Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “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.”
Review: I was drawn to The Girl from Everywhere because of A) its amazing cover and B) its EPIC “Book Jacket Synopsis.” What’s not to love about a time-traveling pirate ship with an obsessive captain and a soul-searching daughter? In the end, however, The Girl from Everywhere ended up being a really big disappointment. One thing that particularly let me down was that the crew of the Temptation didn’t spend that much time actually time-traveling. They made it to 1868 Honolulu within the first six or seven chapters and, while that version of Honolulu wasn’t quite right, their attempts to problem-solve were largely conducted from the safety of the harbor. Certain parts of the plot also ended up being really confusing (which could easily be due to the fact that this book simply didn’t hold my attention enough to help me navigate through the more intricate sections). I also felt like Heilig completely overused metaphors in her writing. Every chapter felt like a metaphor dump and very much reminded me of my middle school poetry class days, when I became fixated on metaphors for an entire year and constantly used them in my writing. But drawing a million analogies doesn’t make someone a talented writer and it actually ended up being quite tiring to read. Aside from Nix’s dad (and Temptation captain), Slate, and the colorful first mate Bee (who is convinced that her dead wife, Ayen, is still with her and constantly gets her into mischief), the rest of the characters were bland and one dimensional. I was also disappointed in the description of how Slate actually Navigates. When he finally agrees to teach Nix, the details are shockingly vague and (of course) she gets it exactly right on the first try. Despite having an amazing foundation behind it, the plot fell flat and I was happy to be done with The Girl from Everywhere.