She was born in Honolulu’s Chinatown late in the Hawaiian monarchy, but the only home Nix has known is the Temptation, the ship her father, Slate, and his crew sail through time to destinations real and imaginary, seeking a way into the past—before her mother died giving birth to Nix.
Nix is unsure what will happen if they succeed. Will she cease to exist? Other concerns include her emotionally volatile father’s opium addiction and her own growing attachment to her friend and crewmate Kashmir. Nix longs to learn Navigation—the secret craft her father’s mastered that allows him to follow maps anywhere, even through time. Though he refuses to teach her, Slate can’t Navigate without Nix’s help. He’s devastated when a map long sought leads them to 1884 Honolulu, years too late. To Nix, Oahu’s almost home (and it contains Blake, the young white American who shares his love for Hawaii with her). She’s fascinated by elderly Auntie Joss, who cared for her as an infant and knows more about Nix’s past, present, and future than she lets on. Meanwhile, her father demands her help when he’s drawn into a plot to rob the royal treasury (an event drawn from an unconfirmed, contemporary account). As narrated by Nix, it’s a skillful mashup of science fiction and eclectic mythology, enlivened by vivid sensory detail and moments of emotional and philosophical depth that briefly resonate before dissolving into the next swashbuckling adventure.
A nonstop time-travel romp. (author’s note; maps, not seen) (Fantasy. 14-18)