ARC Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

5 (all the stars)/5 Stars ★ 
Published by Disney Hyperion
Publishing January 5th, 2016

*I received an ARC of Passenger at Alex's signing during YALLFest*

Synopsis: 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 that 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 reveler 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.

I have never read such an elegantly constructed piece of work in my entire life. The attention to detail was immaculate, the establishment of the plot was flawless and pristine, and the writing was so beautiful, it's difficult to put into words. Alexandra Bracken was able to pull me underneath the lulling waves of stress and into an entirely different world completely devoid of all that frustration. I was drawn into a bubble of my own happiness and I never wanted to leave. Her writing has a way of captivating you, leaving you ultimately wanting more and wishing the end had never come. Passenger ended quicker than I anticipated and was like a breath of fresh air - here one minute, and gone the next, but leaving a permanent mark on which it has touched.

With Passenger being one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, I went into this book with very high expectations. Passenger has received well deserved hype and support from a wonderful fanbase, which left me teetering with excitement. When I first picked up this book I could not put it down (and lemme remind you it was finals week, so obviously I had my priorities set straight). I had this overwhelming feeling of joy from the moment I started reading, which reminded me of how I felt while reading The Darkest Minds. Alex just has such a way with words that leaves you in utter awe and admiration. I was anything but let down by Passenger and I can declare even before 2016 begins that this is my favorite book of 2016.

The characters were so beautifully crafted to accompany the storyline in such a brilliant manner, it was almost spellbinding. I was compelled by each of their motives and engrossed in the action that took place between the two of them. I love when two characters have such an intoxicating chemistry that I can feel the vibes radiating from the pages, and that was exactly what I received with this book. Along with this, the one thing that made this book all the more enjoyable was that the romance aspect was not at all what drove the plot forward. While I loved the romantic tid-bits, I was more intrigued with how the two worked together. The romance was a lovely facet that supported the story and plot, making it that much more delicious.

I have yet to read something of Alexandra Bracken's that is disappointing and I doubt that will ever occur. Passenger is an extraordinary story of time traveling and a love that meets no bounds, with an adventure at every turn. Every word of this book is to be treasured and treasure it I shall. This is the type of book that reminds me why reading is such an important part of my life. I truly hope you all love Passenger as much as I do when it is released and in your beautiful hands.