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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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Top customer reviews
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A major strength of this novel is the author's facility with language. The descriptions are vivid, brimming with vibrancy. She is just as adept at the depictions of the core of this YA novel - the constantly changing relationships with adults for this coming-og-age girl.
This novel may not be every YA reader's cup of tea with its historical and literary references. However, Heilig has constructed an enchanting and powerful tale set in a wonderfully fantastical world that addresses the underlying theme for all adolescents - Who Am I?
Or does she?
This book got a lot of buzz, which often makes me a little wary when I start reading. But as I got deeper and deeper into it, I realized the buzz didn't even begin to hint at how good this book is. I couldn't stop exclaiming out loud, and marking the standout parts in the margins. When I had to put it down so I could sleep at night, I resented having to stop so much that I ended up dreaming about it.
I don't think we need another summary of the plot, because lots of reviewers here did a wonderful job with that. I just want to give my impressions about the things that really stood out and made it a five-star for me.
One of the main things was how gifted a storyteller the author is. Her use of language was deceptively straightforward, but textured and rich as only the finest of rare things can be, like the silk that Nix's beguiling friend Kashmir, the thief, demands at the dressmakers' shop. Below are some examples:
"...I held out my hand, and Kashmir dropped the pearl into it, the chain pooling like mercury in my palm." (This line is also an amazing foreshadowing of future events!)
"...the room was full of riches and reminders. The pillows were sewn from scraps of silk, and scattered around the room were wooden statues and stone bowls and bone knives and strings of seeds, tiny treasures that could be slipped into a pocket." (The room belongs to a thief/pickpocket)
"...(he) lifted the map away from the flame, and my own wild hope turned to ashes on my tongue." (A brilliant chapter ending; I was jangling with nerves!)
So, the author's language: worth the price of the book on its own. But there was much more to this story than beautiful prose.
The characters weren't overdrawn; they were given space to be and become. Nix is a good friend but can't allow herself to fall in love, as she has lived in suspension between reality and myth, being and nonbeing, for her entire life. What can she rely on, except herself? Certainly not her father, Slate. Slate's ceaseless, fixated search between times and places for Nix's mother makes him seem like some opium-addicted Captain Ahab looking for the ever-elusive Moby Dick on the high seas. And Nix's friend, Kashmir, who would like to be much more than a friend to her, isn't just a charming rogue; there are references to depths and demons of his own.
As far as the plot goes, the author knew just how much to tell us, and how much to leave out, letting us use either our deductive powers or our imaginations to fill in the misty areas. I felt my mind stretching to encompass the awesome. There is even one particular twist to the plot that came late in the book, which left me gasping and ruffling back the pages to check whether I could possibly have understood correctly! The tale was so original, I couldn't possibly guess what was coming next at any point.
The ending was very satisfying, but it also set us up for more. I heard this book described as an adventure, but it felt more like an Odyssey to me.
Bon Voyage, everyone, you're going to love where this one takes you!
Nix’s life has always been structured around Slate’s quest to find the map that will lead him to her mother and as their journey takes them closer to achieving this goal, Nix’s desire to find her own place in the world grows. She longs to make her own mark upon the world, to captain a ship of her own, to control her own destiny. Nix never expects any place, save a ship, to feel like home, but the island of Oahu is a mystery and a paradise. It is here that Nix feels a strong connection to the life she could have had. Nix is further pulled into a different direction by the kind artist Blake Hart, who desires nothing more than to show Nix the wonders of Oahu. But her old life holds mysterious of its own, with the ability to Navigate like her father, Nix could choose to go anywhere, and her best friend Kashmir would be more than willing to go with her. Nix must decide where she truly belongs and if anything is truly worth risking everything for.
The Girl from Everywhere is a promising opening to an adventurous series, combining history and mythology into a novel that is sure to delight readers.