First Lines: The amazing thing was, each time she looked at them, Etta still saw something new–something she hadn’t noticed before.
You know, I have like every Alexandra Bracken series on my to-read list, and yet I’ve never read any of her books. It’s actually weird, I think, that I did that? Because clearly she writes things that sound interesting and yet I’d never taken the time? I’m working on remedying that. Obviously. Since I read this.
Etta is a violin prodigy with her entire world about to open to her…until one night she loses everything. Literally pushed into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with her own agenda, Etta quickly realizes she’s traveled not just miles but years from home. Nicholas is content to be sailing the sea–and avoiding the influential Ironwood family in the colonies, a family that kept him as a slave for a time. But an unusual passenger on his ship makes him wonder if he’s actually escaped the past and the Ironwoods. Because the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, and they believe Etta is the only one who can find it. To protect her, Nicholas has to do what the Ironwoods ask and bring the object back–whether Etta wants to or not. Journeying across time and continents, Etta begins putting together clues she didn’t know she knew. But as Etta and Nicholas get closer to the truth, the more forces will try to keep them apart–forever.
Good news is that I did enjoy this. I thought the time travel was fun, the characters were interesting, and the action/danger was more than enough to keep me reading.
Let’s start with the characters. Etta starts the story as a violin virtuoso (I would say prodigy like the description, but I must have a different definition of “prodigy” because that doesn’t seem to fit for me) about to perform in a big concert at the Met. She’s nervous and unsure of herself, but that’s probably the last time I would describe her that way. Once she’s forced to time travel, she becomes a very brave, very commanding person. She knows what she needs to do and she’ll jump headfirst into danger if she needs to.
And Nicholas is the voice of reason…most of the time. As a person of mixed race in 1776, his options in life are extremely limited. However, he’s made a name for himself in the sailing world and just wants to be left alone by the Ironwood family. Once he meets Etta, he tries to become her protector, especially since he knows exactly what danger she’s diving headfirst into. The dynamic between Nicholas and Etta was just incredible. Factor in how they’re both products of their time and their disagreements take on a new angle. It’s fun.
It was definitely interesting seeing where they jumped around to in time. Some places were obvious, perhaps, as places time travel stories seem to go to, but I was happy to see that it did also go off the beaten path. (We go to some unexpected places in Asia!) And trying to blend in in each place was interesting to see as well.
My only advice if you’re planning on reading this is to not look too closely at the sci fi portions of the story. Personally, I don’t think some of them add up. If I focus on those things, then I start forgetting just how much I enjoyed this journey. And enjoy it I did. So many elements of this were just so fun or entertaining that I really can’t wait to read the next book.