Thursday, 7 January 2016

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Rating: 1/5
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 486 
Passenger (Passenger, #1)
passage, n.i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.
In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.


It is with a heavy heart that I only give 1 star to Bracken's newly released Passengers. The Darkest Minds is one of my all-time favourite series. The friendships demonstrated in those novels is impeccable. However, Passenger didn't show that to me. I had a LOT of issues with this book. Let me take you through them:

1) It took about HALF of the book before the "treasure hunt through time" began. WHEN YOU ADVERTISE WITH A TAG LINE LIKE THAT, AND HAVE A NEARLY 500 PAGE BOOK, THE TREASURE HUNT SHOULD HAPPEN BY THE FIRST 100 PAGES!!! *internally screaming*

2) The STUPID, REDICULOUS INFO-DUMP Q&A SESSION BETWEEN ETTA AND SOPHIE (another time-traveler who KIDNAPPED HER and then WILLINGLY told her information about time-travelling EVEN THOUGH Sophie was holding Etta as her hostage -.-; *more internal screaming*). I couldn't believe it when I read it. Bracken has written FOUR previous books, shouldn't she have enough skill to not have to info-dump at this point? AND ESPECIALLY IN THE WAY IT WAS GIVEN.

3) Etta and Nikolas' relationship. Just like with Ruby and Liam (I must admit), this relationship just felt flat and I never felt like the characters had any real chemistry. 

4) Loooooong, repetitive, rhetorical question inner monologue. Etta was constantly contemplating the same things OVER and OVER and OVER again. This book easily could have been cut by 200 pages if it had been condensed, or even taken out. It just didn't add anything to the story line and had me skimming paragraphs from time to time. 

5) The length of the chapters (this is more of a personal thing for me). Anything longer than 20 pages I consider to be a long chapter, and these were upwards of 30 pages at some points. I just don't like it. It means I have to wait longer for my next break. :P

6) The endless descriptions. I don't know if it was the writing style, or me, or what, but the endless description of clothes and food and other such things really irritated me - I started skimming on that too (maybe it's because I was trying to find the plot).

So, you're probably wondering why I read the nearly 500 page book in its entirety. ITS BECAUSE I WAS HOPING I WOULD FIND SOMETHING THAT WOULD MAKE THIS BOOK REDEEMABLE AND GIVE IT MORE THAN A 1 STAR RATING. But nope, didn't happen. Trust me, I'm super disappointed that this book didn't live up to my expectations. I don't even want to touch the second one.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf By Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1)
Rating: 5/5
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pages: 388

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

This book was incredible. Graudin created a believable, tangible alternate history of Hitler winning WW2. The characters were incredible, I loved reading from Yael's point of view and watching her struggle with the fact that people are more than what they believe in. It made for a huge amount of grey area and I loved it.

The Axis Tour was also a great concept and done extremely well. The tour was rough, and Yael really had to struggle in order to compete in the race.

The ending also threw me completely for a loop, too! I did NOT see that coming. At all. And I loved it! I think this book would make an incredible movie and really hope that one day it does make it to the big screen.