ARC Review: Wayfarer


Title: Wayfarer

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Series: Passenger, #2

Publisher: Quercus Children’s Books

Release Date: January 12th 2017


Five Stars

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 travellers 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 realises 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 unrecognisable…and might just run out on both of them.

– Blurb courtesy of

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Etta pressed her fists against her eyes, unknotting the idea inch by inch.
I’ve been orphaned by time.
My timeline has changed.
My future is gone.”

After reading Passenger, which quickly became an all-time favourite of mine, Wayfarer was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2017. Luckily the book turned out to be just as amazing as I hoped it would be. Picking up straight from where Passenger left off Nicholas has lost Etta, somewhere in the timeline. With no hope of finding her on his own he made a deal with Rose Linden; she will find Etta and in return he will find the astrolabe for her. However with no clue where to start their search Nicholas and Sophia soon find their plans changing.

But with no one to turn to, and a large bounty having been placed on their heads by Cyrus Ironwood, Nicholas and Sophia are forced to make dangerous decisions, and a deadly deal with the Belladonna, to find the answers they need to find both Etta and the astrolabe.

“This was the trouble with meddling at all—who decided what was considered more peaceful, or improved? A benefit to one part of the world might be a detriment to the other. You could stop a war, and it might inadvertently cause another. You could change the  outcome of a battle, and it would just be the other side who experienced the losses.
“It doesn’t matter. No one should have tampered with it in the first place, least of all Cyrus Ironwood.”

Injured and alone in the early 1900’s Etta is quickly found and brought to the Thorns to be healed. As she learns more about their organisation and their aims she starts identifying with them, and soon finds herself accompanying them to Imperial Russia as they try and find where the astrolabe has been hidden by one of their own.

However they are not the only people searching for the astrolabe. There are deadly Ironwood’s and ever deadlier shadows who are willing to do anything, manipulate the timeline in any way necessary, to get their hands on the astrolabe. Separated from the Thorns during an attack Etta finds herself with only Julian to rely on, a boy who only thinks of himself and his own safely, but her only hope if she wants to carry on the Thorn’s, and her mother’s, work.

The plot of Wayfarer was a little slow to start. However I didn’t find this an issue at all. This book took the time to build up more of the world, more of the new characters we were introduced to and more of both Etta’s and Nicholas’s plans before launching into the action. If you enjoyed the first book changes are you’ll love this one just as much.

…The Characters

“And that is what she would still have, now that she had altered the course of her life. No concerts, or competitions, or debuts—simple joy.”

Etta is still new to the world of the travellers and there is a lot she needs to learn to complete the task her mother set her upon. There are a lot of truths revealed which, for Etta, paint her mother in a much more negative light but at the same time there is a new family in the Thorns which Etta feels she could belong to. They share their secrets with her and through them she learns a lot more about the astrolabe and the other travellers.

Although there are aspects of Etta’s character that are the same as they were in Passenger, she has been changed by what’s she’s seen and done. Etta knows what she needs to do to make the world safe again and once she has a path she is determined to follow it to the very end. There are times when she is thrown off course, when her past and her mother come back to haunt her, but she is never unsteady for long.

“Nicholas, he named himself on the deck of that ship, in the light of a sea of stars.
Bastard, the Ironwoods declared.
Partner, Etta swore.”

Nicholas is still just as honourable as he was in the first book, and he clings to that honour when things turn sour for him and Sophia on their journey. Like Etta Nicholas doesn’t know much about the travellers and their way of life, but unlike Etta this is because he wasn’t allowed to learn more than what Cyrus and Julian let him. He takes unnecessary risks but his heart is in the right place, and he has a good reason for taking them.

As much as I love the romance between Etta and Nicholas it was great seeing the two of them journey without each other in Wayfarer. Nicholas was able to see how far he was willing to go, to make deals that went wrong and learn more about himself in the process; and Etta, travelling with the Thorns and later Julian, had her eyes opened to a whole new side of the travellers that she hadn’t seen having only being exposed to the Ironwoods and her mother.

“But hindsight had given him something undeniably precious: insight. Into Sophia, into himself, and into their bitter, beautiful world. All he had ever wanted to do was travel, seek out those horizons; and he had, hadn’t he? He had gone further in these weeks than the limits of his own imagination.”

All of the characters in this duology were amazing developed but none more so than Sophia and Julian. Both had had ideas pushed into their heads  by Cyrus but the more time they spent away from him the more they changed. Sophia and Nicholas both turned to each other in the absence of anyone else, when it was the two of them against the world they had no other choice and from their scorn a sort of trust was built between them. Julian was dragged along on Etta’s wild adventures but he sees things which make him change the way he thinks, he is no longer his grandfather’s heir and Etta won’t allow him to bury his head in the sand any longer.

…The Setting

“This was what it meant to form attachments to people outside of their small, insular world of travellers, Etta realised. They were at the mercy of the timeline. Saving them was no guarantee that events wouldn’t change for the worse, but to live with the knowledge of their deaths…”

In Passenger we saw the world across so many different times from Nicholas’s and Etta’s travels. In Wayfarer we get more information behind the world of the travellers. We learn more about their mythology, how the travellers came to be and what role the astrolabe plays in their lives and histories, and we are introduced to some important players, who wield more power than Cyrus Ironwood himself, but that’s not to say the places and times weren’t important as well. Between Etta and Nicholas we travelled all through Imperial Russia, the Vatican City, California after the earthquake, the ancient city of Carthage during Rome’s siege.

As the last book in the Passenger duology Wayfarer was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. While the plot was slow to start there was more than enough development of both the setting and the characters to keep me hooked until the very last page. I’d love to see more from this world, more of Nicholas’s and Etta’s adventures, but overall this book had a satisfying ending.

What did you think of Wayfarer? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

15 thoughts on “ARC Review: Wayfarer

    1. Nope, it definitely didn’t, and I had high hopes for this book so it was even better knowing it lived up to my expectations as well.
      Alexandra Bracken is one of my favourite authors, and the Passenger duology is my favourite of all her books on top of that so I’d highly recommend it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. WAIT THERE IS AN ARC AVAILABLE??? Okay I need to not rush to NG as I am 3% away from the 80% ratio, but boy I want to read this!!! I’ll patiently wait for the book to be released…. In the meantime, I’m so happy Wayfarer lived up to your expectations! I was hoping it would because it would be devastating to end such a promising duology on a letdown. I remember finding Passenger a bit slow at the beginning so I don’t mind about it, now I’m just really eager to grab my copy! I like that we get to know more about everything and the characters while Etta and Nicolas are separated, it must give more depth to the story! Ah, the wait is gonna be long! 🙂 Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I saw it on NG and immediately requested it, even though I told myself I wasn’t going to request anymore ARCs until I’d gotten my list down a little. I just couldn’t resist.
      Yes overall Wayfarer was a brilliant book, I think as well if you didn’t mind Passenger being a little slow to start you won’t mind Wayfarer being the same way, either way though it’s a great end to this duology.
      The character development throughout was wonderful, not just in terms of Nicholas and Etta but also everyone else the two of them encountered while separated. I hope you love this book Donna, and thanks! ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished this book 10 minutes ago. I found it hard to get into (mainly because I had forgotten the entire plot of the 1st book) but once it got going, I really enjoyed all the geographical and historical adventuring, especially when it intersected with real events.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of felt like that at the start, it’s been a while since I read Passenger as well. But soon I got back into it and I just couldn’t put this book down. I loved the settings as well. It’s one of my favourite things about time travel books, seeing the history and all the different settings and times. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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