This duology has some of everything: adventure, danger, family drama, romance, and action. But what lured me into this series was the time travel aspect.
Etta Spencer, a violin prodigy, is thrown into the past in one unforgettable night. Nicholas Carter enjoys his carefree life at sea, finally free from the Ironwoods–a ruthless, power-hungry family–until a woman from the future (guess who that could be? ;)) arrives on his ship. Together, Nicholas and Etta must travel through the years to find an invaluable object and attempt to stay one step ahead of the pernicious Ironwoods.
I haven’t read any time-travel books (that I recall), and I love history, so this was a near-perfect fit. I enjoyed Etta’s musical abilities, as characters with a penchant for music seem to be rare. I loved time-hopping along with Nicholas and Etta and learning about different cultures and places, although they often didn’t remain in a culture/place long enough for me to get a good grasp of the place.
My applause goes to Alexandra Bracken, for I can’t imagine the research she must have slaved over to write about so many different time periods in such a realistic way! She must truly adore history.
The latter half of Passenger contained a bit too much romance for me, but it eased up in the sequel, Wayfarer. I enjoyed the latter book more, as the plot and mysteries wound tighter and tighter until I thought my heart might implode from the suspense and excitement. People are not often what they seem in this series, and mysteries linger on nearly every page.
Several times throughout the series I was confused about why certain time-travel events occurred the way they did. It would have been helpful if Bracken occasionally reminded readers of the ‘rules’ behind time-traveling and the passages they pass through. In Wayfarer, I was flummoxed a few times about people’s motives–why they behaved a certain way–especially Etta’s decisions toward the end. This was probably just due to my forgetfulness (and possibly reading several books at once ;)).
Passenger and Wayfarer were a refreshingly unique raspberry sorbet with just a few tart berries hidden inside.
What time period would you most want to travel to? Why?