by Alexandra Bracken
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.
I don’t often read time-travel books but the cover and the synopsis were just too irresistible. Plus who doesn’t like adventure, romance, and cool ships?
Speaking of romance, this was much more of a love story than I’d anticipated. I mean it makes sense but the synopsis isn’t super mushy or anything, so I thought it be more of a time-travel adventure with a dash or devastating romance. Really it was more equal parts adventure and love, which was fine by me once I got into that mindset.
The characters and the storyline were fabulous. I loved them. The cast was wonderfully diverse. The supporting characters didn’t grab me as much as I’d hoped, but the main characters did not disappoint.
The plot was action packed and extremely engaging. It was well paced and I really had no complaints until I reached the end. Towards the end the plot lost a little bit of its energy and its grip on me. Despite having almost 500 pages to go through the beginning, climax, and reach the resolution, the ending gave hardly any solutions or answers and created a lot of questions. I wanted some loose ends to get me excited about the sequel and build some suspense, but unfortunately I felt like there was too much of that and not enough resolution so I was more disappointed than interested. What did I read all that for if I don’t even get to know how some of the main points worked out?
It was beautifully written though, the style was elegant and seemed to be made for telling fantastical tales. It built up an enchanting air of magic that resonated deeply with me. Without such amazing, dimensional writing, this story would not have been nearly as rich and riveting as it was. Alexandra Bracken sets a fantastic example for fantasy authors everywhere.
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Buy it from Liberty Bay Books.