Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Young Adult | Time Travel | Romance
Publication Date: January 3, 20217
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 (goodreads).
After falling head-over-heels in love with Passenger, I was ready to love Wayfarer. Unfortunately, I can say I walked away disappointed.
Plot: The hardest thing about cracking Wayfarer open was trying to desperately remember what happened in Passenger. Bracken was a dream and created an amazing infographic to catch up readers, but that still wasn't enough for me. I had forgotten certain terminologies and key plot points which Bracken didn't really take the time to reintroduce. I think that was part of the reason why I didn't have the best reading experience. Wayfarer was full of action and some great insight to Etta's family. Where I thought Passenger focused on characters and developing Etta and Nicholas' relationship, Wayfarer delved into the history of the atrolabe and seemed to be nothing but 'go go go'. For all the building and tension of Wayfarer, the ended wasn't what I expected.
Characters: In Passenger, we saw that Etta had a rocky relationship with her mother, and Wayfarer does a fantastic job highlighting Rose Linden's past and the history of travelers. On the other hand, it seemed like Bracken couldn't find a proper balance for her characters. I fell in love with Passenger because of Etta and Nicholas' dynamic. Their relationship is missing entirely from Wayfarer, instead, we got chapters and chapters of astrolabe history and action. I'm all for characters being a part to find their independence and grow more, but it felt like the majority of their story was only in Passenger. Sophia plays a larger role in Wayfarer, and I loved all of the nuggets of her history that Bracken gave us. While there was some mention in regards to her sexuality and relationship with Li Min, I was expecting more.
Worldbuilding: Just like in Passenger, Wayfarer impressed me with its description of lush worlds and I looked forward to exploring new places. I found that our characters didn't travel as much in Wayfarer as in Passenger, but I found the locations to be interesting and served a purpose to moving the story along.
Short N Sweet: Wayfarer isn't as strong of a novel as Passenger, but it is still a good read for history buffs.