Do you know what books need more of? PIRATES.
And so basically Heidi Heilig’s books are a gift to this universe. I truly love her duology of The Girl From Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time! They have a conglomeration of Things Cait Loves (which is like, super nice of them to cater to my needs like this) including: pirates, maps, tiny pocket-sized dragons, sassy thieves, islands, wild gunshots, complex plots, and several delicious pastries.
I’m going to double-review both books in the duology today! And there will be no spoilers because I’m not a monster.
However there will be pictures of books + strawberry chocolate tarts that I ate and you didn’t. So maybe I am a monster.
Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copies!
This book reminds me of all the things that are GLORIOUS with literature. It just smooshes so many amazing things into a bucket of awesome and sails it away on the seas so blue. There’s treasure and dashing thieves and epic navigating women and maps and SASS. And did I mention the maps? I really really love maps.
- It’s about time travel onboard an ex-pirate ship!
- It’s mostly set in the 1800s in Hawaii which is super freaking cool.
- So you have characters in New York one chapter with their mobile phones and pizza and then — BOOM — they’re cutting purses and talking like gentleman in 19th century Hawaii.
- It’s about Captain Slate and his daughter Nix and they’re time travelling around to find a way to bring back their dead wife/mother.
- SO MANY MAPS ARE INCLUDED.
- Although I won’t lie some of the plot kind of confused me.
- There is diversity! Nix is half-Chinese and her best friend, Kashmir, is Persian. The secondary characters are ethnicities, sexualities, and religions too! Except for Blake. He is as white and straight as as a plastic fork.
- There’s a tiny pocket-sized dragon.
- There is sassy banter that I’m completely onboard with. (HAR HAR…”on board”…get it!???)
I also really adored Kash and Nix! They are my ULTIMATE SHIP HERE, even though it dabbles in “love triangle” territory, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Nix meets the charming Blake on Hawaii and they gallop through some meadows, but it’s pretty obvious Kash is amazing and Blake is not. I mean. Kash sassy and he steals things. mY HEART’S WON ANYWAY.
The only thing I struggled with was the plot being a smidge confusing. And the book was SUPER enthusiastic about history and details of Hawaii. Which was (A) cool, but (B) what the heck man, too much info.
But overall? Super good! I really get excited about any books that whisper of the sea because the sea caaaalls to me. And the stakes were high! Bullets were shot! Angst was had! Bring me the sequel, sir.
published June 2017
While I really really really like this duolgoy and the premise — I was super confused in the sequel. I think it was just the messing about with history and alternate realities that did my head in. The plot was the focus over the characters and I waaaay prefer character-centric books. BUT IT’S SET ON A PIRATE SHIP AND THERE ARE MAPS. SO YOU KNOW. I’m always going to recommend it still!
- How beautiful the entire tome is — CAN WE JUST TAKE A MINUTE TO ADMIRE IT.
- There are plenty of maps in this one too, including mythological maps so I’m a fan.
- I would marry an atlas if I could, let’s be real here.
- There is SO much ship appreciation and while no one is technically a “pirate” it’s still a pIRATE SHIP and I love it and would live there immediately.
- Kash is my sassy-thief-master cinnamon child.
- AND GUESS WHAT?!? HE NARRATES TOO!
- Also just Kash the sass.
- I also liked how Nix took control of her fate more in this book and was a force to be reckoned with.
- There are lots of myths here and I hadn’t heard of them before so it was an exciting adventure.
- Let’s manipulate history and reality because WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO ON THE WEEKEND.
- The plot twists were super intense.
- I love a good morally-grey-villain who’s not black and white with bad intentions.
- Lots of doomed predictions from really pessimistic tea-leaf-readers. Sheesh.
- MOSTLY, ME. PANICKING.
I loved how it was set mostly in this ancient utopia mythological place called Ker-Ys. We meet more Navigators, and also throw in some kings and myths and tunnels and doom. I also liked how this book showed a parallel to the first: this time it’s Nix making bad decisions to save someone she loves. Kash is fated to die in the sea and Nix is like “heck to the no”…which is super sweet.
I have to admit the romance was pretty underwhelming. I shipped Kash x Nix a lot, and a lot of the plot hinges on them figuring out what they’d do to stay together…yet they actually spend so little time together?? I get it! TENSION. But it was hard to stay invested when they just seemed to snipe at each other the whole time. #Unsatisfied. Also Blake x Nix got a LOT more page-time and that’s unsatisfying because Blake is still a plastic fork. A boring one.
Plus I was very very very confused with the plot. It could be just me? Sometimes my comprehension levels suck. But the time-travel complexities lost me. MAN OVERBOARD. AND BY “MAN OVERBOARD” I MEAN ME. I just wish the plot had been clearer, and people’s motivations more ON PAGE.
Still a series I love but I wish it’d focused on the characters instead of the confusing twisty plot. However…if you love plots that keep your brain working = THIS IS FOR YOU.