- Page Count: 443
- Release Date: February 16, 2016
- My Rating: 4 stars
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.
Time traveling pirate ships + a historical Hawaii setting are pretty much always going to be awesome. The plot had a few holes but I still ended up really enjoying the story!!! And I really like Heidi Heilig’s writing.
Nix and her fellow pirate-ish folks can travel anywhere in history (but also to fantasy worlds too??) if they have a map. But once they use a map, they can never use that same map to return to the same place again. They were initially after a map so Nix’s dad could go save her mom from dying and the story seemed to be about Nix’s own existence possibly being negated since that was in the book description… but then that all kind of got put to the side for now as they jumped through a bunch of random hoops to get to the map.
Most of the story was like “whaaaat are you doing now and why.” Basically, they get wrapped up in the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy, some powerful sketchy guys start plotting with them and a gold heist became the main focus. There were several small mysterious storylines or characters and interesting side plots, but it took a bit for it to all feel like it was part of the SAME story.
I absolutely loved the Hawaiian setting and history, though!! There was a sort of relaxed feeling to the whole book that was nice. The writing was well done, too — there were SO many good lines! And there’s a bit of romance, but it was never the focus (which I liked).
BUT OK WHY DO THEY NOT HAVE MORE MONEY. One of the characters really needs to get on this in the sequel. If they’re able to plan ahead, choose where to go next, and can bring objects throughout all of time (and apparently space/reality)… why are they not grabbing something to sell?! Use the TARDIS ship to make some money first.
Plus, the time travel stuff isn’t really fully explained (like they technically don’t need the ship?) and the added element of being able to go fictional worlds added too many questions for me. And I’m still a bit confused about how the details of crossing your own time stream or going between fictional and real worlds works (like when they’re concerned that the map Blake drew might have been his interpretation of Hawaii instead of the real one — would that make the Blake that exists in the version of Hawaii they returned to the REAL one she met or whaaaaat)?? So just roll with it, I guess. None of this gets in the way of enjoying the awesome setting and adventure!
So I did love the overall feeling of the story and was never bored, despite all of my random questions. And at least those questions show I cared enough about the story to be invested? I would recommend this if you can handle fun adventure stories where you just kind of go “ok then” and let characters do their thing!