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Wayfarer (Passenger) Hardcover – January 3, 2017
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"Bracken's knowledge of history is formidable... [Her] prose shines."―School Library Journal
"Bracken is always aware of how women, same-sex relationships, and biracial Nicholas would be received in times that range from ancient Carthage to imperial Russia to 1906 San Francisco... The stakes are high, and those who have followed Etta on her journeys won't be putting this down until the explosive end."―Booklist
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Top Customer Reviews
Without the ability to travel through time, Etta Spencer and Nicholas Carter never would have met, gotten to know one another, fallen in love. Being a traveler wasn’t inherently a bad thing. But there were risks. And there were often serious consequences. And over the centuries those with the ability to travel, intentionally or not, caused so much damage and destruction that reverting back to the original timeline seemed like the best solution to a growing problem.
But the only way to do that would be to find the device that could make that happen. Again. This time without any clues as to who has it, where it is, or when it is. This time facing even more danger, confronting deadlier foes, working with an even more challenging timeframe. This time searching without each other.
Twists and turns, secrets and betrayal, heartbreak and loss fill this story. Love and hope, strength and honor, bravery and sacrifice infuse its every page. The journeys are harrowing, nail-biting, tension-filled, heart-stopping. The love story is sweet, bittersweet, and so very romantic. The ending is unforgettable.
What Alexandra Bracken did in this follow-up to an extraordinary first book in the series is outstanding. She delivers more beautifully-written passages, paints more stunning pictures with her words, invents more intriguing time-travel locations, introduces more interesting characters, reveals more about the travelers, the families, the past, offers more food for thought, creates more heart-wrenching moments.
WAYFARER will fill you with wonder, bring tears to your eyes, and leave you desperately wishing your travels through time with these characters never had to end.
Expect to be surprised. Expect to be transported. Expected to be riveted from start to finish. And expect to fall madly in love with this rich, gorgeous, and absolutely remarkable read.
Where Passenger was about a mystery of travelers and the small moments of how Etta and Nicholas met and fell in love, Wayfarer is a story of how they might find each other again, separated by time. Travelers through the years are in search of the astrolabe, working for no other than Cyrus Ironwood, who is pretty much the only one with the resources and the drive to see it through. Nicholas and Sophia are at odds on whether to find the astrolabe or searching for Etta. Etta has been orphaned by her own timeline and meets another orphaned traveler, Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s grandson and Nicholas’ half-brother. Etta has to navigate back to the last common year between her and Nicholas’ two timelines in the hopes that they might find their way back to one another.
The writing is lyrical and easily flows between the two alternating narratives between Etta and Nicholas. There wasn’t really a moment where I thought I might prefer one POV over another, because I so wanted to know what was happening to them both. Their travels across time brought them to some very fascinating periods in history and I loved that certain moments in history were highlighted in this book. In particular, the chapters about Imperial Russia might be my favorite. It’s a very interesting time in history, and it’s nice to imagine, if for a moment, what it might have been like to live then. Or to be like the travelers in this duology and see significant historical figures as someone real?
This book is diverse and never makes it seem awkwardly inserted into the story. Wayfarer introduces gay characters, a Chinese character as a love interest, and emphasizes Sophia learning how to navigate through her life with only one eye. Sophia is such a strong character, but one I never really warmed up to in Passenger because she had pushed everyone away. In Wayfarer, we come to see so much more of her character and after finishing this book, I absolutely love Sophia. I wondered how Sophia and Nicholas would interact after even their most tempered moments had been stilted with hostility in the first book. They draw closer together in this book, and it’s really lovely to see the two of them unquestionably support each other and be the family for each other that they’d never had.
Julian was a very nice addition to this story in that, through Etta, we see a bit more of Julian’s character. He goes about his life with almost reckless abandon, even if he knows the dark truth about the men who raised him – his father and grandfather. Julian is truly someone who always means well, but his own character limitations comes from having lived a life of privilege. I love that Alexandra Bracken doesn’t shy away from including scenes that make Julian realize just how well he’s lived. How freely he’s been able to travel through time without a care in the world because he is white and a man. This book highlights the moments in Nicholas’ travels where he, as a black man, and Li Min, a Chinese girl, might stick out no matter where in time they travelled. Even Sophia at times might appear to be out of place as a white woman if unaccompanied in the streets.
There is a element of mystery to Wayfarer that we didn’t really get a sense of back in the first book. A story told only through traveler lore, of an Ancient One and his Shadows. They too who hunt for the astrolabe, but they leave strings of bloodied bodies in their wake. This story ties back to Rose Linden, Etta’s mother, and the choices she’s had to make for the sake of the timelines. Of why she would choose to deny her daughter so much and only keeping her at a distance. I liked the introduction of these new mysterious, albeit very brutal, characters. I wonder if I would have liked to know more about them, but the story told about them just in passing does seem rather depressing, so maybe what we’re told in Wayfarer is enough.
There are many twists and turns, and jumps forwards and backwards through time and its alternate timelines. We meet many new characters, and return to meeting some old ones. The ending is action-packed, and then becomes a very emotional read to the end as these characters and their stories come to a close. These books were a wild ride that have managed to fill me with wonder, tears, and laughter as I took a step into that passage with Etta in book 1. I will miss them all dearly and reading about their grand adventures and their journey through time.
So thank you, Alexandra Bracken, for writing these two wonderfully magical books. It’s been a fantastic read from start-to-finish. I can’t wait to read what other stories you have in store.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nine times out of ten, when I finish a book I write the review immediately.Read more
So in Passenger we left off in a bit of a mess. Etta had been gravely injured and thrown through time and away from the man she loves, Nicholas.Read more