Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
As the second book in a duology, Wayfarer continues to explore the world of time travel initially established in Passenger. It expands on what we discovered in the first book, escalating the conflict and putting the characters through all sorts of difficulties, and then wraps up the duology perfectly.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and thought the series as a whole was brilliant as a whole, especially given how difficult time travel is to get right. As this is a sequel, there will be spoilers for the first book, however I shall try to keep them to a minimum.
The majority of this book follows two threads. On one side, Nicholas searches for Etta, who has been forced through the timelines. On the other, Etta finds herself mixed up with the mysterious Thorns on their quest for the astrolabe. Ironwood is hot on the heels of both, but another enemy emerges from the shadows and things get a lot more dangerous.
If I’m honest, I really wasn’t sure how Alexandra Bracken was going to build on the previous book, but the introduction of a new party really gave Wayfarer an added depth and threat. It also allowed for further exploration of the world’s lore, something which I particularly loved. The addition of a few extra side-plots on top of the original story-line from the first book kept the story enjoyable and the plot was fascinating in itself.
I did find the story did feel a bit slow-paced in times and the book was, perhaps, a little too long. I found myself enjoying Etta’s story a lot more than Nicholas’ and a lot of that was due to the fact that Nicholas’ did come across as repetitive in places and was often where the slow parts occurred. That being said, the book is regularly punctuated by conflict and confrontation, character development and the odd twist to really keep your interest throughout.
For me, it was the secondary characters that really made this book. Thinking back on it, it felt a lot like Nicholas and Etta were there to keep the story moving, but it was the other characters that really got the most development and focus. This made the book come alive for me. Having strong side characters allowed the world to feel rooted and allowed me to get fully invested in the story.
That’s not to say that Nicholas and Etta felt flat or unrealistic in any way; Etta, in particular, found her feet in this book. My only problem was that I found Nicholas boring. I really enjoyed his character in Passenger but very little of that substance seemed to have made its way into Wayfarer. On a plus side though, Wayfarer does include two LGBT characters whose relationship received the most focus and development throughout the novel.
As I’ve said, Wayfarer goes deeper into expanding the world we see in Passenger. Not only do we get more time travel, but we also meet more of the families and central players in their feud and discover more about how the whole time travel works. This was probably one of my more favourite parts of this book as it really made the more fantastical elements feel tangible and an integral feature to the story. Exploring the effects of timeline changes was particularly interesting, especially if you enjoy history as I do, and once it crossed into questions of ethics and morality, it really got me thinking.
I thought Wayfarer was a brilliant conclusion to the Passenger duology. It did a good job of rounding up the story to a conclusion that felt right while also building on the story in the previous book and making it an entertaining read. My main gripe with the novel was that it probably could have done with being a tad shorter, not to mention that Nicholas did not really work as a character for me in this book. Really, though, I would recommend this duology to anyone who likes a good bit of time travel and feuding families.
Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken is out now.
The Book Depository (I get a small commission when this link is used): https://www.bookdepository.com/Wayfarer–Book-2/9781786540027/?a_aid=rosienreads