Book Review: The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl from Everywhere #2) by Heidi Heilig (2017)

August 1st, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Adventure, Romance, and Plenty of Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

“Our lives are before us, not behind.”
“That depends on where you’re standing on the timeline.”
“What of free will?”
“Some people don’t believe free will exists.”
“Some people don’t believe in demon octopus, either.”

“You might wish many things, but that doesn’t mean they’ll come true. This doesn’t seem like that sort of fairy tale.”

Fresh off their escape from 1884 Hawaii, Nix, Kashmir, and the crew of the Temptation arrive in Slate’s timeline – present-day New York City. Here they hope to catch their collective breaths, but it’s not long before Nix is pulled into yet another mystery/adventure.

After discovering that her grandmother Joss left a prophecy about Nix on Slate’s back (“She said you’ll end up just like me … You’ll lose the one you love! … To the sea.”), Nix is approached by a mysterious stranger. Dahut promises Nix that her father, the sailor Donald Crowhurst, will show Nix that it’s possible to change the past – and future – but only if she meets him in the mythical city of Ker-Ys. Desperate to save Kashmir – for surely Kashmir is the loved one referenced in the prophecy, yes? – Nix reluctantly agrees. But in rescuing Kash from his destiny, will Nix erase her own past?

But what good was a warning if she had already seen it happen? Did she expect me to simply brace myself for the inevitable? Or did she want me to try to change it? The thought surfaced like a bloated body; bile burned on the back of my tongue. For years, I had watched my father try to do that very thing, dragging me in his wake, unsure whether each journey would be my last.

The Ship Beyond Time has so many of the elements that made me fall in love with The Girl from Everywhere: a cast that’s as diverse as it is interesting; a harmonious blend of fantasy and reality, mythology and history; and a really great romance. It was lovely watching the relationship between Nix and Kash develop, especially considering the many wrenches thrown at them via the inevitable wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. For example: if mythic worlds are willed into being by their Navigators, what does that make Kashmir? Nix’s literal dream guy? That’s got to muck with a guy’s sense of self, I tell you what.

Chock full of adventure, The Ship Beyond Time is a fast and satisfying read. “Swashbuckling” comes to mind, even though The Ship Beyond Time lacks the pirate vibe of the original (aside from Kash’s pockets full of gold – more evocative of The Goonies than Pirates of the Caribbean – the story is sadly absent any epic heists). The ending sets the stage for what promises to be a pretty amazing sequel. Here I am picturing a long-haired Christopher Lloyd doing one of those flash card, “Where is Ofelia?”-type messages for Slate.

That said, the story line involving James Cook made me vaguely uneasy. Though my knowledge in this area is lacking, you don’t need to be Cook’s biographer to know that the mapping of Hawaii was detrimental to the Indigenous people who already lived there. Nix’s hand is forced; she has to rescue Cook because without him, she and her mother Lin might not exist. Yet as, reviewer Native25 on Goodreads points out, very little consideration is afforded to those whose Cook’s voyages do/did hurt. It felt like this element deserved more of a pointed analysis than it received.

Also, though perhaps less importantly, I would’ve loved to have seen more of Bee and Ayen; their romance seems at least as epic as Nix and Kash’s, or Slate and Lin’s. Ditto Rotgut and the menagerie of mythic animals that have joined The Temptation over the years. Part of what made The Girl from Everywhere so great was the eclectic supporting cast, but here it rather feels like they’re eclipsed by the budding-yet-maybe-doomed relationship between Nix and Kash.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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