Taking place immediately after Etta and Nicholas separated, not in their relationship but a snap and tug in the timeline tore them into two different ones, and the astrolabe, the device that can create passages, which if you didn't read the original and I don't know why you wouldn't if you're reading this review, is the way travelers can go to different periods in time. Etta ends up meeting a long time friend of Nicholas's she has heard so many stories about and Nicholas and the ever-grudging Sophia, who hates Nicholas for letting her lover die at sea, have to team up, all of them with a main goal: to find the astrolabe again, this time from the family of Thorns that had it last they knew of.
Passenger was a book I never didn't enjoy. I sped through it and loved its imaginative take on time travel, as well as how relatable Etta, Nicholas and even Sophia were. Etta had put her entire life into playing the violin, Nicholas has been grieving over a brother and is always looked down upon by his beautiful dark skin, and Sophia has never lived in a timeline that recognizes the rights of women that every woman in the world deserves. I also loved the trek around the world, every year and place exploding with transportation into it. I also shipped Etta and Nicholas and cared about Rose and Alice and loathed Cyrus Ironwood and found the chase to never stop and damn, it was amazing. And guess what? Wayfarer has all of that too. So why did I in comparison to Passenger, absolutely hate Wayfarer? I just said it's just like the original. That is the main problem.
When Passenger ended with the twist I never dreamed of and the ending I spent days thinking about after I put down the paperback copy I bought after I had to return the hardcover to the library since I couldn't finish it in time, there were a hundred different possibilities for Wayfarer. But the hunt for the astrolabe simply continues, with the characters once again trying to find who has it. This felt like I was reading Passenger all over again but with a few things missing, like the feeling of an antagonist or cruelty and not enough in the first 150 pages. Not to mention the book doesn't leap on the twist like I thought it would. You'll know what I mean if you read this book. It might be safe to say this is the most disappointing book of the year next to The Infinite Sea (which is 40 times worse, but still.)
There's still a sense of adventure. There's even a passage that goes right underwater. That was a very fun section. Though they occasionally feel a little desperate, especially after reading the SYLO series which brought back a supposed deceased antagonist every book, there are some reunions that I enjoyed. And the last act is the best part, not only having excitement and enough time to be with the characters in the aftermath since this is the last book, but with enough drama and very tough decisions on what's best for the world and what the characters desire to almost merit a 2 or a 2 1/2. A very good grade is what I think about when I think about the ending of this book. But for the rest of it, I was looking forward to putting it away and focus my reading on something else and that's never a good sign. How can I expect to recommend something if I find myself excited to leave? That never happened in the first book. Not once. Maybe it also comes with the fact it did well with its introductions.
I still wholeheartedly recommend Passenger, and if you like it like I did, you'll probably read this book too. Hopefully your switch for the series is still turned on if you do, cause mine wasn't.