I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
Published by Greenwillow Books on February 28th 2017
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.
Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?
Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. Includes black-and-white maps.
Well, The Ship Beyond Time was just as good, if not better than its predecessor The Girl From Everywhere. The Girl From Everywhere sometimes dragged with intense descriptions of Hawaii’s cultural and historical background and many readers found this detracted from the enjoyability of The Girl From Everywhere. In The Ship Beyond Time, Heilig seems to improved her writing to make it more entertaining for the masses while continuing to educate readers on mythological locations of cultural significance. Although this shift from heavily educating narrative to a more character driven plot could have made the sequel to The Ship Beyond Time a flop, Heilig seems to have taken reader criticism and further developed her writing skills – which were frankly highly developed to begin with – while continuing to be rich in cultural context and detail. The Ship Beyond Time continues to develop the crew of the Temptation into living entities to which every reader can relate.
Regardless of the reduction in instructive detail behind the cultural significance of her scenes, Heilig’s newest novel is no less poignant and culturally sensitive than book one of her time traveler series.
The Ship Beyond Time returns to the time-traveling ship Temptation where The Ship from Everywhere left off. Nix has begun to accept the events that unfolded during her last adventure and is actively looking to Navigate her first voyage without the aid of her father. The delivery of a message by a mythological princess fated to die thrusts the crew of the Temptation into another high stakes adventure through time and space. In a beautiful mythological utopia the crew discover revelations about the true nature of Navigation that affects the entire crew.
In The Ship Beyond Time my struggle with our romantic hero Kashmir was rectified. I was incredibly distrustful of his motives with Nix in The Girl From Everywhere and struggled to get a full picture on what sort of person Kashmir was beyond the Nix’s rose haze of luurve. Don’t get me wrong, I could see why Nix was so intensely connected to Kash: drug addicted father obsessed with resurrecting her dead mother and the lack of permanence of a life at sea and throughout time. Yet, when it came time to trust Kashmir’s intentions and motivations, I found myself holding back and waiting for some sort of betrayal. In The Ship Beyond Time, we get to delve into the history and psyche of Kashmir who is not all swagger as we are brought to believe in The Girl From Everywhere. In fact, by the end of The Ship Beyond Time I trusted and empathized with Kashmir who truly cares for Nix and is more “human” than his secretive and robotic self in The Girl From Everywhere. Go team Kash!
Keeping in line with character development: the Captain! Upon his drastic decision regarding his drug addiction, we see a different side of Slate. He is weak, emotional and he shows true affection for Nix. The complex relationship between Nix and Slate begins to settle which is a beautiful and welcome addition to The Ship Beyond Time. Unfortunately, without giving much away, we see some major breakthroughs towards healing between Nix and Slate before a major plot twist that changes everything. Dun, dun. Undoubtedly, book three will be all about the strengthened bond between Slate and Nix as well as her stronger bonds with the crew as a whole – if there is a book three, the synopsis claims this is the final book of the series.
Heiliig has a unique skill in making a diverse cast of characters without making it a political statement. I loved how each character was a different cultural background (even mythological in origin in one case), struggled with serious social issues and were of various sexual orientations. I loved even more that the casts’ diversity was not the main focus of The Ship Beyond Time, but a supportive aspect of the novel. With poise and grace, Heilig diversifies Nix’s rag tag crew aboard the Temptation while weaving together a coherent and enjoyable plot completely unrelated to the character’s diverse and sometimes difficult personal histories. In the realm of diverse literature, Heilig is ahead of the curve in creating sensitive and relatable literature for all ethnic groups. I am in hope that in the future, diverse literature can be more like Heilig’s writing: not focused on the differences between characters, but inclusive and supportive of all cultural backgrounds.
As with the first book, gorgeous nautical imagery throughout is an inspiring addition, reminding this reader why they started reading in the first place: a love of language and how carefully constructed sentences and create a beautiful message.
In the end, The Ship Beyond Time was an epic and beautiful novel of acceptance, empathy and forgiveness. Heilig successfully integrates more character development into an action packed plot steeped in mythology and fantasy to create a unique and picturesque novel. A breathtaking tale of survival, self-realization and acceptance, The Ship Beyond Time is a strong follow up to The Girl From Everywhere, with improved character development and more character driven action.
This novel will appeal to readers who enjoy nautical fiction, young adult fiction, novels featuring strong female leads with healthy romantic aspirations, complicated parental relationships, lovers of the mythological and/or time travel and those who enjoy novels with a diverse cast of characters. I would most definitely recommend reading the entire The Girl From Everywhere series – its not to be missed!