Book review: 'Wayfarer' is thrilling conclusion to duology

Posted January 7

"WAYFARER," by Alexandra Bracken, Disney-Hyperion, 544 pages, $17.99 (f) (ages 14 and up)

"Wayfarer" by Alexandra Bracken picks up where its predecessor left off: taking the reader through time, traveling around the world and through history, and attempting to fix the timeline and destroy the device that makes it all possible, the astrolabe.

When readers meet Etta in "Passenger," she doesn't know anything about time travel or her mom's true past. By the end of the book, she's been back in time, traveled from London to Damascus, discovered her family's secrets and fallen in love with Nicholas, an 18th-century privateer.

At the beginning of "Wayfarer," she is alone after alterations in the timeline became so severe that she was bounced back in time to the last year the timeline had in common with its original events. Nicholas is still in Damascus, reeling because the last time he saw Etta, she was bleeding from a gunshot wound.

"Wayfarer" alternates chapters between Etta's and Nicholas' points of view, chronicling their journey to not only return to one another but also solve the issues with the timeline and destroy the astrolabe once and for all.

Etta pairs up with Nicholas' half-brother Julian and infiltrates the Thorns, a rebel group who is also trying to return the timeline to its original state, and discovers family she never knew she had. This complicates her decision to find Nicholas and destroy the astrolabe.

Nicholas reluctantly teams up with Sofia, his distant cousin who is also responsible for Etta's involvement in time travel, and mercenary Li Min to track Etta and the missing astrolabe. He is torn between promises made to his family, the Ironwoods, and his choice to mend the timeline, which is growing weaker every day.

Bracken writes compelling characters involved in an intricate plot, keeping readers on their toes, traveling through time, never knowing where or when they'll end up. Each time and place is so detailed that the richness of history comes through in this fictional tale.

The freshness of a love story conflicted by time instead of a triangle involving another suitor keeps the romance believable. The other love stories, among family and friends, deepen the characters and weave a web of reality throughout the fantasy.

Bracken does an impeccable job of tying together the many strings of time travel and character journeys into a thrilling and satisfying end to her duology.

"Wayfarer" contains multiple scenes of graphic violence. There is no sexual content or swearing.

Tara Creel is a Logan-native-turned-California-girl and mother of four boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com, and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.


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