Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken - REVIEW
Wayfarer (Passenger #2) by Alexandra Bracken
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Warning: mild spoilers ahead
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.
Confusion. Reading this book has been a long time coming. I read Passenger a few years ago and had a really fun time going through time with these characters and the cliffhanger ending got me. Maybe I mistakenly waited too long to read the 2nd and final book or should have re-read the first book before getting back into this world but this was just such a confusing read for me.
I was on board with the time travel and understood how it worked in the world in book 1 but Wayfarer somehow managed to turn that on its head. The time travel no longer made sense in terms of how an event can change the future or the ‘last common year’ or the history of the astrolabe, etc. The different time traveling families and how they interact and what each of their motives are and how there are some people who turn on their families and go to another… it’s just so much to keep track of. PLUS there’s added mysticism that wasn’t there in Passenger and no real hint of it so it felt as though it came out of nowhere. If it’s meant to be a Sci-Fi book, give me scientific reasoning (real or not) and don’t just randomly throw in a witch for good measure or nightmarish beings that just appear in the story to provide a get out of jail free card for a certain character.
The different times that we journey to are truly interesting times in history but don’t necessarily have much effect on the plot aside from maybe Petrograd. Any of the things that happen could have been in any time but theres just the added jumping through passages. Even the Epilogue felt out of place, confusing and unnecessary.
In terms of the characters, there is thankfully some growth but I couldn’t really focus much on them with the plot being all over the place and convoluted and unnecessarily overcomplicated. Yes, time travel can be tough to write but I think Bracken had too many ideas that she wanted to include which just piled on to the already mind-bendy-ness of a good time travel story.
This one was definitely an disappointing end to this duology that I had high hopes for after the first book but I think my subconscious knew it and that’s why this book has been sitting on my self for the last 2 years waiting to be read.