Typically when I review a book, I don’t explicitly mention if it was an audiobook or a physical copy of a book that I read. Normally, I don’t think it makes much of a difference. Today I’m reviewing The Girl from Everywhere and making it clear that this was an audiobook I listened to, because I think the narrator made me like this book significantly less.
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl from Everywhere #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on February 16th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Narrator: Kim Mai Guest
Length: 10 hours, 9 minutes
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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.
What I loved:
- This story has a really cool plot: a motley crew of people aboard a ship that can travel to real and fictional worlds and can travel to any time, so long as they have an authentic map that has the appropriate details of the place they’re going. WHAT!!!! This is seriously just so cool to me. And so many stories can be created from this simple plot alone! Just imagine all of the cool fictional worlds these characters could discover…
- Set in Hawaii in the late 1800’s, you get to visit a world you’ve unlikely ever thought about let alone read about it. It’s an interesting time for Hawaii as there are a number of Americans that are living on the island amongst the native islanders slowly changing the cultural, social, and political dynamics.
- The ending made me so happy! I wanted to stop reading this book a million times while trudging through it. I am so glad I didn’t stop, though, because the ending was perfect for me. If you’ve read the book: View Spoiler »I was going to be SO PISSED OFF if Slate ended up going to 1868 Hawaii to be with Nix’s mother. When he chose to stay with his daughter my heart did all sorts of fatherly-love flips. « Hide Spoiler
What just didn’t do it for me:
- The narrator, obviously. a) Her voice is not my favorite. She’s little too young-sounding for my taste (but maybe it’s just how she’s reading the book? See point b). b) She read the entire book all breathy and sad, like it was the most depressing thing she’d ever experienced. This. book. is. not. depressing. Why make it so?
- The pacing was yawnable, but this could have been a result of the slow and sad narrator. Maybe if I’d read the physical book it would have moved faster. Either way, I wanted to stop reading this book a million times. It just didn’t keep my interest.
- The main character’s father is a humongous d-bag, and I hated him. He plays a big role in the story, because he’s the captain of the ship and is the reason the entire plot of the story is what it is. It’s all about how he wants to go back to 1868 Hawaii so that he can save his lost love (the mother of the main character, Nix) who died while giving birth to Nix. The risk of saving this woman is that he may lose his daughter. SO HE’S BASICALLY CHOOSING HIS DEAD LOVER OVER HIS 16-YEAR-OLD LIVING DAUGHTER. Father of the year award coming right up. It annoyed the heck out of me.
The bottom line? Read the synopsis above. If this sounds interesting to you, I wouldn’t dissuade you from reading it. I would DEFINITELY dissuade you from listening to the audiobook, though, because no.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts about it? There is a sequel slated to come out early next year. Not sure if I’m going to be reading it. Will you?
What’s your favorite time travel book?