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The Girl from Everywhere: 02/20/17

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig is the start of a YA time travel series. Nix has been traveling with her father and their crew for her entire life. Now after years of adventures, she has a chance to learn the truth behind her birth as they travel back to Hawaii.

In adventure stories and road trip movies have a travel by map montage trick to compress the story into something reasonable. In Nix's case, time travel literally works as travel by map.

While local, human knowledge of a place is the still the most efficient way to discover information about a place (even when using computers to then analyze and model data), relying on human drawn maps for time travel can open up cans of worms(or wormholes). A map is as good and as powerful as the artist's connection to the location or their personal conviction in its veracity. A cartographer with sufficient imagination could make a map good enough to take time travelers to an alternate or completely map up reality.

After revealing that time travel by map is a potential crap shoot, the book settles down in Hawaii in 1868. Nix and the crew end up in a heist that's straight out of a Hawaii Five-O (original more than the remake) but with some paranormal twists.

I'm rather conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I love the idea of traveling by map and time traveling pirate ships (I imagine that Captain Hook was such a traveler but couldn't get a good map to get out of Neverland). I like a good caper. I like Hawaii Five-O (both versions). But the pacing in this book is off. It's too long in parts and too short in others.

The second in the series, The Ship from Beyond Time is out this month.

Three stars

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