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The Ship Beyond Time Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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“With her deft touch, Heilig re-immersed me in her world of maps and out-of-time misfits in an adventure with greater stakes, more time-travel tricks and a love story that defies the laws of the universe itself. Heilig could give Dr. Who a run for his money.” (Alwyn Hamilton, author of Rebel of the Sands)
“This artfully constructed sequel to The Girl from Everywhere does not disappoint, with even more romance and adventure than in the first installment....[A] thrilling, layered maritime fantasy...Recommend both titles to fans of Alexandra Bracken’s “Passenger” books and Rick Riordan’s mythology-inspired fiction.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“[A] genre-busting series...Nix’s narrative voice reveals a complicated protagonist who moves between trenchant pragmatism and poetic flights with fluidity. ...this ingeniously plotted time twister deepens the narrative, sharpens characterization, and raises the stakes, leaving readers...wanting more.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Time traveling Nix Song, 16, is back, and fans of The Girl from Everywhere will be delighted. ...well worth adding to collections that have the first title.” (Booklist)
“Time travel is a challenging trope to reinvent in a way that feels fresh and exciting, and Heilig succeeds with a flourish. ...the premise of these books is truly the perfect playground for adventure.” (NPR.org)
About the Author
Heidi Heilig grew up in Hawaii, where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko‘olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in Africa while lions roared in the dark. She holds an MFA in musical theatre writing from New York University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, her son, and their pet snake, whose wings will likely grow in any day now.
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I’m not going to describe the plot here, the summary above does a great job of doing that. Instead I’ll talk about why I loved these books.
I was hooked immediately by Nix’s voice. This voice grabs you from the first page. Voice is one of those things that’s hard to describe, but for me, this voice is like listening to an old friend. One you wish you got to hang out with more and you just want to spend time with. This is how I’ve felt about series like THE GRISHA TRILOGY, RED QUEEN, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and THE LUANAR CHRONICLES. The world is completely immersive and you won’t want it to end.
Nix is a great character. She’s smart, tough, vulnerable and kind all at once. You feel her plight and her longing. Her relationships with the other characters, especially with her father, is nuanced and complex. With her father, it’s not the stereotypical teenage angst we often see in young adult novels. It’s unique. Nix also has a relationship with a boy, Kashmir that grabs you by the heartstrings and doesn’t let go. We slowly fall in love with Kashmir as the story unfolds, which makes it feel real and sticks with you after the last page.
This is all fine and good, you might say, but what about the plot? Does the plot keep the story moving? The answer is a resounding yes. This story is brilliantly told (I won’t spoil the plot by describing it here though!). Time travel stories are so interesting to me because they are all different. They all have a different method of travel, a different set of rules and complications. The method Heidi devised for her novels is so unique yet so easy to get on board with. Maps that become reality based on the beliefs of the navigator and the mapmaker? I love it. The characters transport themselves to the most unusual places as well as the most common, and watching them fit in in either is so much fun. 2016 NY, ancient China, mythological and real places, they are all delivered with such (not boring) detail that you wonder if Heidi was actually in all of them—and more importantly you feel like you’ve gone there yourself. Also, she weaves in just the right amount of mind-bending time hopping, where characters meet each other in non-linear timelines so you have to stop and get your head around it. Still, she manages to describe it in such a way that it’s never confusing. Just complicated, which is the perfect balance.
I’m going to post this review under both because it applies to both GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE and THE SHIP BEYOND TIME. I’d recommend reading them in order, though I suppose you could start with the second…but I can’t imagine why on earth you’d want to skip the first.
Nix is a deftly constructed, fully realized heroine who leapt off the page and directly into my heart. Each character in this world comes to us fully formed and imperfect, and faced with impossible decisions, they continue to surprise me.
Not only are Heilig's characters stunning, but her settings certainly don't take a back seat. She gives us magical islands both real and imagined in vivid detail, and a plot so well paced that I couldn't put this one down.
I cannot recommend this stunning sophomore effort highly enough. Heilig has a lifelong fan in me.