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Passenger and Wayfarer | Alexandra Bracken | Review

I literally just, say, 20 minutes ago finished the second book and I still slightly have tears in my eyes, so let's get on with the show!


I took a little while to get into this book, I wasn’t really sure what it was about apart from the fact that lots of booktuber’s raved about it, so when it started I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. Then Etta was introduced and her violin performance drew me in, and the magic started. It initially reminded me of A Darker Shade of Magic, just with Nicholas and Etta instead of Kell and Lilah. But obviously the more the story evolved the more I saw it wasn’t that.

When I told people it was about time travel they assumed a science fiction type book, however, this feels more realistic and fantasy at the same time. Obviously, time travel is fantasy but the way the story is told you legitimately feel like it could be happening now in real life, it’s described so effortlessly and not totally absurd that you wouldn’t believe it.

I really enjoyed the story, however, I felt the pacing was off. The beginning was too slow and it, therefore, took a while to get into the story. The middle was perfect, everything ran nicely and gave you enough time to take in all the details and understand what was going on. Then the end was a mess, I was 40 or so pages from the end and nothing 'end like' had even happened, I didn’t understand how they were going to end it with that few number of pages. But, then everything happened and it just felt rushed and nothing like the rest of the book. Seriously a disappointment.


Pretty much the exact same thing happened with Wayfarer, I'm not sure if it's just Alexandra's writing as I've read The Darkest Minds, the first in her other series, before but I'm not sure if I remember if the pacing was an issue with that. I planned to post this review back at the beginning of January but I just could not get into this book. It took me so long to get through the first 100 pages and finally get stuck in with the plot that over a month had flown by. I wouldn't blame you if you'd picked up these books before and not bothered reading further than the first few chapters. Even with the cliffhanger left at the end of Passenger the first 100 pages of Wayfarer was a chore.

Once past that, I got stuck in and got through the rest in a couple of days. Again the ending had way too much of a lead up to then be over in a few pages. But I will say there's a lot more minor action going on in Wayfarer than Passenger as it's more about the war of the families and less about Nick and Etta's relationship.

Speaking of Nick and Etta's relationship, yes I did cry near the end when the big reveal happens (I won't go into it any more than that as spoilers) I shed maybe a few more tears than I care to admit. Bracken's character writing is definitely much better than her environment and action writing. You really connect with the characters, not just Nick and Etta but some, if not most, of the minor characters as well. It's definitely the lack of descriptions that let down the story. These characters are travelling through time, to different areas of the world and history and it's sometimes hard to even imagine where they are, especially without any prior knowledge of the time and place. There were moments where I lost track of the story because of the lack of descriptions, I thought they were on a boat but then a character climbed out of the window into a tree as they were suddenly back in the house.

While this all may sound like a lot of negatives, I definitely enjoyed both the stories and do recommend them. I just feel they could both lose a 100 pages each to be that little bit better. I rated them both 3.5 stars (rounding up to 4 stars on Goodreads) so ya know, they're not top of the TBR pile but they're worth being in it. Plus, their gorgeous covers are worth a slot on your bookshelves even if you don't read them for ages!

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