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.
At the end of The Girl from Everywhere, Nyx’s father Slate had given up his quest to rescue her mother, and chooses his daughter’s continued existence instead. The world of this series is dependent on time travel paradoxes, with changes in future reflecting changes in past and vice versa. If an event has occurred, it was destined to occur and somehow events fold themselves to happen. So, there are some things that are rigid and some that are not – which is why, when Nyx learns of a prophecy that could mean she will lose Kashmir, she looks for a way to escape that fate. This desire brings her into the orbit of another time traveler like her and her dad, through whom she learns new secrets about this power that they hold over time and reality.
A major concept of The Girl from Everywhere was about the Navigator (the time traveler) and the cartographer’s intention and belief shaping the way the dimension or time they enter while traveling to, adheres to the recorded history or not. Heilig builds on that concept in this novel, with a myth about a lost city that was sunken (no, it is not Atlantis), while also bringing back Hawaii’s theft into the story back again, with the dynamic between seafaring and colonization. There are events in the book at which Nyx finds herself at a crossroads, finding a way to answering the eternal ethical question – ‘If you could change history, would you do?’. Even on a theoretical level, this question is difficult to answer simply – there are parts of history that were ugly, but if you had a stake in the matter, would you let it happen? That is the crux of Nyx’s emotional arc during this book – accepting what can and cannot, or should not, be changed.
Along with Nyx, there is another POV in this book – Kashmir, whose role gets more prominent as Nyx’s love interest. Granted he is more than that, but his arc in the first book was mostly about it, so let’s start with that. His part in this book is to be the grounding counterpoint to the Navigators and their godlike powers – he is part-myth, part-reality, and he is insecure about his place in life if he is more of the former than the latter. BUT, he does not let his insecurity come between his relationship to Nyx; instead, he tries to reason with her, how chasing the probably impossible might be too much for a person to bear. Even his friendship with Blake – he is quite kind to someone who would be considered a romantic rival in other novels. Of course, Blake and Nyx don’t have a thing going – they both are still wary from how their budding relationship imploded at the end of the last book, but a slow friendship starts to form again, with them being on opposite sides of history.
Overall, this book was a breathtakingly fast-paced second journey into the world Heilig has created. I kid you not, this book is difficult to put down, as there are developments upon developments. It delivered on its promise of being a sequel to The Girl from Everywhere, and more. The characters, fleshed out so well, their internal conflicts, their motives, their desires – it all makes for such rich story-telling on the part of the author, even during a fast-paced adventure novel like this. Amazing book and a sequel you should definitely have in your hands right away!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Greenwillow Books, via Edelweiss.
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