Highlighting Passenger-Alexandra Bracken’s Upcoming Time Travel Novel + Giveaway

Today I’m so excited to give one of my readers a chance to win the upcoming novel by Alexandra Bracken, Passenger. I’m reading it now and I’m really liking how she’s handled the details of time travel.

About the Book

PassengercoverIn 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, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick 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.
In stores January 5
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About the Author

AlexBrackenAlexandra Bracken is the New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William&Mary in Virginia. Alex now lives in New York City, where you can find her hard at work on her next novel in a charming little apartment that’s perpetually overflowing with books. Visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com and on Twitter @alexbracken.

Giveaway

One (1) winner receives: a copy of PASSENGER
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.
Please note prizing will ship early January following release of the book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

More About the Book and Pre-Order Info

Learn more at un-requiredreading.com
Visit AlexandraBracken.com
Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram
Follow Alex Bracken on Twitter and Instagram
#Passenger
You can pre-order Passenger at these locations:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Indigo
iBooks
 

Review of Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never FadeNever Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
By: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: October 15th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

A copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:
star

If you’ve not read The Darkest Minds check out that review and not this one since the summary (below) has spoilers for the first book.

Summary:
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself.

The Story:
I didn’t have time to reread The Darkest Minds before jumping into this book. I was able to slowly remember all that had happened so it wasn’t necessary to reread though I think it would have been helpful since I was foggy on some of the details. Never Fade picked up where the last ended and gave the reader a new viewpoint from within the League. I found this incredibly interesting to see things from their side and to get a feel for their everyday tasks.

As with The Darkest Minds, Never Fade had wonderfully descriptive action scenes yet had real heart. I felt the pacing varied from slow to fast but though it is a long book it didn’t drag (though I could easily see some pages edited out).

This is one of those sequels that is nearly impossible to write a spoiler free review because so much has happened from where our character’s journey began in the first book. I love Bracken’s writing and feel that it pulled me into the story and kept me riveted to Ruby and her struggles.

The Characters:
Ruby has grown so much since we first met her character. She is much stronger and has started to understand her ability though she still hates possessing it. Throughout the book she struggled with her choices in regard to her old friends and tried, in her own way, to make amends for her guilt. I love how well developed and rounded she is. I find her emotions to be incredibly realistic and relatable.

I found both this and the first book greatest strength to be the connection I’ve formed with the characters. We do get to see some of the characters from The Darkest Minds but the majority of the book is focused on the people that Ruby comes to know in the League. I connected to the new characters easily, especially Jude. He is the perfect foil to Vida’s bravado and Ruby’s coldness. Jude’s loveable nature and anxiety helped to connect me with what was happening to them and really brought an element of relatability (since I’d be freaking out and anxious like he was).

Final Thoughts:
Though Never Fade is a bit long in parts the story moves fairly fast and the characters are once again the strongest feature; a stellar sequel that progressed the storyline and characters effectively. Needless to say, I can’t wait for book 3.

 

The Darkest Minds Review

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds
By: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH

My rating:
star

Summary (via book cover):
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her –East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp, Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

The Story:
Alexandra Bracken creates an America that has lost sight of all the good characteristics. I hate to even think it would be possible for adults to turn on their children if a disease either killed them or mutated them into having unusual (and frightening) abilities (maybe a bit like X-Men?) But, history has proven that horrible things happen and people do things we never dream they could or would. Bracken focuses her story on Ruby, a character she has drawn out vividly. You, as the reader, are thrown into the horrible situations Ruby finds herself in and like her you have no idea who to trust. Its gives the reading experience a tad bit of stress. Certain parts are heart wrenching, painted so realistically you feel the ache the characters feel. I found myself constantly wanting to grab Ruby and hug her (regardless of the danger). Even when things appear to be looking up you still have that feeling of just waiting for something bad to happen. The calm before the storm. What pulls you forward are the questions you have about what has caused this disease and will Ruby ever be safe?

The Characters:
A lot of the secondary characters are glossed over and we have no real idea of their motivations rather than for power or out of fear. At the beginning all of the characters, save our heroine, have horrible characteristics and show no compassion towards the children. Like the camp PSF officers, an example

We all turned at once, just in time to see the PSF with the flaming red hair launch the butt of her rifle into the teenage boy’s mouth. (pg. 12)

I know, personally, I would like to have seen at least one officer show just the smallest fraction of kindness. It seems so unreal that adults could all feel so much hate towards children (though this would be the point of the book). I know, as a parent, I would never be able to see myself treating children so horribly. To counter the anger and fear the adults show the adolescence we do get a peek into how deranged some of the kids are, like Martin. Who is just itching to jump in the fray and hurt someone.

Unlike the secondary characters the main cast are very well developed. Bracken presents a wonderful lead character in Ruby. I was immediately drawn to her and her plight. Small bits of Ruby’s life prior to the disease give such depth and a sense of the immense amount she’s given up in a very touching yet subtle way. Contrasting small bits of her past shows the great contrast between life before and life after the disease. The way Bracken has Ruby think back on her thoughts as a nine year old about to be  ten was really realistic to me,

When I was about to turn ten years old, the most significant thing about the number was that it was double digits.

I remember thinking that exact thing right before I turned ten. It was this huge thing to be in the double digits. Those little bits of Ruby’s personality and thoughts made me relate to her which just made her experiences that much more real for me. Though we don’t get to reside in the thoughts of Chubs, Liam or Zu you still get to know them as Ruby does.  I hope we get a lot more back story about each of them.

Final Thoughts:

Parts in the middle when they are on the road dragged a bit for me but the last third of the book more than made up for it with its roller coaster of emotions. When I finished I just sat there feeling my heart pound and trying not to cry. It was a very powerful book and I will continue reading the series.

Check out an interview with Alexandra Bracken on Publishing Crawl

The Darkest Minds trailer:

Buy this book:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alex BrackenI just picked up The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I’m not far yet but am very intrigued.

The Summary (via Goodreads):

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp.  Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Check out Publishing Crawl’s interview with the author, Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds Trailer: