Thursday, March 30, 2017

Passenger and Wayfarer, by Alexandra Bracken (Laura)

If you like adventure, time travel, pirate tales, combat, history, geography, and love stories, you will enjoy this two-book series by Alexandra Bracken. It also has families feuding across the centuries and an astrolabe with the ability to perpetuate time travel as well as the abuse of its power. On the other hand, the destruction of the astrolabe would end the war of the travelers but divide lovers, friends, and families by returning them to their natural times.

It's difficult not to read these books from a writer perspective and continually stop to reread passages and admire the skill. The detail and emotion infused into the gripping action and physical descriptions are stunning. Here is just one tiny example:

          The crumbling remains of the Roman amphitheater, stacks of stone slabs left to manage
          the weather and world the best they could, looked ghostly under the bone-white touch of the moon. Beyond them was
          the sea, its endless glistening, thrashing darkness.

In addition, each action is driven by complex, intriguing characters and not "drama," which could so easily have been done with this busy tale. The main love story is between Etta, a young violinist from modern-day New York, and Nicholas Carter, an eighteenth-century pirate, both ironic and exceptional in his honorability. During one scene, Etta has a clear opportunity to believe Nicholas has become a traitor. And while believing it would have added to the already-intense conflict of the story, instead, it spoke greatly of the integrity of these two characters that she hardly struggled to believe it wasn't true. Rather than doubt him, she had this thought.

          Etta tried to shake the feeling that Nicholas was still there, that she was somehow walking
          beside an imprint of him. There were too many footprints on the beach to tell which were
          his, and she didn't want to cover his tracks with her own, not if it cost her proof that he had
          been there. That he'd been alive, and so close.

On a different note, I'm a little wimpy about scary books, so I read the majority of these in public places because they are quite action-intensive, a little scary, and at moments gruesome, particularly in the second book. These types of stories are not normally the kind I enjoy, but these books are so well done, I found myself riveted by each page and truly struggled to put them down.

Great intricately developed characters and relationships with beautiful touches of both darkness and light. I highly recommend this series, even just for the truly awesome detail, fascinating inclusion of historic settings, and a touching story of both true love and family across time.

What are your favorite action-packed adventure or time travel stories?



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these, Laura! The scary aspect doesn't sound too appealing, but pirates, a love story, and beautiful writing are right up my alley :) The only time travel stories I've read were the River of Time series by Lisa Tawn Bergren, which were a lot of fun!


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