Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Summary: 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.
HOLY. COW. This book was everything I hoped it would be, everything I needed it to be. I kid you not, I was sucked in from the very first page all the way to the end of the book (which was quite a bang). The best part was, I could never have predicted that ending. During the entire story, I was constantly questioning everything, never quite knowing where it was going or what would happen next. And my mind is completely boggled with all of the time travel logic… It was just so so interesting, and everything explained thoroughly.
Let’s talk about the writing. By far one of the most impressive aspects of the novel was how Alex Bracken so effortlessly and interestingly wound the historical settings into the book, how captivating the different times were. Her writing just flowed so effortlessly, so seamlessly, so beautifully, that at multiple times during the book I literally had to stop reading just to take in all the amazingness and feel how utterly impressed I was. I mean, really… who would expect that from a book about time travel and pirates??
Another thing I adored about this book was how it addressed past (and present) issues such as the distinction of class based on race and the rights of women. I loved how fierce Etta was, how determined she was to show everyone that these distinctions don’t have to matter, how fiercely she fought for the things she believed in.
If there was one thing I had a problem with, I would have to say it would be the romance. Don’t get me wrong, I loved both of the characters with all my heart and their relationship with each other was A+. But I did feel a little bit of insta-love…. All in all, I think that the romance in this book wasn’t spectacular and didn’t seem altogether necessary, if you know what I mean. I could just as easily see it being a friendship, or better yet, a friendship that later turns into a romance. It didn’t quite feel like part of the plot, but rather a bit separate, which bothered me a bit.
Aside from the romance, I can’t recall any other issues I had with this book. It was compelling, fast paced, and completely entertaining, all while still retaining depth. It was crazy and fun to wrap my mind around the logic behind the time travel, how it worked, the what if’s, etc, and it really was a beautiful story, from the logic to the settings to the characters.
4.5/5 stars and one heck of a craving for historical fiction/time travel novels. If anyone knows any good ones, tell me in the comments! I’m in desperate need 🙂