This review contains absolutely NO spoilers – read without fear!
“I’m not a big fantasy reader”: here’s what I probably would have told you if you asked me a little while ago. But since blogging came around, I got out of my comfort zone and fell more and more in love with fantasy, imaginative worlds and so on. The Girl From Everywhere definitely enters that category and unfortunately, I haven’t been hearing too much about this book – maybe it’s because it was released a year ago, so a lifetime in bookworms’ opinions at times, I’m not sure. ANYHOW, I’m here today to tell you that I really liked this book, for many reasons.
The amazing, well-developed concept of time travel, pirate ships and Hawaii in the 1800’s.
One of the strongest suits of The Girl From Everywhere most definitely is, for me, the idea behind it all: time traveling with a ship, using a map as their only compass, across the oceans, across the world, across times and places where myths come alive. Everything behind this idea is brilliant and I really enjoyed it.
If I thought that most of the action would be set on this great ship, their means of transportation, home to the crew of characters we meet, though, I was wrong. If they travel, the action is mostly set in Hawaii in the 1800’s, and the author manages to make you travel and crave for more in this little island, with vivid descriptions and building of the forests, the people, the little streets and everything.
Diverse and interesting cast of characters
Another thing to gush about in The Girl From Everywhere is this amazing cast of characters we get to meet as we read on. As they travel through time, Nix, the main character, and her father, captain of this crazy ship, picked up some amazing companions along the way. They are from all around the globe and from different times as well: the main character is half-Chinese, Kash is Persian, there were also African and Polynesian characters and more. I really liked how there was a diverse background to each of the characters and how it was used in the story, with Kash speaking his mother tongue – and even others at times. I really liked how unique and vivid every character felt to me, with their own quirks and ways of seeing life around her – from this ship mate Bee, seeing the ghost of her wife Ayen, because she believes in that in her own culture ; to Kash with his very own way of seeing the world with his thief habits and everything.
Interesting and complex relationships, never black or white
“Sometimes a person has to let go of something to take hold of something else. You always have to choose what’s more important.”
The different ties between the characters never felt black or white: they were all nuanced interestingly. Take Nix and her father: they don’t seem to get along at all when the book starts, but as it goes on, we find out some heartwarming moments and discover that there is more to the relationship that these first moments when they seem to basically hate each other (at least, that’s the impression I got). They have a complex relationship for sure that would deserve to be explored a bit more but still is very good to read.
“I should have guessed Kashmir would become a nuisance. And a bad influence. But most importantly, a friend.”
Take now Nix and Kash, a.k.a. my favorite pair of it all: friendship above everything, but you definitely see some other things growing between them as the story goes on…and as Nix meets and spends more time with another guy, Blake. I hear you screaming love triangle! why romance when we want ships and travel and adventure! already, but I thought that this whole romantic aspect of the relationships in the books was done very lightly – the drama, and the main focus of the story always remains on adventure, the heist, that map they want to find to time travel to a particular place and so on. Definitely interesting and complex relationships, but overall, that book was an adventure. Kind of a slow-paced one, I’ll admit it, but still very beautiful.
Also, if you need one more reason here to try and read this book, let me leave you with this quote and the overall awesomeness of one of my favorite characters here, Kash.
“You’re blocking the view.”
“I am the view, amira,” he said, framing himself with his hands.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Do you want to read The Girl From Everywhere? Did you read it and if so, did you enjoy it?
Do you like time traveling stories? Share your thoughts in comments!
Heidi Heilig, The Girl From Everywhere, Published by Hot Key Books, March 3rd 2016.
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.