A strong conclusion to the duology. Fans of Passenger will be delighted. 3.5/5 stars.
Thank you to Hachette Children’s Group, Quercus Children’s Books and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book.
The blurb: No blurb to avoid spoiling book 1, Passenger. If you want to know more about that one, check out my review. However, I can tell you that this YA duology is a time-travelling adventure with a romance between the two main characters, Nicholas and Etta.
Back in June last year, I “only” gave Passenger 3 stars because I felt the romance overshadowed and eventually smothered the brilliant adventure element of the plot. I’m pleased to say I enjoyed Wayfarer more than Passenger largely because the two main characters are kept apart for a significant portion of the book. During their separation Nicholas and Etta are forced to work with secondary characters with whom they don’t get along swimmingly and the resulting tension makes for better reading than Passenger‘s long accounts of how much Nicholas and Etta love each other. In fact, the secondary characters getting more development and page space is one of the best things about Wayfarer. They’re a diverse, alternatively charming and spiky bunch who bring some much-needed laughs, mystery and drama to the narrative.
Having given us a whirlwind tour of a fantastic range of locations and time periods in book 1, Bracken continues to take us far and wide in Wayfarer. From the streets of medieval Prague to early twentieth-century San Francisco, the author brings all her settings to life with wonderful details. Indeed her descriptive powers are so terrific that when other destinations were mentioned in throwaway comments I started to wish for a spin-off series of short stories so I could get the complete picture.
If you haven’t read Passenger yet, you’re in luck because now you can read both parts of this story back-to-back. I have to admit my enjoyment of Wayfarer was dented slightly by having read Passenger seven months ago and having a bad memory. In addition to not being able to remember everything that happened in book 1 and the ins-and-outs of the complex inter-familial relationships, my confusion was compounded by events getting even more wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey in book 2, leaving me totally bamboozled at points as to the mechanics of travelling, what “being orphaned” is, how changes to timelines are brought about, why the heck everyone wants the astrolabe… Short version: read the two books back to back!
Overall ~ Wayfarer is a rare thing: a sequel which improves on book one. Fans of Passenger will be delighted and those who haven’t started the duology yet can now read the two books close together and enjoy the story all the more because they can remember crucial details.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul