicholas and Etta’s relationship here sounds completely swoony! I’ve got this on my immediate TBR and can’t wait to pick it up – glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Valerie

    YAY I am glad you loved it (plus the audiobook as well!). I did like this, but I have really forgotten most of the things that happened (whoops), so it didn’t leave too much of an impression on me. I think I was the opposite of everyone in that I LOVED that we got to read about Etta’s love for the violin, but then after she got dragged back in time, I really wanted the pace to pick up.

    Awesome review Tonya!

  3. Sajda @ Across the Words

    I definitely agree that this book to a while to get going. I was also nervous about picking it up because I heard so many mixed things. I’m a massive historical fiction fan though so I didn’t mind that it was less action-heavy and more on the detail side. Haha, yesss Nicholas is definitely swoon-worthy =)

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