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The Girl from Everywhere Paperback – February 7, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Nix has spent all of her 16 years with her father as a time-traveling pirate aboard a physical ship, navigating into the margins of historical maps to reach his ultimate goal—returning to Honolulu in 1868, the time and place of Nix's birth, to save her mother, who died when Nix was born. Nix's home is the sea and her family the ship's crew, and while she adores traveling and dreams of navigating on her own, she fears the end of her father's journey. If he can save her mother, Nix will no longer exist. Can she find a way to strike out on her own and reunite her parents? History and mythology fans will love this fast-moving ride through time, where mythological maps take Nix and the crew to real places with items and creatures true to the map's design. Nineteenth-century politics involving the Hawaiian royal family and control over the islands create mystery and danger as Nix endeavors to discover her mother's identity, reconcile with her father, and accept her feelings for Kash, the Persian thief who has become her closest friend on the ship. VERDICT This must-have fantasy adventure will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan's "Kane Chronicles" and Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's "Starbound Trilogy," (both Disney-Hyperion).—Kerry Sutherland, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“History and mythology fans will love this fast-moving ride through time, where mythological maps take Nix and the crew to real places with items and creatures true to the map’s design…This must-have fantasy adventure will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan’s ‘Kane Chronicles.’” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“One of my absolute favourite reads of 2016, Heidi Heilig’s debut captured me completely from the first page. A lushly written time-traveling adventure with an imaginative magical twist, real heart and real heartbreak, and a major dash of swoon.” (Alwyn Hamilton, author of Rebel of the Sands)
“A skillful mashup of science fiction and eclectic mythology, enlivened by vivid sensory detail and moments of emotional and philosophical depth. …A nonstop time-travel romp.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“With time travel, fantasy, Hawaiian history, mythology, cute animals, and a feisty female protagonist, romance and fantasy readers will find much to enjoy.” (Booklist)
“[A] time-travel adventure…Heilig’s writing is richly immersive, and a mature exploration of complicated love, both familial and romantic, underlies the story. A riveting and far-reaching fantasy that crosses seamlessly across the centuries, posing questions about fate, loyalty, and belonging.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This thrilling swashbuckler-steeped in history, myth, and legend-finds a solid anchor in its colorful characters. …Fascinating, thought-provoking and wonderfully imagined, The Girl From Everywhere will spark the adventurer inside every reader.” (Shelf Awareness)
“The world Heilig has built is a creative blend of actual history and fantasy elements grounded in ancient and modern myths. Her novel is simultaneously an adventure story, a love triangle, and a meditation on big topics like the idea of home and the tension between fate and free will.” (BookPage)
“Heilig presents a dizzying array of intermeshed events, dates, and maps. The plot is rooted in actual Hawaiian history, and redolent with realistic details and Hawaiian folklore. …The reader may ultimately be surprised at how smoothly the fantastical elements here mesh with the real.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“This debut catapults delightfully from one map to the next, offering a fresh and captivating approach to time travel.” (NPR Books)
“A truly exciting book, brimming with adventure, history, and sinuous potential. … “The Girl from Everywhere” is a bewilderingly good book. …Heidi Heilig is one to watch.” (Christian Science Monitor)
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For a book whose concept screams EPIC, with a time-traveling pirate ship, a star-crossed romance spanning centuries, and expansive historical detail, this book feels shockingly quiet and intimate. It's something in the treatment of the characters, I think; the unwillingness of the author to let any one person be one-dimensional or play-by-the-numbers. Heilig writes human beings with such compassion, it's not just as if you've known these people—it's like you've been these people.
This is never clearer than with the relationship at the heart of this novel, at least for me: the relationship between main character Nix and her father. He's an addict, both to the opium under his bed and the memory of the woman he loved and lost. And Nix—God, I love Nix. She's a young woman with quiet strength, resolve, wit, and resourcefulness, and the way she views her father is a pitch-perfect balance between hurt, frustration, resignation, and continued forgiveness:
"There is something terrifying about seeing someone strong standing on the edge of the abyss, like a ship on the lip of a whirlpool where the whole sea plunges into the maw of Charybdis. There is that moment when they reach out—like a drowning man will—and if you're within reach, they will pull you down with them. I didn't want to stand there beside him. I didn't want to be dragged down."
The businesslike relationship Nix has with 'the Captain,' her endless and understandable resentments, her desire to escape—it's all offset by this heartbreaking undercurrent of what there could be between them. Her father's smallest failings hit so hard, but every so often, you see how hard they're trying, how hard they're working, and often failing. Heilig has a rare gift for writing around the things we can't talk about, describing perfectly the mix of defensiveness, self-preservation, and hurt that divides people who love each other.
THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE is full of tentative trust, and hope, and catharsis, and I adored it.
Okay, finally, let's chat romance for a second. Most of the books I read have romance, but unfortunately, I don't really swoon. I'm picky, and I rarely buy into romance. I have so little power to suspend disbelief—I can count the number of fictional couples who have made me feel actual emotions on two hands, I think. As for love triangles, I've never enjoyed them. Not once, ever. Until this book.
The characters are all really well-developed and multidimensional. Right away, I cared what happened to Nix (and disliked her father). I really enjoyed her as a character, especially how she feels more stable on the boat than on dry land. I also really enjoyed reading about Kashmir. He reminded me of a guy I was good friends with who inspired me to start learning Farsi, though I ended up putting that on the back burner. Their personalities are so similar that I felt like I already knew Kashmir before reading The Girl From Everywhere.
The world….well it’s a time traveling pirate ship. While it’s explained that the ship isn’t necessary, it does make things a great deal more convenient. For the majority of the story, the ship is docked in historic Hawaii sometime around the 1860s. The world building was very thorough and it was easy to imagine myself in it, even though I’ve never been to Hawaii.
The story is absolutely beautiful and flows very well, albeit in a strange pattern compared to what I’m used to. I have to assume this is because of the time travel that takes place throughout the story. It’s fun to put the little pieces together as Nix figures them out, but I did find myself often frustrated by her father’s refusal to answer any of her questions.
Regardless, the story is just complicated enough that it sucks you in. I had a book coma for days afterward. Honestly, I kind of still have it. Because time traveling ships plus mystery plus maps plus these characters just… there’s so much yes and it deserves all the stars.
I really enjoyed this gorgeous debut from Heidi Heilig and I can not wait to read more from her. Which, thankfully, I won’t have to wait long for because the sequel to The Girl From Everywhere comes out on 28 February 2017! Yes, that was me squealing with excitement. I regret nothing.
For this review and more, please visit my blog at Vicarious Bookworm.
I loved each character. I want to hang out with Nyx, sail to Carthage, feed Swag a dish of pearls, and learn how to move through the veils of time. I want to dance with Kash, and be called "amira" under a marvel of stars. I want to share a beer with Slate, Rotgut & Bee. And I'd like my portrait drawn by Blake.
This is a read I will return to again and again.