The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've seen a lot of comparisons between this book and Alexandra Bracken's Passenger. Heidi Heilig, however, offers a superior alternative in The Girl from Everywhere, which takes readers on a more entertaining, more intense adventure across the world and across time.
Particularly important in this book is its focus on 19th-century Hawaii, in a time when the islands were an independent kingdom. Unfortunately, this isn't something that gets covered very much in US history classes, probably because it makes the US look really bad, deposing the monarchy to annex Hawaii. There are more than a few questions raised about whether or not, given the ability to travel through time, should one attempt to change history, whether it's a small, personal event or a major one? Normally, for the major ones, you probably get asked some hackneyed question about killing a major historical villain (which itself gives rise to a tweet I recently saw about Frau Hitler complaining about all the time travelers trying to kill her son.) It seems like nobody poses the question of stopping some unwanted imperalist power muscling its way into a perfectly good faraway place and colonizing it.
In addition to all the historical and social commentary, The Girl from Everywhere boasts a unique magic system (vintage maps are involved), engaging characters in Nix and, of course, that charming rogue Kashmir, and an aggressively page-turning story that begs to be continued in next year's The Ship Beyond Time.
I'm a little late to the party, but I'm officially adding Heidi Heilig to my "Always Looking Out For These Authors' Next Book" list.
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