Series: The Girl From Everywhere #1
Author: Heidi Heilig
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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.
The Girl From Everywhere was so much fun! Nix, her father, and their crew sail all over the world. And all over time. Her father is desperate to find the map that will take him to Hawaii in 1968 so he can save Nix’s mother from dying. Nix should be on board for this, but since her mother died after her birth, what does that mean for her future? Will she cease to exist, will there be two of her? All Nix knows is that she’s sick of her father using her for her knowledge of maps. She wants to travel on her own, but how can she abandon her father?
I loved how time travel worked in The Girl From Everywhere. It’s simple, which is great, and it makes sense. Nix and her father are Navigators, which I assume is genetic. All they need is a map, a ship, and belief. Then they can go anywhere, real or imagined. Of course, there are rules and limitations. The exact place where the end up is dependent on the actual map and the beliefs of the artist. There’s another rule, but I think it might be a spoiler, since it’s revealed a little ways into the book. But I never felt confused and I never spotted any glaring holes which is good.
The Girl From Everywhere is quite long, so I assumed they would find the correct map and head out to find Nix’s mother before the end. Well, that’s not quite what happened. There’s a lot of adventure happening! Nix and her father get pulled into some political intrigue. There’s a bit of romance. There’s plenty of strained father-daughter relationship. And magic! And dragons! This actually could work very well as a standalone given that ending. Everything is wrapped up quite nicely without feeling rushed or forced. But given that there is a sequel, I definitely wasn’t upset to get more!
I really enjoyed The Girl From Everywhere. Time travel is one of my favorite tropes, but it has to be done right and it was! It was also a very interesting twist to use maps and ships rather than higher technology or simply magic.