Wayfarer – Alexandra Bracken


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.


My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Nine times out of ten, when I finish a book I write the review immediately. I find that while the book is still fresh in my mind it is easiest to put my thoughts on it into words. For the first time in my 7 months as a book blogger, I have spent days trying to decide how to rate this particular book. I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was about it I didn’t love. Finally, this morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks: the author left too much unresolved.

Wayfarer is the second book in the Passenger series – a series that centers around the lives of two time travelers, Etta and Nicholas. Where Passenger left off (on a huge cliffhanger), Wayfarer picked right up and never slowed down. One of the biggest disappointments for me in this second installment was the amount of time Etta and Nicholas actually spent together. They literally don’t speak to one another for the first 400 pages of the book! I understood why Bracken kept them separated at the beginning of the book – they each had their own adventures to embark upon. I enjoyed the time Etta got to spend with her father Henry and Nicholas’s brother, Julian. The slow and unlikely friendship between Nicholas and Sophia was certainly a highlight of the book. However, I couldn’t stop wishing that the couple would find their way back to one another.

When Etta and Nicholas do finally meet up, they are separated again within minutes. The build up to their meeting and the end of the book in general was so massive that I was immensely let down when it fell short.

Throughout the book, Bracken sort of builds up a romance between Sophia and Li Min. While they faced some very real issues as a couple, these issues were wrapped up too quickly for my liking. I won’t go into too much detail here in an effort to avoid spoilers, but the resolution of their major conflict wasn’t a discussion, an apology, or anything spoken. They got over their issues in about two seconds…without even discussing them.

Sophia and Li Min aren’t the only duo who managed to work their problems out without a word spoken between them – throughout the entire series, Etta and her mother are at odds. The more Etta learns of her circumstances, the more angry she is with her mother. Where I was hoping for a long conversation between the two so that I could understand her mother’s motives, all I got was a look. Sure, the epilogue eased some of my frustration, but it just wasn’t enough of a resolution in my eyes.

Finally, at the beginning of the book, Etta’s growing relationship with Henry, her father, was one of my favorite things about her chapters. After a few chapters of bonding, they are separated again and Etta barely thinks of Henry, and only interacts with him one or two more times throughout the remainder of the book.

My Takeaway: I could go on for hours about all of the loose ends the author left hanging, but I don’t want to bore anyone. While the writing was fantastic and the story was fun and original, I couldn’t enjoy the book because nothing ever really got resolved in my opinion. I wish Bracken had taken out some of the unnecessary chapters in the middle of the book and added more to the end. I still absolutely recommend her other series, Darkest Minds.


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