The wait it over. The sequel has been released. I read it, and now, here’s my review. I will start by saying that today is a very special day, but more on that later. Let’s start with the summary.
Etta has been orphaned. Nicholas has made a deal that he can’t afford to keep. In Bracken’s mind-blowing, time traveling sequel, readers watch as Etta discovers the truth about her lost family as well as the secrets her mother kept. Meanwhile, Nicholas is forced on a journey with Sophia and the mysterious Li Min to overthrow the reign of his villainous grandfather and restore the timeline as it once was. As the two learn more and more of the secrets of the past, they learn how much their actions could affect the future.
If you haven’t read the Passenger, then you will be completely lost. Likewise, if you haven’t read Passenger within the last few months, you’ll quite possibly be completely lost too.
Remember how I said that today was a very special day? That’s because today’s review is less than a perfect, 5 out of 5 review. The plot of the Wayfarer is good. Loose ends were tied, holes were filled, and the ending was satisfying. Yet, there was something…lacking…in the story. It wasn’t until I was deep within the pages that I realized how slowly I was making progress. The Wayfarer boasts 532 pages so it’s no two-hour read. And all 532 pages of the book are not large print and double spaced. Each page contains its fill of words. So why is this bad? Because it lent a sluggish pace to the book as a whole. Many times, the author chose to use excessive descriptions or flowery words, holding back the natural flow of the story. Don’t get me wrong, the language is beautiful and the story masterfully written. However, I would have preferred a quicker pace at times.
“Nicholas tore away from the others, stumbling back toward the chapel, running down the length of it, finding nothing and no one. He returned to the hall, wild with disbelief and hope, searching for any other hint of her–anything that might tell him where she had gone. Dust stung his eyes, blurring his vision. It choked him, filling his lungs, wringing the last gasps of air out of him. The desperation was intolerable, but he couldn’t let it go, not yet–“
(Wayfarer, p. 322)
If you enjoy science fiction and the thought of time travel like I do, you will appreciate this book. Alexandra Bracken did not disappoint. The plot is so intricately woven together that you feel every twist and turn that it takes while attempting to keep up with the new developments. Although Passenger wrote off the Ironwoods as villains, Wayfarer leaves you guessing at times who the hero is and who the real villains are. With the introduction of new characters, readers not only got a few surprises, but also the satisfaction of gleaning more information that would have otherwise been irrelevant or simply untold.
“What he was saying seemed possible and impossible all at once–but it was time travel, and the usual rules never did apply.”
(Wayfarer, p. 282)
Looking ahead to the conclusion, it was nothing less than perfect. The finale was strong and left nothing to be desired. The crescendo did feel a little lengthy though. While the climax is technically before page 500, readers are left to the remaining 50+ pages of wrapping up the character’s stories. Once again, the lag seemed to catch up to the plot.
Etta, the female protagonist, was developed in Passenger as a fighter. The girl who wouldn’t just lay down and die, but rather, would throw the first punch. After reading so much of her story in the first book, I was desperate to learn how her story ends. And Nicholas? The noble one; a man of character and determination–he fought with everything within himself to find Etta, to help her and protect her.
Only to find that in Wayfarer, very little spotlight is given to the two. Both characters, in their efforts to right the wrongs of their families, put aside their pursuit of one another. One of the most aggravating aspects of this is that the protagonists are not reunited with each other until the climax of the story. Even in this moment, it is only for a short time. Sadly, readers only get to enjoy their reunion for a short period.
“With a cry, Etta managed to unpin one hand long enough to catch his jaw, desperately reaching with the other for the knife she’d lost, muscles straining, fingers grasping.”
(Wayfarer, p. 458)
My final complaint concerning the characters is the lack of dynamics. By the end of the book, I realized that most of the characters remained purely static, both in themselves, as well as their perceptions of others. Nicholas was still the honorable one, Etta was still strong-willed and independent, and Sophia was just as full of sass and venom as usual.
All this to say that I enjoyed the characters in this book. Each one was well-developed (if not predictable) and well-described. Both Etta and Nicholas are endearing characters that compel readers to finish the series.
There isn’t much to say here. Because Etta and Nicholas are separated for the large majority of the book, there is little room for intimacy. I will say that there are a few moments of romantic “interaction” in the book, without giving away spoilers. But none of it is beyond a kiss or holding hands. While there are a few words, they are few and far between, making them almost unnecessary to mention. Overall, it was clean. There are action scenes and mentions of blood, etc., but even that was never excessive or disturbing.
While I normally do not feel the need to put this section on my book reviews, I felt that it was all too necessary for today’s review. The Wayfarer is amazing, simply put. The protagonists are excellent, the imagery is vivid, and the plot is captivating. Looking back at my time in this book’s pages, I enjoyed it. I loved the story and the intricacy of the lies and truths so masterfully told. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it dragged. So many times it seemed as though the story should be progressing faster than it was. And yes, it did seem frustrating that the protagonists were separated for most of the book. But in the end, it was a good read and worth the review. If you haven’t picked up Wayfarer yet, but sure to do so.
Have you read Wayfarer? What are your thoughts? Did you like it or not so much? Comment below!
(Be sure to check out my review of Passenger if you haven’t already!)