Hello everyone, it’s review time! ♥
As you probably remember, I won a giveaway hosted by Heidi Helig in December. The prize is seven diverse books that arrived last month and two of them are Heidi’s own books : the UK edition of The Girl from Everywhere and the ARC of The Ship Beyond Time. Thank you Heidi! 😀 Since it was Heidi who gave me the books, of course I read her books first. Not to mention that I’ve been wanting to read them for a while now.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the review!
The Girl from Everywhere
I had so much expectation going into this book, mostly because I got to know Heidi first and I wanted so bad to love the book. But I… couldn’t. Believe me, no one feels more sad about this than I do 😦
According to the summary, The Girl From Everywhere sounds very promising. Time travel, life in a sea, maps that could take you wherever you want to go, what’s not to love? I really loved this unique premise, but sadly the execution fell flat to me.
It started off great, intriguing, and full of action. I thought I was gonna love it, but soon the pace slowed and it became boring. The world building was sketchy at first, I had to stop reading and think in order to imagine what the world look like. Then we got more information, but it was confusing. The book started dropping random historical facts about Hawaii and China that didn’t really affect the story. Maybe they did, but the way it was done was sort of an info dump. I felt like I was reading those facts straight from a history book and I didn’t even remember half of them.
After we got passed the first half, the book started to pick up pace and things started to get interesting. We got more insights about everything, but just when I started to enjoy it, the pace slowed again and things became confusing. It was like… I don’t know, maybe the writing was dense, maybe there was too much information, or maybe it simply dragged for too long, but I suddenly lost my ability to imagine the story. I asked myself “what is happening” repeatedly because I literally had no idea.
Toward the end of the book, things started to make more sense and by the time I reached the end, I had a pretty clear idea of what was actually happening. It was an epic story, but it takes a while for me to understand. That being said, I feel like the plot was a bit all over the place and the pacing was uneven.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t in love with the characters either. Nix’s personality lacks depth and was frankly, bland. All I knew was that she was smart, good with facts and strategy, had a complicated relationship with her father, and wanted to escape on her own. But those facts don’t equal personality and it was such a bummer for a main character. Even more of a bummer was the fact that the people around her seemed to be more interesting, especially Kashmir and Bee. I just want more scenes with Kash in it.
I 100% did not appreciate the love triangle because 1) it was unnecessary, 2) the second love interest, Blake, was so boring and uninteresting, and 3) Nix should just be with Kashmir. Trust me, it’s not me taking side and being #TeamKashmir, but it just wasn’t a competition. Nix and Kash had been best friend and flirted all the time and suddenly a strange guy showed up just because. Blake might be an important part to the plot but he doesn’t have to be a love interest.
On the brighter side, I love how diverse the characters in this book are! Nix is a biracial Chinese-American and Kash is Persian (and most likely Muslim because he said Insya Allah). One of the crew, Bee, is lesbian and talks to her dead wife all the time. There’s also a lot of reference to Hawaiian history and Chinese mythology.
ALL IN ALL, The Girl from Everywhere has a unique and intriguing premise, but the execution fell short for me. The plot was interesting but the pacing was very uneven and there’s so much info dump it confused me instead. However, I’m still deeply curious and will definitely read The Ship Beyond Time to find out what will happen with everyone, which brings us to the next review!
The Ship Beyond Time
Like I said a few moments ago, I had a high expectation for The Girl from Everywhere and was disappointed. That’s why I lowered my expectation going into this book and it was a good thing because I ended up enjoying it more. Dare I say, The Ship Beyond Time was a lot better than its prequel but still not as good as I’d love it to be.
The book picked up not long after the first book ended. The crew was back in The Temptation and was about to leave Hawaii after the mess they’ve caused. There was a quick recap, enough to refresh the memories of those who read the first book long ago, but not too boring for those who binge read both books like I did. For me, it was off to a great start. Then the plot takes turn and turned out this was more complicated than the first book.
It’s a good thing that we already had the rules of navigation covered in the first book because in this book, we’re exposed to yet another rule : changing the past. In fact, the whole plot is revolved around these questions : could we change things? And if we could, then should we? We were also introduced to some new vital characters and at first it was confusing! Characters come and go and for a while I really was questioning their purpose. But then everything tied together and made sense.
However, I still feel like the plot was a bit all over the place. Fantasy is my favorite genre but I really had a hard time grasping the plot. I mean, I understood the big picture but the way it was told was… well, all over the place </3 Like there’s this vital character who only appeared near the end of the book. There was a hint of him but there wasn’t enough for me to connect it to the real person. I don’t know if there’s too many information, too little time to process, or the way it was told was simply vague? Or maybe it’s just me.
Another good thing about this book is that it doesn’t feel like a history book anymore. I mean, the first book was pure info dump and this one still has a lot of facts, mythology, and history lessons, but the way they were told was better and more smoothly. Plus this time I didn’t let myself become too preoccupied by those facts, so it was easier to enjoy.
Aside from the new characters, we still have all the old crews. I warmed up toward Nix because in this book, her character became stronger and less boring. However, Blake was still as bland as a white sheet. He’s too naive and boring and…. annoying. I dreaded every conversations that involved him, not to mention the thing he did to Kashmir. Just, NO. Slate became more interesting and complex and due to a certain twist, we got to see the other side of him!
To me, the highlight of this book was definitely Kashmir. I already liked him since the first book but he shone more brightly in this one! Mostly because HE GOT HIS OWN POV! Granted it was only for like 4-5 chapters but those chapters are the ones I enjoyed the most 😛 he’s so charming and complex and I love the fact that he was questioning his own purpose and existence because for some reasons, it added depth to his already incredible personality! I also loved Bee and Rotgut.
ALL IN ALL The Ship Beyond Time was a good conclusion and a better book than the prequel, but it still hadn’t meet my expectation. However, I love its theme, its diverse characters, all the maps inside, and Heidi’s writing so I’m definitely going to give Heidi’s future books another chance 🙂
Have you read The Girl from Everywhere? What do you think about it? The Ship Beyond Time comes out on February 28 so who’s excited to find out more of Nix, Slate, and Kash’s adventure? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥
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