Review | Wayfarer (Passenger #2) by Alexandra Bracken

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.

My take:

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


20 thoughts on “Review | Wayfarer (Passenger #2) by Alexandra Bracken

    • Thank you 🙂
      I wish I’d waited and read them back to back. My memory isn’t what it was, and there is so much detail in the family relationships, who is who, who is where, who is when (!)… It’s also nice to find another duology which goes out on a high.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I can definitely understand that. I only didn’t read it because I forgot to get a copy, but in a way it’s better to read them together. And it’s great this duology ended strong!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      I read The Grisha back to back too and I’m so glad I did. I would have been completely lost by the start of book 3 🙂 I also re-read Six of Crows before reading Crooked Kingdom and was very glad about that too.
      Passenger and Wayfarer are similarly complicated. The many locations and jumping about in time doesn’t help!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I read Alex Brackens’ Darkest Mind series and enjoyed that, but something about Passengers turned me off when I read the blurb. I liked the premise, so not sure what it was. But if the second one is as good as you say, might be worth giving them a try. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Passenger has so much going for it, but the FEELINGS are just too much! I kept thinking, “Yes, we get it! You LURVE each other! Now get on with the quest!!!”
      I’m so happy the second book dials back the feelings and ratchets up the tension.
      Perhaps get them from the library just in case?


  2. I had the same problem with Passenger. I felt like the romance just bogged the whole book down. I might have to puck this book up now though and give this series another chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am the sort of person who likes to binge read series, so I’ve been waiting for Wayfarer to come out before starting the series. I appreciate your note that it would have been nice to read the two books closer together. That helps reinforce I made the right choice. Great review! I can’t wait to see how these characters develop.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I read in another review that the romance was taking a back seat because the characters were separated, I had a feeling that would make you appreciate the story more 🙂
    I wish I would have waited before reading Passenger because I feel I will be confused about the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff at the beginning, having read book 1 months ago and no time for a reread, but I’m eager to know what happens to them in Wayfarer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The good thing was, it was ok, even though I couldn’t remember half of the stuff about the feud between the families and where Etta and her mother fitted in to it all. So Bracken does a really good job to keep you interested even when you’re totally confused! 🙂


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