Passenger, Book 1

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Series: Passenger (Bracken), Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (598 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn't even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time.

Etta wakes, confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies - the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have ensnared her in their web.

Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light - threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home...forever.

©2016 Alexandra Bracken (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Passenger, Book 1

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    287
  • 4 Stars
    166
  • 3 Stars
    96
  • 2 Stars
    29
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Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    166
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    51
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    262
  • 4 Stars
    147
  • 3 Stars
    87
  • 2 Stars
    30
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    22

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed feelings

This story has an excellent premise, and I enjoyed the world building a lot. The romance was overdone, however, and really isn't believable. I felt like it was just shoehorned in there, which made the passages dealing with it rather silly.

The narrator needs to check for the correct pronunciation of a number of words. A few words were even mispronounced in a variety of ways!

Don't think I'll move on to book two.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

love the writer, but performance is a zoonzer

i am a truck driver and its important for me to stay awake through the night.
i have loved every book this writer has written, but the narrator puts me to sleep with the monotones and barely any voice changing. I couldn't even finish the book. even through the trilling parts of the story. I wanted to throw my phone out the window. which sucks because I'm sure this is a good book. I just can't get through it.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Boring

I don't think I can finish this slog of a book. I rated the story highly because it does sound clever and inventive. But the telling of the story is dull and slow. My mind could not stay focused enough to enjoy anything about this book. I couldn't feel anything for the characters, even when shocking things happened. Maybe this one is better read than listened to.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Maybe exciting for a preteen, but I found slow.

Would you try another book from Alexandra Bracken and/or Saskia Maarleveld?

No no, I'm not going to finish this one. It might be written for a younger crowd. The idea was interesting, but the story played out slow and very unexciting.

Would you recommend Passenger, Book 1 to your friends? Why or why not?

Maybe to young adults.

What does Saskia Maarleveld bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She did a great job with the character voices.

Could you see Passenger, Book 1 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No, way too slow.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Pretty okay narration, disappointing story

Would you try another book from Alexandra Bracken and/or Saskia Maarleveld?

I'd certainly listen to another book narrated by Maarleveld. She's not my favorite narrator, but she's quite passable, and I think she'd be used to especially good effect in a book that simply had more women in it -- her voices for women are good, but the ones for men are a little less convincing.

I'd have to get a very good trusted recommendation to read another Bracken book; I read this book for my book club. I wouldn't have picked it up otherwise, and I certainly would not have finished it.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Frankly, I'm not planning any.

What aspect of Saskia Maarleveld’s performance would you have changed?

Her male characters. I think her voice -- light, not super full, and not very deep -- makes it harder for her to narrate a male character.

What character would you cut from Passenger, Book 1?

I don't think any characters needed to be cut -- I think they needed to be developed better.

Personally, I would have cut the romance. It felt stilted and turned me off.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Confusing and boring.

I did not get attached to or care for these characters at all and the way the story was writen was confusing and there was a lot that did not make sense. It was boring and drawn out.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Romance novel not sci-fi

My scoring of this book is from the perspective of someone looking for a sci-fi novel. This is purely a romance novel. If you want to read the romance genre this might be a fine book for you. If your looking for sci-fi keep looking.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

not very captivating

I don't think I got even halfway through this book. weak characters, flimsy plot, and too many flaws or convenience's with the time travel aspect. very poorly put together over all.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The characters fell flat for me, wished for more

I obsess over time travel books so I was really excited to read PASSENGER! I had only read THE DARKEST MINDS before this (not the whole series yet — just the first book) and really loved it and connected with Alexandra Bracken’s writing. I have yet to go back and finish The Darkest Minds trilogy but I was really in the mood for time travel and had this audio from a sale so I wanted to give a whirl!

My first impressions upon finishing (and throughout the book) were that of… disappointment is a harsh word, but I did feel disappointed that I personally didn’t enjoy it like I had hoped. The concept was great but it just didn’t move despite traveling to so many times and places. The characters themselves moved but it didn’t seem like the plot really pushed forward as much as it could have despite having plenty of opportunity to do so. I did like that it wasn’t just different times but also different places. It was fun to travel the world and through time! I could really picture each place and time pretty vividly.

The characters were what really did it for me, though. They just fell super flat for me and I had trouble connecting with any of them and didn’t feel that spark in the romance either. Etta was feisty and strong, but it seemed to be on a surface level and I just didn’t really feel like she was this well-rounded character who felt it. I think of characters like Puck from THE SCORPIO RACES and it just is her entire being and personality to be this feisty, strong, independent character. She feels like a real person and I just never got that from Etta. The romance seemed abrupt, the character personality developments seemed abrupt, and I just didn’t think those character developments really flowed throughout the book. Throw in an evil villain and I just started getting lost. I would have loved a bit more of a grey area, whether by controlling leader or by simply the concept of breaking the time travel rules, and I would have been more interested. It gets a little boring with purely evil characters.

The ending actually got a lot better and things got interesting but I started to feel bored towards the middle. It just kind of felt like so many other plots and characters that I’ve read before and I thought this was going to be something that would really surprise me and sweep me away. Since it’s only a two book series, I’ll likely finish it but I’m just really bummed that I didn’t fall totally in love like I had expected.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Underwhelming

If this were my first Alexandra Bracken book I would probably not pick up anything else she's written, which is a shame. The Darkest Minds trilogy she previously released is prime YA science fiction and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys that genre. Bracken is a talented writer who handles characters, plot, and prose like a veteran. I'm left wondering if this book was her first venture, then.

The plot is technically engaging. Despite my boredom I kept listening, which is due in part to Saskia Maarleveld's efforts I guess. I wanted to know what would happen at the end. When it was over, however, I felt no motivation to seek out the next book. Neither main character had the depth or layers that I've come to expect from Bracken and it seemed like their main purpose was to have a tragic love story. Hard to get invested in a tragic love story if you don't care about the characters in the first place.

Objectively, this book should have been better than it was. There's time travel, warring families, a hunt for a potentially devastating artifact, etc. Bracken also demonstrates her deft understanding of racial and gender politics without dropping anvils. All the elements for a compelling narrative are there. Sadly, Passenger is far less than the sum of its parts.

1 person found this helpful