Author: Heidi Heillig
Info: Greenwillow Books, copyright 2016, 443 pages
Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father's ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.
As long her 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 cremates 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 through getting it - and going there - could erase Nix's very existence.
For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.
She could find herself, and her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.
Or she could disappear.
The first line of the description really grabbed me, "sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination." Disappointingly, in this series starter, you get to experience very, very little of that journey.
Basic summary - Nix's father's, Captain Slate, has the ability to navigate to any time and place if he has access to a legitimate map. What he wants most in the world is to return to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to a time when his wife is still alive. Nix wants to escape the tense relationship she shares with her father and a life subject to his whims and obsession. When the Captain is approached with a map, he must decide if the price he is being asked to pay is worth the chance to see his wife again.
Seriously. I wanted to LOVE this book. Time travel + pirates should have equaled a book that would end up on my own personal shelf. I wanted more and didn't get it. The characters were flat and boring which didn't help the slow plot. It's not that I disliked Nix, but there's was nothing really to like about her. She lacked personality, or at least the type of personality the main character needs to draw you in. I felt the same way about the Captain. The ending left you unsatisfied compared to what little you were told about him throughout the book. I found myself wishing the story was really about Kashmir, the charismatic thief who had the potential to be interesting.
They took too few trips on their magical boat with their magical maps, and we were given too few glimpses of the adventures they had gone on before.
Hawaii was cool though. I wouldn't have minded a little more traditional folklore and historical background. And the cover is beautiful. Took me far too long to see the face in the water, but the blue wave and red ship against the black background is gorgeous.
Not sure I'll take the time to see what happens in additional installments.