The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Hot Key Books (ebook), 2016
I got this from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.
Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question…
Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.
It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer. I was in the crowded bazaar of a nearly historical version of Calcutta, where my father had abandoned me.
WHAT I THOUGHT
The Girl from Everywhere isn’t a terrible book but it lacked something for me.
The premise is enthralling; time travel, history and pirates. It sounded like a cracking read sort of like a YA sci-fi version of Pirates of the Caribbean (I love those movies; Jack Sparrow is a brilliant character). Unfortunately, this book never quite lives up to its expectations. It almost reaches the potential, almost, reaches a hand towards greatness only for a thumb to fall away at the last moment. I absolutely loved the idea of using maps to travel through time and mythological places. I imagined how cool it would be to just appear in Asgard or go back in time and see relatives you never got to meet. The book never quite makes this great idea work and is very dull at times. I really liked the idea of Slate and Nix having to go through a series of obstacles to find the map that will stop Nix’s mother from dying. This sounds exciting right? Wrong? The plot just twitches along, struggling. The pacing was so slow I swear I felt myself age. The characters never became real people except Kashmir. I really liked some things like the history of the island, the myths and magic but the whole book just didn’t completely work for me. I felt let down.
The Girl from everywhere is just okay.