Series: The Girl from Everywhere #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 16th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Pirates, Historical, United States, 19th Century, Fantasy & Magic
eARC provided by HarperCollins
Heidi Heilig's debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father's ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility. Its witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, multicultural cast, and enchanting romance will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Nix's life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix's father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he's uncovered the one map he's always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix's mother died in childbirth. Nix's life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix's future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who's been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
Wow, this book! Where should I even begin? This book has brilliant story telling, a great cast of characters, time travel, fantastic world building, pirates, romance, costumes, myths, history, and it managed to keep my attention for three straight days of reading. This book may sound similar to Passenger, but it is not. This is a unique story and worth a read if you like any of the above mentioned subjects.
Nix is a time-traveler. She is at her Father’s mercy as he travels through time just trying to get back to the love of his life, Nix’s mother. The rules for time travel are simple; you need a map, you can only use it once, and you have to have a navigator that can read that map. They live aboard the pirate vessel Temptation. When a wrong turn leads them to a chance at the actual map her father is looking for, Nixie’s whole future comes into question. The map won’t work with her on the boat, and the price for the map might end up costing the whole crew their very lives.
This was such a fun read. Nix’s life is so interesting. If the map shows it, then it exists. So they can travel anywhere, to anytime, real or imagined, as long as it is on paper. I loved the freedom of this rule (or lack thereof) and how the author used it to show us myths and legends as facts. Of course, not everywhere they go is make believe, but they have collected rare good from places they go to barter when they reach port. Also, there is a heist that needs to happen in this story for the captain to get the map that he needs. The reader isn’t given much detail into the how of this theft, but it was so much fun to go along as they plan and scheme.
Nix was terribly conflicted. She wants to help her father, the captain, but she is sick of not being enough for him. His quest for love tears her apart, but it is the constant in their lives. Nix has a good heart and she is torn between being sick of it, and wanting to do the right thing. I saw some mood swings in her that I could relate to. She is perfectly conflicted. The crew also consists of talented thief named Kash, who steals his way through time. Nix might have a thing for Kash, but she isn’t sure. Then there is the boy Blake, whom she meets at port. He might be the kind of thing that keeps her in one place forever, but time is a big problem for these two. The romance wasn’t the main focus of this book, but I still shipped Nix and Kash pretty hard.
The world building in this book is fantastic. We cover a lot of ground in this story and the author does a great job of weaving myth and legend into actual places. I loved that the myths and creatures of this book added so much to the world and the story itself. I especially enjoyed reading the Author’s Note at the end of this story, which lent so much info for the reader. Although this book is the start to a series, this book could be read as a stand-alone. This was a complete story, but I can’t wait to see what is next in store for Nix and the crew.