Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Publication Date: April 7, 2016    |    Rating: 4-action packed STARS!

‘You cannot fathom the distance I would travel for you.’

Swoon! This high stakes adventure really took me by surprise. I expected it to be good but not this good. I really, really enjoyed this and subsequently picked up the second book already. I started this one mainly because I hadn’t read a good time travel story for almost a year and it is one of my favorite sci-fi subgenres. This book had nonstop action and a scavenger hunt feel as our main characters, Etta & Nicholas, follow clues searching for an object left for Etta to find by her mother, Rose. Sound confusing? At times, I’ll admit, I felt a little lost but I think that was more due to my mind wandering due to LIFE than to an actual issue with the book.

This is the first Alexandra Bracken novel I have ever read and I am happy she has so many other books for me to choose from! Her writing style is very fast-paced and that action kept me flipping pages at a speed that even for me, seemed impressive. I finished this so quickly and am just itching to get farther in Wayfarer. Passenger left off on such a cliffhanger I can’t imagine the people who read it when it first came out having to wait for the 2nd book to be released! Literal torture and this is why I am years behind on my duologies, trilogies and series.

If you are looking for a super fast, engaging and lively adventure this could be the perfect book for you. There is some romance which although no necessarily my favorite plot element was pretty okay. I didn’t cringe once so that’s huge for me. I love Nicholas, a time traveling sailor with a heart of gold -he may actually be my first book crush this year- so cheers to that!

I really enjoyed Etta as well. She is a violin prodigy who when we meet her is under a lot of pressure to perform and live up to expectations. Once she is swept up into the unexpected reality of time travel, we really see her blossom. I thought her character was really strong and took everything in stride. At one point, she thought to herself, if my mother could do this, than so can I. I loved that self-assurance and just taking things as they come. She had no idea this whole underground world was part of her mother’s life, or part of hers, and she was able to adapt and assert herself and I thought it was great to see as opposed to a heroine who just needs to be saved!

Have you read this book? Do you have any other time travel recommendations for me? If so, please leave a comment below – I want to be sure I am not missing out on any other gems like this one!

Review: The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

Pegasus Books expected publication date: January 2, 2018

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wow – what a book! I know I will be mentally processing this one for a while – thank heavens for Kindle highlighting. I did a lot of highlighting during the course of reading this book, not because the concepts were difficult to understand or follow but because they were so meaningful. Ian Mortimer, as many know, is a wonderful historian, and he doesn’t disappoint with this work. The Outcasts of Time is indeed a work of fiction but is replete with very specific historical details; it runs through every element of the story.

Although there is a ‘time travel’ in this story, I wouldn’t classify it is science-fiction or fantasy. The only ‘magical’ element is the fact that the main character is, as he puts it, ‘skipping across time like a stone across water’; all other elements of the story are realistic. The time travel element allows the author to delve into a cultural examination of place through the passing of time that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. In a way, this reminds me of the format of Octavia Butler’s, Kindred; where time travel is similarly used to examine cultural changes over time.

Mortimer truly digs deep into society and how the workings of that change over time due to things like increased wealth, better living conditions, changes to transportation and the invention of more powerful and devastating weaponry. A phrase repeated throughout the work, ‘homo homini daemon’ – man is devil to man, speaks to the heart of some of the issues taken up in this work, that seems just as much a philosophical treatise as a work of fiction. A couple of my favorite lines being, “The man who has no knowledge of the past has no wisdom” and “…you must see what you mean to others to know your true worth.” The last paragraph practically made my heart explode as the narrative came to its resounding conclusion.

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this book – thank you to Pegasus Books for providing me with a copy. I would definitely recommend this book to history lovers of all kinds!