Format: Hardcover, 532 pages
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
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.
"From the shadows they come, to give you a fright.From the shadows they come, to steal you this night."
Wayfarer is the finale in Alexandra Bracken's Passenger duology. Wayfarer alternatives between Henrietta "Etta" Spencer and Nicholas Carter. Etta is a modern day violin virtuoso. She's traveled the world while preparing for her debut as a concert soloist which ended with her world being upturned, and being dragged into a entirely new one. Nicholas is an 18th century privateer, the son of Augustus Ironwood, and a slave woman. He was purchased and freed by Captain Hall whom he treats as a son. Nicholas is weighed down that he may have killed his brother Julian
While the Passenger duology focuses mainly on Etta, and Nicholas, Sophia Ironwood, Cyrus Ironwood (the ultimate bad guy who controls both time lines and other families with an iron grip), and Rose Linden nee Spencer (Etta's mother who has done some bad things that have brought Etta into a dangerous world) are just as important as understanding the world that Bracken has created. In fact, the opening chapter of this story has a peek into the life of Rose Linden (Spencer) who lost her parents, and started down a dangerous rode after a mysterious stranger visited her.
After the stunning conclusion to Passenger, Etta and Nicholas find themselves in two entirely different eras. After Rose's chapter, I had the feeling that something dangerous was lurking just off stage, and, Wow, was I right. Passenger
alternatives chapters & adventures by Etta and Nicholas so you know exactly who the key players are and what era they find themselves in. We also get a cast of new characters like Henry Hemlock, Tsar Nicholas I, and Belladonna, the witch of Prague who puts a huge amount of pressure on Nicholas to do her bidding. To catch readers up, Etta was snatched up by time, shaken & tossed through a series of passages.
Etta's starts in this book when she wakes up in 1905 Texas hurt badly and orphaned by the timeline. The timeline has been altered & her future is quite possibly gone forever. She's also not happy about losing the astrolabe which she was sent to retrieve in order to save her mother. Etta's journey leads her to various eras which are too numerous to mention, except for 1906 San Francisco where she finds out the boy who saved her in Texas is the very much alive Julian Ironwood. For much of the story, Etta & Julian are attached by the hip. Even though they don't share a common goal, Julian is necessary to Etta's success because he knows the whereabouts of passages in various eras. He knows about bounce backs, and where the Ironwoods store their stash of goods that become useful to be successful in retrieving the astrolabe.
Meanwhile, Nicholas has managed to ally himself with Sophia who he found very much alive at the end of the previous novel. Sophia is sporting her own wounds thanks to her encounter with the Thorns. She also lost the astrolabe to them as well which doesn't make for a kind or mellow Sophia. Nicholas is hoping that Rose Linden will have news about the fate of Etta, and where the original timeline may be. Instead, he and Sophia find themselves being saved by an even more interesting character named Li Min. Whenever someone says to me we need more diversity in books, I shake my head. You have to read books like Wayfarer for just that reason. Nicholas is black, Li Min is Chinese, and one of the more intriguing characters in this book. Li Min also has her own agenda which you can read about on your own.
Wayfarer is an action-packed finale that I couldn't stop reading until I found out how the author would wrap up the story. Etta learned a whole lot about Passages, and Travelers, and Guardians, and even the Astrolabe, an artifact from the original travelers which can open passages and close others. She discovered a world where families are fighting against each other to save and protect the timelines, while one wants to bring back someone he lost. Etta discovered the dark truth about her mother, suffered an important loss in her life which still resonates, found the man who is her father, and yes, found love in the boy who changed her life.
I close with this quote for Li Min.
"We come together with others to make our way and survive it's trails. But we are, all of us, also Wayfarers on a greater journey, this one without end, each of us searching for answers to the unspoken question of our hearts."