Passenger (Passenger Series #1)

Passenger (Passenger Series #1)

by Alexandra Bracken


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"Expert . . . Passenger succeeds as an adventure, as a romance and as a comparison of cultural norms."
- New York Times Book Review

"Riveting, romantic... Fans of Outlander will see so much of Claire in Etta, who holds a smart and headstrong lens to history. I can't wait to voyage through the next volume."
-Victoria Aveyard, New York Times #1 best-selling author of Red Queen

"Ambitious and exquisite."
-Sarah J. Maas, New York Times #1 best-selling author of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series

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, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781484715772
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Series: Passenger Series , #1
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 471,559
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Alexandra Bracken is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds series and Passenger series. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. After working in publishing for several years, Alex now writes full time and can be found hard at work on her next novel in a charming little apartment that's perpetually overflowing with books. Visit her online at and on Twitter @alexbracken.

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Passenger 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read. Stunning and captivating till the very end.
buttermybooks More than 1 year ago
I’M NOT EVEN SURE WHERE TO BEGIN WITH HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK. To say that I was literally hooked from the beginning is an understatement; even the prologue has action! After starting this book, I made an immediate connection the characters, which is not something that I can often say. It normally takes me a little bit to really love each person, but I am completely smitten with everyone in Passenger.. AND THE ROMANCE. Nicholas and Etta quickly became my most favorite ever.. even more so than Ruby and Liam (CRAZY? I KNOW! BUT ITS TRUE) Their relationship felt so inherent that not even I, the insta-love scrooge, could deny it! Also, please do not get me started on when Nicholas uses “pirate” as a pet name because it makes me W E A K. Passenger is the sort of book that makes you respect the author just for the sheer amount of research that it takes to craft something like this. Not only did Alex tackle writing a time travel novel, which requires more research than I can even imagine, BUT she also managed to address racism AND feminism in this book. NOT TO MENTION the way she kept track of all the time travel intricacies. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW SHE HANDLED IT ALL. There were times while I was reading that I would stop myself just to appreciate the care that she put into getting everything correct. The attention to time period accuracy is INSANE. This, Ladies and Gentleman, is how a time travel novel should be done. *snaps for Alex* This book is so vivid in its writing that it read like a movie. I could see every scene so clearly in my head that I never had to stop and try to make sense of what the author was describing. AND THE ENDING. I mean, it is an Alexandra Bracken book so I knew going in that I wouldn’t be able to read the last 50 pages without crying at least once, but this ending broke my heart, tore it to pieces and then began putting them back together all in the span of five pages! Passenger is so beautifully adventurous that I want to print out the pages and hang them around my room so I’m always reminded of how much I love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the typical time traveler book. Slow to start but ending was great. Kept me thinking about the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent read
ElizabethF More than 1 year ago
ALEXANDRA BRACKEN'S BEST BOOK YET! Whether you're a megafan of Brightly Woven and The Darkest Minds series like me (oh, and her Star Wars novel The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy is fantastic too!) or this is your first book by Bracken, Passenger is not to be missed! Forget those YA authors who chase the latest hot trend or write the same book over and over again, Bracken is the master of inventing her own genre--and she has the writing chops to pull it off. The world of Passenger is huge, yes, but 100% believable. You can definitely tell Bracken did her research, and I learned so much about each time period Nicholas and Etta visited--it's the closest thing I'll ever get to being there! If you're a fan of the Outlander books, you'll get that same omg-so-real feeling with Passenger's many settings. And Nicholas and Etta, oh man, swoon! First of all, it's great to read a book with main characters who are SMART. The plot doesn't come from them bumbling around like dummies, but from them putting their formidable minds together to solve the world's problems. Second, the connection between these two was so very very sweet and perfectly developed. I'm dying to see how it develops in the sequel.
alexalovesbooks More than 1 year ago
I loved Passenger a whole lot. I suppose I should begin by saying that I think the work Alex put into creating this book - the plot flow, the detailed settings, the nuances of each character - is incredible. It is, by far, one of the most cleverly constructed tales I've ever read, and that's definitely no easy feat. The combination of her writing prowess and the actual story basically made my heart and my brain explode with how awesome it turned out to be. TIME TRAVEL | It can be tricky to explain the ins and out of time travel, but Bracken does it wonderfully. She makes sure all the basic questions are addressed at some point in the narrative, and these answers create a cohesive explanation for time travel. The set-up is really well-done, and I never felt lost for a minute once things were explained. SETTINGS | It's probably because I'm a not-so-secret history nerd, but I loved the variety of settings that Bracken chose for her story. Each locale switch resulted in a different tone for the story, with Etta and Nicholas remaining the only constant element. It was definitely entertaining! Little details were included to differentiate all the locales. PLOT | I'll be completely honest: there were things that I guessed right away. But there were still a lot of moments and things that I didn't expect at all! There was plenty to mull over - histories, intentions, relationships - but there was also plenty of action to keep things exciting. Admittedly, the beginning is a bit slow, but the pace definitely picks up and stays steady till the end. I was hard pressed to set this one down once things got going, and I've no doubt many will feel the same way. CHARACTERS | While the secondary characters in this story are a fun and diverse bunch, I'm going to be talking mostly about our main characters, Etta and Nicholas. Etta is a talented violinist, who suddenly finds herself transported to a different time and not of her own volition. She might not know what's going on, but she's a survivor, someone willing to do anything she can for the ones she loves and she also happens to be pretty damn smart. On the other hand, we have Nicholas, a young man who just wants the freedom to captain a ship of his own. He's smart and serious, yet manages to be utterly charming at turns too; it's no wonder I developed a soft spot for him straightaway. Even as he deals with his own personal demons, he still manages to retain a sense of deep goodness and unwavering strength. RELATIONSHIPS | Family ties. Friendships. Romance. Enmity. Each type of relationship is a part of this story. And each affected the plot in a different way. While all the elements I've already mentioned are really cool, I personally don't think this story would be as special without the development of the various character relationships. Clearly, I loved this story an obscene amount. Passenger is a triumphant blend of science fiction and history, made even better with the inclusion of smart, opinionated characters and well-organized plot threads. It does take a little time for it to build up properly, but once it does get going, the story is awesome. So, here's what I think you should do: Buy the damn book, read it, and then find me on Twitter so we can gush about it together. Okay? Okay.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"The truly remarkable thing about your life is that you're not bound to live it straight forward like the rest of us." After a devastating loss on the night of her latest violin performance, Etta Spencer finds herself torn away from the people she loves and even from her own time. Nicholas Carter is centuries away and confident his dream of captaining his own ship is well within reach even with the challenges inherent to his status as a freed slave. When Etta appears as an unexpected passenger on Nicholas' ship, the two are thrown together in a hunt for a stolen artifact. Etta hopes it can help her return to her own time. Nicholas, meanwhile, believes giving the artifact to the Ironwoods can sever his remaining ties to the ruthless family while also keeping Etta safe. Traveling across centuries and around the world, Nicholas and Etta will have to trust each other as they follow clues to the artifact's long-hidden location. Along the way they will uncover secrets about Etta's past and a truth that could threaten both of their natural times--and everything in between--in Passenger (2016) by Alexandra Bracken. Passenger is the first of a two-book series that is partly a homage to Outlander and partly all its own. The story will continue in Wayfarer. Passenger is a thrilling adventure that spans countries and centuries. Each time period Etta visits is brought to life with vivid and well-researched descriptions ranging from the nuances of eighteenth century clothing to an eerily well-realized depiction of London during the Blitz. Passenger is a book filled with a diverse group of time travelers who live across and between time--often spending large periods of their lives outside of their normal flow of time and living in a decidedly non-linear fashion. Because of this fluidity, Passenger is filled with unlikely allies (and enemies) as characters who would never otherwise meet are brought together. Consequently the dynamic between Etta and Nicholas has a complex tension as they work to find common ground despite their shockingly different upbringings and times. Their initial attraction and romance is even more satisfying because these two characters meet as equals and partners. Although Bracken has moved in a different direction from her popular Darkest Minds trilogy, the writing here remains strong with her usual attention to detail both in terms of an intricate plot and many rich settings. Passenger is a delightful novel sure to appeal to fantasy readers and fans of time travel stories as well as readers of historical fiction. Highly recommended. Possible Pairings: Loop by Karen Akins, Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst, The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove, The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, Hourglass by Myra McEntire, The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski, Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor, All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, Pivot Point by Kasie West
Anonymous 5 months ago
Great read-slow to start but pace picked up towards the middle
Mel-Loves-Books More than 1 year ago
“A flower is no less beautiful because it does not bloom in the expected form. Because it lasts an hour, and not days.” Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is one of those books that has been on my shelf and my radar for while, and now that I have read it, I cannot believe I do not hear more about how amazing this book is. Time travel in this book was handles in a very unique way and I loved how the author asked the complicated questions that come with the idea of time travel, with in her own story. The characters are strong and wonderful to read about. There is a truly lovely romance as well. Also pirates! I give Passenger 5 stars and say don’t let it sit on your shelf, read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got me hooked and had a perfect amount of action and romance
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
I spent the first 50 pages of PASSENGER struggling to find my footing in the time travel narrative, and the rest of the book completely enthralled by Etta and Nicholas's story. Major kudos to Alexandra Bracken for writing a diverse cast of characters across countries and centuries, and for taking the time to address the standing of women and POC in each one with sensitivity and honesty. I'm so grateful that book two is already on shelves, so I can dive right in while the plot twists are still fresh in my mind.
18876111 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. This is also the first book written by Alexandra Bracken that I read and I was very impressed. The writing was beautiful and I loved the world building. Another thing that I loved, is how this book showed and didn't tell. At first, I found this book confusing but the more that I read it, the less confusing it was. The concept of time travel was done very well and it made sense. I enjoyed most of the characters, and others I didn't like as much. I loved Etta, Nicholas, and Alice. I love how Etta and Nicholas both had things that they were passionate about, Alice was like another mother to Etta and always had Etta's best interests at heart. Hasan was another side character that I liked. While he is considered a guardian, at the same time he isn't. Hasan's only job is to protect Etta's family. I didn't like Sophia at all, she was annoying, shady and untrustworthy. There were things about Etta's mother Rose that bothered me. For instance, she didn't tell Etta who she was and put her in danger. I loved the relationship between Etta and Nicholas and how it developed, I didn't feel that it was insta-lovey at all. I really enjoyed this adventure of a book, and I felt that I was traveling with the travelers to all the different locations that they were going to in the book. And if you were to ask me what place the characters traveled to was my favorite, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.
TheBookUniverse More than 1 year ago
"Hypeness" Rating: 5.0! Book received as a Christmas present. * Review Posted on * 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. My Review: Wow. Just wow. What a spectacular written book I have ever read. I have read Ms. Bracken's Darkest Minds series and those were phenomenal. I definitely recommend you readers out there to check out that series as well. Upon hearing that the author was writing a duology, I was very excited and I knew that this book would blow me away just as the The Darkest Minds did. I mean who doesn't like a violin prodigy named Etta Spencer accidentally finding her way back in time?!?! I absolutely loved the idea of time traveling. I have personally never read a book about that topic before. This book was very fast paced, adventurous, definitely worth your time (Ha. Time travel. Worth your time? Get it!). I won't spoil the book for you guys, but the main character was very strongly built. I loved how the main character, Etta, wasn't the "perfect" human being. The flaws of each character in this book really made it seem like the book was real. I also enjoyed the romance in this book as well. I mean who didn't enjoy the romance between Nicholas and Etta? Exactly. no one. It was beautiful! I just wished that the author continued to build up the romance. There was a scene near the beginning of the book, where I felt that the friendship zone quickly leaped into the romance zone. I am not sure if the author intended for this to occur, but I felt like there could have been a smoother bridge there. Though there was definitely a lot of detail within the pages, the book felt rather short and I wished there were more pages. Despite this, I am glad this book wasn't WAY too long and slow. That is probably why the romance started to rush a little bit. Nonetheless, I loved how Etta was willing to do anything to go back to her time and protect the people she loved. Lastly, can we just take a moment and just look at how creative the cover is.
Evebooker27 More than 1 year ago
This book is really good, it leaves you wanting to see more of Nicholas and Etta's relationship. Aside from the cute romance between the two, the book itself has such an interesting storyline. Leaving you at moments with suspense and worry for Etta and Nicholas. Also I love how time travel is explained in this book, how it has certain rules of how to be able to jump time and how to find the passages of each time era. The beginning is a little slow but once you get to know the characters more and get a sense of the plot, and what their objective is the book gets really interesting with leaving you an unexpected twist near the end. Overall a really well-written book and can't wait for the second one
terferj More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I’ll admit I was a little confused when I first started but thankfully that all changed when Etta first met Nicholas. I absolutely enjoyed this. I found it to be a page turner and I couldn’t get enough. I loved their journey to figure out the clues her mother left and to them traveling to different countries in different eras. Kinda cool. I love the interactions between Etta and Nicholas. My hearts. Etta I was skeptical of her character in the beginning. She started off as someone I didn’t care for but throughout she grew and change and she was amazing. She was brave, sweet, smart, and understanding. I adored Nicholas. This cutie patootie had hard times but he always on top. The oppression he endured sucked big time. And to stay just so gentlemanly was awesome. I can’t wait to read the next book especially how this ended.
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken is a beautiful composition of prose strumming together a symphony of adventure, love, and fantasy. This book will leave your pulse thrumming, your heart stuttering, and your eyes the size of moons as you lick your desert dried lips and brush away your sea breeze-swept hair feeling only a yearning desire to see this story through to the end. Until book two, Bracken. Read my FULL review here:
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Maggie Brister More than 1 year ago
Time travel is a difficult subject to tackle, but Alexandra Bracken did a wonderful job of crafting a complex story while explaining things thoroughly and keeping the reader in tune with what was going on. I will say that I wasn’t completely sold on this book to the point where I didn’t want to put the book down until about 250 pages in. Mind you, that’s a long time to take a risk on a book. I was enjoying it, but it wasn’t the extreme page turner until the riddles and romance started to flare. Etta is a dynamic character that made real life decisions, which I was happy to see. Nicholas was clearly written in his time, and his mind was set on things that made sense. I never felt as if the book felt “out of time,” which was another triumph on Bracken’s part. Once the story was set up and the background information conveyed, the story heated up. The time travel, mysteries, and growing romance - one of the most convincing romances I’ve read in a long time, mind you - were fantastic. Switching between Nicholas and Etta’s point-of-views was one of my favorite parts of the book. I love hearing from both minds, seeing them struggle through the same yet different tasks in a world where they only had each other. Ultimately, I would tell anyone to read this book who likes words and who likes romance that stretches between time. Also, be prepared for an intense cliffhanger ending! Can’t wait to read the sequel!
ashleyann120 More than 1 year ago
It's rare to find a book with a unique plot line that hasn't been done before, but Passenger did it, and did it very well! The time-travel was very well done with understandable "rules" that makes it all the more believable. This was a very well defined world within our world. I especially liked that the "bad guy" had a back story so you sort of understand how he became the evil person he is today.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
2.5 stars Oh man, it seriously pains me to rate this book that low. I wanted to love this story so hard, especially with all of the high reviews it's been getting. I liked Etta and Nicholas. They're from different times and they click so well and there's some serious swoons {and kissing!}. I was rooting for them right from the start. The plot is definitely interesting. I think my main problem was that everything seemed so dense. I thrive on dialogue and it seemed sparse. When I did get it, it was mostly filled with 1638191617 names and places, and I struggled to keep every detail organized in my head. Overall, I was intrigued, but not captivated. The ending is wicked enough that I'll have to read the next book, but I won't be clamoring for it. **Huge thanks to Hyperion providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
erinlee20 More than 1 year ago
It is safe to say that Alexandra Bracken could publish her grocery list and I would love every bit of it. When I learned that she was going to be writing another series I immediately added it to my TBR list and then I found out what it was about and I knew I was going to need this in my hands…as soon as possible. As soon as I started this book, I was hooked. Bracken immediately pulled me into this world right alongside Etta. I loved that we were learning everything at the same time Etta was as it made the story that much more suspenseful in regard to how things were happening and then too, what was going to happen next. This book has so much in it I don’t even know where to start…really. There is the time travel…which is fantastic and one of my favorite things about this book. But that’s not all. There is also history, romance, amazing characters, and a story that will have you turning the pages to know what will happen next. I can’t say enough about the way Bracken builds this story and honestly, I can’t say much about the actual story without giving much away. What you need to know is that Etta starts her day off thinking she will be playing her violin for an audience and then finds herself on a ship in the year 1776. From there Etta is tossed into an unfamiliar world with people she doesn’t know and doesn’t trust. The one bright spot is Nicholas and although he has his own secrets and tasks, he is also willing to do whatever he needs to in order to protect Etta. While working together to complete their mission, Etta and Nicholas come to trust one another but there's no question, they are also keeping secrets from one another. Despite that, they find themselves drawn to each other and even though they are from very different times, they develop a connection. One of the things I loved about the relationship between these two was that they went into it knowing that they were both trying to get back to their own time but even with that on their minds, they still jumped right into each other’s arms. I can’t say much more about the story as I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone - sorry, not sorry. Just know that this should be on your TBR list (if for some odd reason it isn’t already) and you should read this as soon as you possibly can. I can’t even tell you how much I can’t wait to get my hands on book two because I died a little after turning the last page of this book.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I really hate to do this. Like I really do. This is the January release I was most excited for and was looking forward to. And it just fell flat. I even put off writing this review because I was SO scared about how I was going to review this. For a while I said I was just putting it to the side, but in all actuality I know it's just not for me. Etta is beginning to lose everything she's worked for. Including her time on stage that has finally come. But then something happens and Etta is thrust into something she has no idea about. A different century. She meets Nicholas who is sort of over the ship and they must collaborate to find something important. The only problem? Etta doesn't want to. Soon they realize they must work together, or Etta may not get home. Ever. I have to admit, I stopped reading this one because I wasn't in the mood for it. Normally when that happens I'll stop and try reading something else. But this time when I stopped, there was just no reason I wanted to crack it back open. I was in a certain mood for something with a lot of action and romance and the place where I was ended up being just a bunch of rules for their time travel and frankly I was bored. But to point out, there WERE some points that I did like. There was a POC and he was a main character. This was really the only reason I wanted to finish it. In the end it wasn't enough. Then there was Bracken's wonderful prose. I loved her writing skills and how they flowed, but the content was what got me. Just wasn't something I cared enough about. Maybe it was because me personally I'm not a huge historical fiction fan, but whatever the case, I wasn't a fan. Whatever the case may be, I wan to tell everyone to still pick up the book if you're interested. Just because this wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean it won't be the same way for everyone! Give it a chance!
AsDreamsAreMade More than 1 year ago
Original Review Link: I’m not going to waste time giving an intro. I’m just going to dive right in and proceed to tell you how amazing this book was. Ok? Ok. Etta is a violin prodigy. She’s given up everything for her craft, but on the day of an important recital, her whole world turns upside down. She discovers she’s a traveler, one who can travel through time, and in order to save her mother, she must embark on an epic quest through history to find the an important historical artifact for the ruling family–the Ironwoods. With the help of Nicholas, a shunned member of the Ironwood clan, Etta sets out to save her mother and save the course of history as we know it. This book was fantastic. Utterly, fantastic. I know the marketing campaign has been billing it as Outlander for teenagers and while it does have the time travel aspect, it’s so much more than that and really is its own original being. Etta was a remarkable character. Very able to adapt to extraordinary circumstances and rather cunning at the same time. She’s thrown into impossible situations and is able to rise to the occasion. Her upbringing in the 21st century causes some problems at times, but it makes for such entertaining reading that you root for her the entire way. There was a moment in the narrative that had you going "YES!!" Nicholas was a great counterpoint for her. It was a nice change to see a main character of mixed race in a YA novel who struggles with his identity, especially through the viewpoint of different eras. I loved, loved, loved the romance between them. The secondary characters were well developed. Grandfather was one scary dude; Etta’s mother was ruthless, but you could still see hints of humanity behind her façade; Sophia was such a biznatch! Although you understand why she’s the way she is. I’m curious to see how her plot line develops, especially after this ending. The plot moved very well. Because of the time travel element, it always had you guessing and wondering where in time they would end up next and what would happen. In its simplest sense, I would describe it as a scavenger hunt through time. Who doesn’t like that?? And that ending. THAT ENDING. I almost died. I can honestly say, I didn’t dislike one thing about this book. I absolutely loved it. From the characters to the plot, it had you on your toes the entire time. You can see that Ms. Bracken really did her research in the historical department and it was reflected in the way her characters adapted to the era they were thrust into. That was one aspect I really enjoyed; seeing how social customs and norms have evolved and changed throughout history and cultures. If you have a desire for adventure, romance, history, and just pure fun, pick this one up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I AM OBSESSED WITH HOW AMAZING THIS BOOK WAS. If you haven't read it, then read it like right now.