Monday, March 27, 2017

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Summary from Goodreads:
All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.
This book had a lot of ups and downs for me. It started on a strong note, but then dragged and dragged in the most negative way possible. Honestly, if I were reading it and not listening to it on audio, I probably would have stopped reading it all together. I didn’t have any other books to listen to, and after a while, I just put it on when there was nothing better to listen to on the radio…
Basically, it took over a month for me to get through! Over a month! It is 13 discs, but still…That is a long time. And sadly, so much of it really could have been trimmed down. There were so many unnecessary inner monologues and repeated emotions that there were times when I wonder if it was edited at all.
I didn’t hate it. I still loved the characters. And I certainly loved watching Etta become a much stronger main character. She fights with her deranged family, stands up for herself against manipulative characters, fights for her spot in everything, and I loved watching her grow.  Seeing Imperial Russia was awesome. Also, a future version of NYC (that on one messed up timeline pretty much becomes a giant hole in the universe) was pretty epic.
But, most of the storyline that followed Nicholas just wasn’t as interesting. The whole thing with the “witch” and her deal with a certain piece of jewelry was just so cliché. So, was the double crossing friend that betrayed them…Like, could anyone not have suspected that? I kind of rolled my eyes through so much of their plot arc, and awaited going back to Etta. Though, eventually, Etta wasn’t that fun either…
I feel like my biggest problem was that there was just too much filler, too much description for things that I wish the author let me determine for myself. Like every time Nicholas did something, it would be explained that he did it because of such and such. And every time Etta felt something for a family member, it would be explained that she was the way she was because of such and such experience with her mother. It was too much. Let me decide why Etta acted harshly and why Nicholas was optimistic that one time. It felt like the author thought I was an idiot who couldn’t understand basic emotions because each emotion had to be justified in lengthy detail.
So much time was spent on Etta’s emotional explanations and then not enough time was spent on the action. A lot happens at the end, and it almost felt rushed. I had to re-listen to parts because I thought I was missing things, but I wasn’t. Needless emotional explanations could take 20 minutes each, but the fast-paced chaos, violence and destruction at the end needed a little more clarification.
Also, the biggest enemy, Cyrus Ironwood, the supposed genius who’d put plans into motion decades (and several timelines ago) seemed too childish to be believable. How could such a genius be so blindsided and fooled in such a simple way at the end? Things with him seemed way too easy.
I’m glad the series is over. I really enjoyed book 1. And honestly, I would have enjoyed this one just as much if a lot of extraneous explanation was cut out. There was too much unnecessary description for simple emotional moments. And there wasn’t enough detail devoted to the action-heavy moments. The characters were developed more. The places they traveled to were interesting. I enjoyed the beginning and the ending a lot. The middle was lacking. I give it a 4/10.

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