Publication: January 5, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: ARC received from the publisher, thank you!
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.
This book definitely lived up to my expectations. It's a rich story full of mysteries and surprises that left me wanting more.
My favorite parts of the book were the different time periods. Each historical era Etta and Nicholas travelled to came to life through the descriptive writing. It was so fun seeing which time they were jumping to next.
The plot unfolded slowly to start with. It takes close to 150 pages for the story to really get going. The beginning is more for setting up the time-traveling premise and introducing the characters. The slow start was necessary to set the stage, but it did make it hard to get into the book. It didn't exactly pull me in from the first page. Although, once it gets going, there's no stopping. The end is crazy!
The writing also slows down the pace some. It's a flowery style of writing that uses more words than necessary in the descriptions. However, that adds to the atmosphere and feel of the book. That is just Bracken's style of writing and I do think it is beautiful. It didn't bother me too much, but at times it does hinder the pace.
I really liked the time travel concept. It was thoroughly described and made sense, without making this a sci-fi read. This is definitely more of a historical fiction book.
The characters are great. I loved Etta's strength and tenacity. She reacted realistically to being thrown into this time-traveling craziness, but also held herself together. She is ready to face all challenges.
I loved her interactions with Nicholas. Since he is from a different time period, it made for charming and funny dynamics between the two. However, I wasn't fully invested in the romance. It went a little too fast and didn't exactly sync up for me.
Overall, this was a fascinating read that takes you all over the world and through time. I am so excited to read the next book, Wayfarer.