Book review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

A feisty and adventurous young heroine’s very existence is threatened by her father’s growing obsession with the past.

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The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (published in 2016 by Hot Key Books, an imprint of Bonnier Publishers)

Nix Song is a member aboard The Temptation – a time travelling ship that is capable of travelling to various places in the world at any given time, provided that there is a map of their intended destination and a specific date attached to the aforementioned map.

Using magical means of navigating, Nix and the odd rag-tag crew (of which her father is captain) she’s part of, travel from continent to continent, gathering maps, information and mythological artefacts containing magical properties.

For Nix, time travelling is a way of life; it runs in her blood and flows through her veins.  The only thing that’s getting in her way of really embracing everything she loves about time travelling, is her father’s obsession with a specific date and place – those being 1868 and Honolulu, Hawaii respectively.

The reason for this?  It was the date and place where Nix’s mother died. When they get their hands on a map that might change everything, Nix’s entire existence hangs in the balance. And with no choice but to help, Nix not only risks disappearing entirely, but may just lose everyone – particularly everyone she’s come to love.

Blending a combination of fantasy, history, cartography and mythology, The Girl from Everywhere is a novel that brims with adventure, features a wonderfully diverse cast of characters and even includes a hint of romance.

Think piracy, epic heists and bouts of adventurous shenanigans that border on the south side of sanity, and you’ll pretty much have this book covered.

Frankly, I was utterly spellbound and enchanted by this book.

Heidi Heilig has not only created a cast of characters that will appeal to travel-mad souls, but she’s effortlessly woven meticulously researched detail into her writing, giving this novel an added dimension that will appeal to both fans of historical and fantasy fiction alike.

From the writing, to the characters and world building, this book is a novel that will captivate you right from the start. In fact, we’re barely halfway into the year and I’m already considering this one of my top favourites for 2016.

Full marks to Heilig for creating a cast of characters that are diversity-inclusive, compelling and above all, fiercely spirited.

Nix is the kind of protagonist I long to see in most novels – she’s a gutsy and adaptable risk-taker that takes charge in situations that most people would balk at. She’s the perfect combination of uncertain vulnerability (because of her fate) and voracious outspokenness – attributes that’s just so marvellous to see being so celebrated.

The lushly detailed mythological and historical aspects of this book are exquisite and meticulously crafted throughout the novel and will even enchant readers who aren’t normally fans of books with this kind of detail.

All in all, The Girl from Everywhere is the perfect armchair read for when you can’t afford to travel anywhere. Believe me, after this, you’ll feel as if you’ve been to a thousand places – and all in the space and time of reading one book.


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