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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everywhere #1
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Young Adult novel
Pages: 464
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

   buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
H  eidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
     Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
     In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

  The idea for this book is really cool.  Time traveling pirates is far and away the easiest way to get me to pick up a book (or watch a Scooby-Doo movie).  Time travel is always a tricky subject as originality with the infinite possibilities of time is apparently a very difficult.  Heilig's idea and location were both great ideas.  I love when settings are unexpected and still so relevant.  I was so excited for this book and at times, I couldn't put it down.

And at other times...

Nix is the half-Chinese captain's daughter who wants freedom from her father's obsession with saving her mother and his addiction to opium. She's brave, she's smart, she', wait, that's all I got.  Nix is boring.  She's in a love triangle. She's loves her family but struggles to make her own path in a tough situation.  She wants to do good but understands necessary evils.  Nix is very predicable and very, very boring.  This blandness is across the board: none of the characters really push past an archetype. For example, one of the shipmates is queer, but Heilig doesn't really dig into anything else on the character.  One of the romantic leads is explored more than anyone else in The Girl From Everywhere but since he's that stupid "light and wholesome" romantic lead, I was sort of waiting around for him to die (which unfortunately does not happen, because of course it doesn't).

That's the main problem for The Girl From Everywhere: things aren't fleshed out enough to become original.  Even the concept of time travel is explained as "just believe you can do it."  Are you kidding me? It's time travel! With maps and boats! Why can't Heilig give more than that? Was that all she had on the subject? On the main point of the book? The is also so many plot strings left hanging that when I finished the book I found that I was unsatisfied and just plain annoyed for the such a let down.  The book is part of a series but this wasn't cliffhangers, this was straight up not enough information.

Ultimately, the writing isn't half bad which is why I'm giving it such a nice rating.  The characters are bland, the plot is okay and the setting is really the main strong point.  If you like time travel, ships and just want something to read over break pick up The Girl From Everywhere, otherwise consider something more fulfilling.
Three targets, a mercy.