i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.
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
DNF @ 60%
If I could sum up this book in one word, it would be this: tedious.
Etta, a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, has spent her entire youth as a sheltered, lonely, talented violinist. She’s neglected having a social life in favor of long hours of practice, her only two companions her cold, distant mother, and her elderly violin coach.
On the night of her musical debut, everything changes. Three chords into her solo, a gong reverberates through her mind, shattering her concentration. Judging by the reactions of those in the crowd, only she can hear it. That is until she flees the stage and runs into a strange girl named Sophia, who claims she can hear it too. One hard shove through a wormhole later, she finds herself adrift in 1776. Literally. She comes to on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic. While it’s being attacked by pirates.
Sounds awesome, right?
Sadly, it wasn’t.
I’m not sure what the point of telling this story from third person PoV was. Almost the entirety of it takes place inside the mind of the female lead. I mean that literally. This book is heavy with her internal monologue, most of which is made up of repetitive musings, hypothetical questions, and her never-ending surprise as to how badly women and people of color are treated in that era. Not sure why that is. Because, you know, history books, documentaries, firsthand accounts of slavery, etc, etc.
And somehow, after reading hundreds of pages from her perspective, I still can’t tell you a whole lot about her. I blame that on both the detached writing style and weak characterization. There’s no stability to her. No continuity. She’s opinionated and outspoken in one scene, and in the next she’s silent and submissive, letting her enemies (big and small) steamroll right over her.
Add to this some insta-lust/love/whatever between her and the male lead, some plot holes, and a whole lot of narrative that could have been cut out altogether and you wind up with one long, TEDIOUS, YA novel filled to the brim with reminders of why I so rarely return to this genre.
Still, it wasn’t ALL bad. There were some feminist themes, diversity (which you don’t see nearly enough of in HF or HR), and a very strong premise. Too bad it fell flat for me.