This week, Alexandra Bracken delivered a “tense, exciting adrenaline-fueled finale” with Wayfarer—the much anticipated follow-up to the time-travel fantasy Passenger. I’ve loved the series, which unravels a thrilling adventure through time, rife with betrayals, romance and intricately laced family relationships. This past Tuesday (on release day), along with a few other awesome bloggers, I was able to chat with Alex about the story and the process of writing it, the characters, and what readers can expect.
One thing to know is that in Wayfarer, we see Etta and Nicholas travel down different paths, across different timelines, and this means double the locations to visit (yay for us), double the timelines, but also more than twice the complexity for this particular world, its creation and entanglements. Alex talked about these struggles.
“I’ve been calling this book my problem child in the sense that it was the book that came out kicking and screaming whereas some books just sort of rain down on you from the heavens and explode out of you, and those stories are amazing. But I am really proud of this book. I think I managed to accomplish everything that I was going for in it.”
So what happens in Wayfarer according to Alex?
“To give you a pretty brief summary, it kicks off two weeks or three weeks after Passenger ends. Nicholas and Etta are trying to figure out how to get back to each other at the same time that they’re trying to track down the astrolabe, and they’re dealing with alternate timelines and wars and all that crazy stuff. ”
While the book touts lots of tension and conflict, at the center, Alex discussed how the narrative focuses around families—dueling time traveling families, our relationships with our families and what we inherit (good and bad) from them.
I mentioned to Alex that I thought both Etta and Nicholas faced pretty difficult choices along the way, in terms of what’s best for them and what’s best for their world. This created some great tension and suspense. I asked whether this was the main tension she wanted to highlight, or if there were other points of contention that she wanted to explore in the plot.
Alex explained: “Nicholas’ main point of conflict in this book is that he often is in a situation where he’s faced with life or death whereas Etta’s constantly faced with the choice of family or love…
Really I knew from the beginning that their points of view would change so much as they were learning and as they were experiencing, that by the time they finally reunited they would have this clash of goals in what they ultimately thought they should do and how they should proceed.
I think that situation was really, really hard for them, because in Passenger, even with Nicholas on the side having that half-hearted deal with Ironwood, they were pretty much in agreement on most things. They were making decisions together, and so I think this was very hard for them but very necessary for the relationship, that they had to go at it independently and then figure out how this would reconcile again at the end.”
In Wayfarer, there are so many fascinating locations to explore, new characters with whom to fall in love, surprises that decidedly twist and turn the direction of the story and moments that will have us reliving them over and over again long after we’ve closed the book. If you’ve not read Passenger yet, now is the perfect time (it’s on sale for $99¢!), and if you’re already a fan of this duology, you’ll be happily flipping Wayfarer‘s pages until the story’s gratifying end.
Etta Spencer didn’t know she was a traveler until the day she emerged both miles and years from her home. Now, robbed of the powerful object that was her only hope of saving her mother, Etta finds herself stranded once more, cut off from Nicholas-the eighteenth century privateer she loves-and her natural time.
When Etta inadvertently stumbles into the heart of the Thorns, the renegade travelers who stole the astrolabe from her, she vows to finish what she started and destroy the astrolabe once and for all. Instead, she’s blindsided by a bombshell revelation from their leader, Henry Hemlock: he is her father. Suddenly questioning everything she’s been fighting for, Etta must choose a path, one that could transform her future.
Still devastated by Etta’s disappearance, Nicholas has enlisted the unlikely help of Sophia Ironwood and a cheeky mercenary-for-hire to track both her and the missing astrolabe down. But as the tremors of change to the timeline grow stronger and the stakes for recovering the astrolabe mount, they discover an ancient power far more frightening than the rival travelers currently locked in a battle for control. . . a power that threatens to eradicate the timeline altogether.
From colonial Nassau to New York City, San Francisco to Roman Carthage, imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, New York Times #1 best-selling author Alexandra Bracken charts a gorgeously detailed, thrilling course through time in this stunning conclusion to the Passenger series.
✦ Read my review ✦
The series is a duology — Wayfarer is the final installment.
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