The Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Etta remembered being pushed through a barrier of loud buzzing noise at a New York museum, but she woke on a rocking ship in the middle of the ocean.

Henrietta (Etta) Spencer is a 17-year-old girl from New York in present time. She is forced into traveling back in time to 1776, a talent/trait she was unaware she possessed. Etta wakes up to find herself a Passenger on a ship. She soon after is forced to travel to varying times and places in search of an important artifact that has been lost for many years. The artifact was hidden so well that important factions of time travelers are all battling each other to find it first. Etta, unskilled and untrained, has to find in order to save the life of her mother and be able to return to her own time.
She finds an ally in Nicholas Carter, the captain of the ship she first lands on. While Nicholas is liked and respected by his crew, he is widely disrespected by all of society in 1776 because of his mixed race. This adds an interesting layer to the story. Etta is not bothered by his skin color, but Nicholas is naturally conscious of it throughout their travels in time. She comes from a time period that isn’t perfect but is far more accepting of interracial couples. Nicholas can’t quite fathom that such a thing is possible in any time or place.Nicholas and Etta naturally grow close and develop feelings for each other. Together they face several instances where other time travelers and time guardians are trying to capture and/or kill them. At one point they find themselves stuck in Paris during WWII. Needless to say there is plenty of adventure in this story. What’s the catch then? Etta wants to destroy the artifact, but Nicholas doesn’t. He has a secret of his own. He has an alternative reason for helping Etta track it down through time and places. Their relationship will be tested when they both are forced to reveal their secrets. Even if they could move forward past betrayal on both sides, which one of them will sacrifice their whole existence for the other?

Kudos to Alexandra Bracken!

It was refreshing to see the complexities of an interracial couple. It is not often enough that I see these relationships portrayed in books, movies, commercials, etc. This isn’t important to everyone, but being half of an interracial couple, it is important to me.
Side note: Her amazing “Darkest Minds” series is currently filming a movie adaption.

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