Review | The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

An enjoyable wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey tale. 4/5 stars.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig book cover

After seeing several blogger’s recommending this book, I requested it from Netgalley. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-copy in return for an honest review.

The blurb: 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.

My take:

I’m about to go on a tangent. Stay with me…

There’s a moment in the movie Austin Powers 2 when Austin and Basil Exposition (best name ever) are talking about time travel. Worrying about time loops and the like, Austin goes cross-eyed with the effort of puzzling out the complications of there being different versions of himself existing simultaneously at different points in time. Basil helpfully suggests that Austin not worry about that sort of thing and just enjoy himself. And then Basil turns to talk directly to the camera, breaking the fourth wall to tell the viewers, “That goes for you all too.”

This is the spirit in which it’s best to approach The Girl from Everywhere. There’s some serious wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey (Hello Whovians!) stuff going on here and if you stop to try to figure it all out, your experience of this book will most likely be spoiled. Best to just let it wash over you and concentrate on:

  • the characters. A well-drawn, likeable and laudably diverse lot, especially Nix and Kashmir, although I started to develop a soft spot for Slade too.
  • the settings. It’s not surprising the author is originally from Hawaii because the descriptions of the island of Oahu are wonderful.
  • the research that went into this, particularly into the history and mythology of Hawaii and ancient China.
  • the plot. Sufficiently complex, plenty going on and character-driven.

I took off a star because I felt there were moments in the narrative when we lingered and I would rather have skipped ahead; and moments when I would have liked to know more and hang around, but events were skipped over. For example (and being as vague as possible to avoid spoilers) there’s a moment quite near the end of the book where two characters go off to engage in some exciting and risky business, and leave Nix on the ship. Now, as Nix is the first person narrator this means we miss a bit of risky excitement which I would have liked to see!

Overall: fans of adventure sci-fi who won’t get upset/distracted by some not entirely watertight or explained time-travelling shenanigans should definitely check this out.

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

23 thoughts on “Review | The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

  1. Just laughing to myself here, am going to bring down the tone of both the blog and review and simply say ‘Best review ever!’ Loved it, so enjoyable! From the blurb anyway, this is one I’d definitely think of (if I hadn’t put myself on a bit of a ban from adding to my Kindle), but your review just does the job so well! Cannot wait for your book if your blog posts are anything to go by!:):):)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad at least half my readers have got the Dr Who reference! I love that episode… the weeping angels are some of the creepiest things the show’s produced during it’s “new” run.
      I completely agree about the details when it comes to sci-fi. If you start picking wholes, things tend to fall apart quite quickly. If I like the characters I’m usually quite happy to suspend my disbelief and just go with the story!

      Liked by 1 person

      • haha oh gosh that was definitely, undoubtedly, hands down my favourite episode of all time! Yeah- and if I focus on it too much I get bored. (Honestly, my favourite kind of explanations tend to be the short, lousy ones that are pretty much “it works cos ***magic***”- which is probably why I prefer fantasy :p )Oh yes- definitely!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree about Slade. He’s an addict and has those problems to wrestle with but, it was clear to me that he’d chose Nix if he was forced to chose between her and her mother (which is what he does at the end. At least for now). I really warmed to him by the end!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you enjoyed this one! 😀 I totally agree about having to just go along for the ride, though I think I did maybe skip/miss some details with how the map to China got into various people’s hands, which made it a little more wibbly-wobbly than I would have liked.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: WWW Wednesday 9th March 2016 | Art and Soul

  4. Pingback: Review | Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford | Art and Soul

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s