Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

*** This is the second book in a duology. If you have not read Passenger be careful of spoilers. Also read those, they're great. ***

Title: Wayfarer
Series: Passenger #2
Written by: Alexandra Bracken
Published: January 3, 2017 by Scholastic
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk. 

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives. 

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

I really loved Passenger and was so excited to read the next book in this series. And this book was another thrilling and action-packed read with great characters.

The biggest strength of this book is definitely the characters. I absolutely connected with the main characters in the first book in the series and in this one I was completely invested in seeing them succeed. Both Nicholas and Etta are strong, resourceful, and compassionate. They are the kind of characters that have strengths and weaknesses making them complex and well rounded. They spent most of the book apart which meant very little romance and I kind of loved that. Not only did I want them to get together but it made me appreciate them apart and allowed for some good character development.

This book also had a good combination of plot-driven and character-driven. On the one hand there was a ton of action in this book. It was full of thrilling escapes, fight scenes, and surprises. There wasn't a ton of action in Passenger but Wayfarer made up for that in stride. At the same time there were a lot of character based moments where the choices and motivations of Etta and Nicholas influenced the story and how it developed. It wasn't quite a Hero's Journey but it had those aspects in addition to the action based moments. For someone like me who prefers plot-driven reads Wayfarer struck the right chord.

Unfortunately however I didn't love the world building in this one. Passenger was one of those time travel stories that focuses more on the historical fiction aspects of the world building and I kind of wish that Wayfarer had done that as well. But the plot took more of the focus and that was kind of to he detriment of the word building. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's okay if there is more of a focus on the time travel aspect but if that's the case then there needs to be clear rules and understanding how all of that works, and that didn't happen here. A lot of the time it came off as confusing and muddied the book for me. I wish there was more explanation to the world.

Or maybe that was just because of the pacing of the book. This was a very fast-paced read, and it may have been too fast. It moved from moment to moment at such a breakneck speed that I almost didn't register what was happening now before it moved on to the next. I found myself kind of confused at times and even had to reread whole pages and sections because it moved too quickly. It did all build to a thrilling conclusion but when it was all over it didn't feel satisfying in the way I thought it would be. I know this series is only a duology but I feel like there's more. Or maybe I just want more.

This book wasn't perfect but I did rally enjoy it. It's a thrilling action-packed read with great character moments and exciting ending despite the fact that the world and pacing was a little confusing.

I give Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. If you liked Passenger you will enjoy the second book in this series. It's not a perfect time travel series but it's definitely a really good one that I think fans of historical fantasy will enjoy.

Have you read Wayfarer? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stoping by and HAPPY READING!

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