Alexandra Bracken
Young Adult Fiction
December 6, 2016

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.


Etta remembered being pushed through a barrier of loud buzzing noise at a New York museum, but she woke on a rocking ship in the middle of the ocean.

Henrietta (Etta) Spencer is a 17-year-old girl from New York in present time. She is forced into traveling back in time to 1776, a talent/trait she was unaware she possessed. Etta wakes up to find herself a Passenger on a ship. She soon after is forced to travel to varying times and places in search of an important artifact that has been lost for many years. The artifact was hidden so well that important factions of time travelers are all battling each other to find it first. Etta, unskilled and untrained, has to find in order to save the life of her mother and be able to return to her own time.Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

She finds an ally in Nicholas Carter, the captain of the ship she first lands on. While Nicholas is liked and respected by his crew, he is widely disrespected by all of society in 1776 because of his mixed race. This adds an interesting layer to the story. Etta is not bothered by his skin color, but Nicholas is naturally conscious of it throughout their travels in time. She comes from a time period that isn’t perfect but is far more accepting of interracial couples. Nicholas can’t quite fathom that such a thing is possible in any time or place.

Nicholas and Etta naturally grow close and develop feelings for each other. Together they face several instances where other time travelers and time
guardians are trying to capture and/or kill them. At one point they find themselves stuck in Paris during WWII. Needless to say there is plenty of adventure in this story. What’s the catch then? Etta wants to destroy the artifact, but Nicholas doesn’t. He has a secret of his own. He has an alternative reason for helping Etta track it down through time and places. Their relationship will be tested when they both are forced to reveal their secrets. Even if they could move forward past betrayal on both sides, which one of them will sacrifice their whole existence for the other?

Kudos to Alexandra Bracken!

It was refreshing to see the complexities of an interracial couple. It is not often enough that I see these relationships portrayed in books, movies, commercials, etc. This isn’t important to everyone, but being half of an interracial couple, it is important to me.

Side note: Her amazing “Darkest Minds” series is currently filming a movie adaption.