Today's review is for The Girl From Everywhere, Heidi Heilig's debut teen fantasy. The story is a mixture of fantasy, history, time-travelling and romance (there's even a pirate ship and a dragon!). With a diverse and multicultural cast and plenty of adventures, it makes for a very entertaining read. Read my thoughts about it here:
Title: The Girl From Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Published: March 3rd 2016 by Hot Key Books
Blurb: 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.
*First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Review: I found the concept for this story really interesting and well executed. Nix is a time-traveller and together with her father and their crew, they travel to any place, in any era, as long as they have an original map of that place, even mythological and magical places. Plus, they travel in a pirate ship, how cool is that? How they do that is explained during the story and I found it really complex and easy at the same time and with every new bit of information I got even more excited.
Slate, Nix's father and captain of The Temptation, has only one goal: finding a map of Honolulu in 1868 so he can navigate there and safe Nix's mother. This might have fatal consequences for Nix herself but Slate doesn't seem really bothered by this and uses all his tricks to accomplish his goal. Maps of Hawaii for that time are scarce, and Nix is convinced he won't manage to find one. But luck turns in his favour when they travel to present day New York for an auction. It seems that they have finally found an original map. So we follow the crew to nineteenth century Hawaii for a lot of adventures, misunderstandings, thefts and some more travelling.
My favourite characters in the story were Nix and Kashmir, one of the members of the multicultural crew and Nix's best friend. I really enjoyed reading about their friendship and could sense there could be a bit more between them. They made the perfect team and supported each other no matter what, even when a boy from Hawaii became interested in Nix and came between them. I think this little love triangle complemented very well the main story and made for a cute and fun sub-plot.
The aspect that I enjoyed the best was how seamless the story flowed. Past, present and future would interlink and events from different times and places would have consequences later in the story. I am sure that this is the kind of story that when read a second time is even more fascinating. Plus, I found it very interesting and cool that magical creatures and places existed too in the "real" world.
Heidi Heilg's writing was really atmospheric and descriptive and made you feel part of the story. As we learned more about Hawaii's history, I became more and more invested in the story. I really hope there's a sequel to this read as I feel Nix and the crew of The Temptation still have quite a few adventures to live. I enjoyed this story immensely and found it really unique and highly entertaining.
Rating: 4 stars