Thursday, March 10, 2016

DNF Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Passenger (Passenger #1) 
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publication Date: January 5, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 486
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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.

Passenger is one of those books. You know, the kind that's hyped up so freaking much that you're actually a little scared to read it? I honestly wasn't even planning to buy Passenger, but I won a January new release giveaway and chose it as the January book I most wanted to read because it DID sound interesting and unique. Not to mention, the book trailer was one of the few that I've really enjoyed! I didn't go into it with super high expectations (as is my general way with super hyped books) and, although I prefer to be wrong about this kind of thing, my gut feeling was actually right on this one.

Etta is the main character of Passenger, and she was just okay for me. Etta is a violinist who is finally getting to make her debut after sacrificing her entire childhood to become famous. Before she actually gets to play, however, she is snatched up by someone who takes her to another time. My first problem with Etta was that I did not find her to be at all relatable. Maybe if I had continued on with the book I would have been able to connect with her more. As it was, I just didn't get her. There were other important characters that were introduced, Nicholas and Sophia, but I honestly didn't stay with the book long enough to learn much about them.

So why didn't I finish Passenger? Well, because I made it 28% in and nothing really happened and I now know that none of the "treasure hunt" business from the synopsis even happens for another 22% so... Yes, Etta was taken to the 18th century, but even that was really dull. Half her time on the ship (that I made it through) was spent giving info dumps and talking about clothes. Another thing that seemed strange to me was how easily Etta accepted that she had time traveled. She's in the middle of the ocean, someone tells her that she's taken a passage through time, and she just goes with it?

I really didn't intend to DNF this book, even though it was doing a terrible job of holding my attention, until I realized how little of it I had actually pushed through so far. I know I'm in the minority. I know that a whole lot of people adored this book and that it apparently does a great job of tackling big issues, but it just was not for me, and that sucks. No, I didn't have very high expectations, but I did expect to like it enough to finish!