Series: The Girl From Everywhere #2
Published by Greenwillow Books, Allen & Unwin on February 28th 2017
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Own Voices, Diversity, Romance, Historical
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Some things should not be stolen.
After what seems like a lifetime of following her father across the globe and through the centuries, Nix has finally taken the helm of their time-traveling ship. Her future—and the horizon—is bright.
Until she learns she is destined to lose the one she loves. To end up like her father: alone, heartbroken.
Unable to face losing Kashmir—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—Nix sails her crew to a mythical utopia to meet a man who promises he can teach her how to manipulate time, to change history. But no place is perfect, not even paradise. And everything is constantly changing on this utopian island, including reality itself.
If Nix can read the ever-shifting tides, perhaps she will finally harness her abilities. Perhaps she can control her destiny, too.
Or perhaps her time will finally run out.
This sequel was really quick-paced and covered a lot more ground than the first book. I really loved The Girl From Everywhere and this one did not disappoint. We get much more myths and legends, more romantic development, more time/sea-traveling, and more awesome characterization from Nix. I had a couple of minor issues that made it hard to fully give it four stars, but overall The Ship Beyond Time was a swashbuckling adventure that took me to places through time and history.
The majority of the book revolves around the question, “With the skills of a Navigator, can we change the past?” Nix and her father Slate has the power to travel to anywhere in the world, at anytime, as long as there is a map for it and the belief that it exists. But with this kind of power comes the question whether or not the mistakes of the past could be changed. With that, Nix becomes embroiled in a mysterious plot surrounding a king of a mythical land, an Indian princess who forgets her memories, and the arrival of someone very dear to her and Slate that she would not think possible.
Heilig transports readers from twentieth-century New York to the legend of Ker-Ys to the ancient land of Boeotia. The book immediately starts with a bang as the crew of the Temptation find themselves running from the navy chasing them out of 1800’s Hawaii. With them along the ride is Blake, who entered in a love triangle with Nix and Kashmir, a Persian thief who is part of the crew on the Temptation. More on Blake later. The captain, Slate, is trying to get sober after being an alcoholic, and at the same time Nix starts fearing a prophecy that the one she loves would die at the sea… could there be a way to reverse that fate?
There has to be a way for me to take my fate in my own hands.
The book folds out with clues getting handed to Nix and the crew as she struggles to catch up with whatever plan the universe has in store for her. Much of it is a mystery that eventually unfolds as plots and events take place. This made it very easy to read, and quick-paced, as readers hurry along with Nix to get to the bottom of things. When she finds another Navigator, she doesn’t know exactly what to think. Reading from Nix’s first person POV was really enjoyable as she navigates both her Navigation skills and her love life. I thought the dialogue was really well-done as she and characters contemplate their fate and what exactly creates this fate. It takes a nuanced discussion to fully explain a plot such as time-travel, and I think Heilig did a fabulous job with this aspect of the story.
‘What is history but a fable agreed upon?’
As much as I enjoyed the adventure in the book, there were some characterization issues that detracted from my enjoyment. First of all, Blake is an utter leech whose character I wanted throw offboard the ship. I admit, there were some good dialogue that took place with him but he was kind of useless overall. He wasn’t even a part of the romance anymore because it’s obvious who the endship is. And – ergh, his character just really annoyed me. Also, I wish that we saw a bit more interactions with important side characters like Dahut, the Indian princess, whose resolution was a little careless in my opinion. It’s not necessarily like the plot doesn’t have a conclusion – because there is and it’s pretty good – but I wanted to see more of a conclusion of these parts of the story in Nix’s voice and thoughts. As quick as the book starts, it ends just as quick. I guess I just wanted a bit more pages to sort out everything that happened.
A nice addition to the story was romantic development with Kashmir! We get an extra added first person POV from him, and I really enjoyed reading from his thoughts. He’s a bit insecure in this story, as when he came onboard the Temptation his map was from a legend. Does that make him, well, a person? Or only a figment of someone’s imagination? He was so utterly sweet and romantic, his thoughts really honing in on Nix and the understanding and support she would need while trying to save their relationship. It’s definitely a more slow burn romance, but satisfying all the same. And then every time Blake comes on the page, I’m ready to pull him out like a leech.
We floated up the next wave and down its back. We might have drifted forever, storm tossed but safe in each other’s arms.
The Ship Beyond Time is part of a duology with an #ownvoices author, as Heidi Heilig is half-Chinese, half-white like Nix and is bipolar like Slate. She writes a captivating adventure as the characters battle sea monsters from legend, mysterious kings with rambling minds, and discover themselves onboard the Temptation. I really enjoyed this fast-paced adventure, although some of the minor characters’ arcs and the ending dimmed that enjoyment a bit. Overall, it would be fun to see more stories from these characters, but their closing stories were enough to complete this excellent duology.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Thank you Harper Teen and Allen & Unwin for the review copy!
The Ship Beyond Time is available at Australian bookstores for $19.99 AUD and American bookstores for $17.99 USD.