Title: The Girl From Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everywhere, #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.
As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.
But the end to it all looms closer every day.
Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it – and going there – could erase Nix’s very existence.
For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.
She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.
Or she could disappear.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
I love time travel books, a fact which many people probably know about me by now, so obviously The Girl From Everywhere went on my to-read list the moment I read the blurb. It was one of my very anticipated releases for February and reading it I was not disappointed by the story Heidi Heilig wove within the pages.
Nix has spent her whole life aboard the Temptation, following her father in his quest to find a map that will take him back to Honolulu 1868 and the year her mother died. Though Nix enables his many attempts she fears what will happen to her if her father succeeds and saves her mother’s life. However her father refuses to listen to reason and when he hears of a map being auctioned off he is determined to buy it, determined to believe that it will work where all others have failed.
While the rest of the crew believe, the same as Nix, that the map will fail like all the others before it, it works, and Nix finds herself in Honolulu once more.
Only instead of Honolulu in 1868, like it says inked on the map, it’s taken them to Honolulu 1884; sixteen years too late to save her mother’s life. And it soon becomes obvious that it was no accident the map was marked with the wrong date. Nix’s father and his crew have been brought to Honolulu for one purpose, to steal nearly a million dollars from The Royal Hawaiian Treasury, weakening the King and allowing another leader to take control.
In return they are promised a map that will lead the to 1868, and with her father’s desire to save Nix’s mother forefront in his mind he agrees to the plan, heedless of the risk it will bring to the rest of the crew. As Nix’s father plots with Kash how to break into the treasury and steal nearly a million dollars in one trip, a seemingly impossible task, Nix plots on her own ready to pull her father out of the fire if he gets too close.
Nix has lived aboard the Temptation since she was a baby. She has seen her father through all his plans and schemes to get back to Honolulu and it almost seems as if that has changed their relationship. Slate is the one who follows his heart, careless of what it could cost his crew, and Nix is the one who offers caution, who looks out for her father and comes up with all the plans. Nix looks out for her father, almost as if she were the parent, but at times she cannot stand him; sick of the way he treats her and his disregard for anything that isn’t his quest for a map.
But in spite of what she fears it will do to her she goes along with his plans, waiting for the day when she can strike off on her own. All she needs to do is learn how to Navigate and then nothing will hold her back. Arriving in Honolulu, in what should be Nix’s native time, what would have been her native time if her father hadn’t taken her, stirs feelings in her. There are times when she is unsure whether she wants to stay but at her heart Nix is a traveller.
Kashmir is a thief, and it is his thievery that led him to Nix and the Temptation in the first place. Kash always seemed light-hearted, always with a joke at hand, but there are times when his deeper emotions seem to bleed through the cracks; his loneliness, his feelings for Nix. He doesn’t reveal much of himself, always seeming to hide behind a facade, which makes him very talented at blending into any situation. He changes who he is and becomes the person someone else wants to, or expects to see; it what makes him such a good thief.
I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Nix and Kash. They didn’t really progress much beyond friendship in this book but I enjoyed their interactions and banter nonetheless. There was a half-hearted attempt at a love triangle in this book; between Nix, Kash and Blake, which I wasn’t a fan of. I didn’t actually like Blake’s character. I didn’t think he added much to the story, honestly I felt like it would have progressed the same without him, but that could change in the next book. I am interested to see where Heilig takes the relationship between Nix and Kash in the next book, and what part Blake will play in it.
I thought Nix’s father was a brilliantly developed character. He seemed to have been broken by the death of Nix’s mother and has since dedicated his whole life to finding a map that will take him back to her. But his blinkered desire has caused him to throw away his relationship with his daughter, thought there were times when the relationship between Nix and Slate seemed a lot deeper than previously thought. Slate does love his daughter, in his own way, I don’t believe he thinks that saving Nix’s mother will hurt his daughter, in spite of everything he wouldn’t want to risk Nix’s life for his quest.
Throughout this book the crew travel from India in 1774 through New York in the 21st Century to Honolulu in 1884, and although we don’t see much of New York and India before the crew moved on I loved the way Heilig wrote Honolulu. As Nix travels through the town with Blake we see a lot of the city itself, as well as hear about the culture, the history, and the myths which build up the city; myths which later come to play an important part in the story. I also adored the concept behind the way time travel is achieved; the idea that the Temptation can travel across two maps, from one time and place to another, was nothing I’d ever read before and I loved it. Also the idea that they can travel to any mystical time or place, including the tomb of Emperor Qin who died in the second century B.C., as long as they have a map was wonderfully explored and I really hope it’s expanded on in the next book. I’d love to see where else Nix and the crew can go.
As time travel books go The Girl From Everywhere is definitely one of the best I’ve read. The concept behind how Nix and the Temptations crew travel was unique and certainly interesting to read about. I cannot wait for the next book to be released, and I cannot wait to read what Heilig has in store for Nix, Kash, and the rest of the crew.
What did you think of The Girl From Everywhere? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.