As someone who wrote an entire series about traveling the wide world in a time-hopping pirate ship, it should come as no surprise that I adore diverse books-- especially those written by #ownvoices. After all, every seasoned traveler knows that locals make the best guides.
My own characters in The Ship Beyond Time are a diverse bunch, and with all the amazing #ownvoices books coming out this year, I have some great recommendations for those long midnight watches when the sea is quiet and the wind is calm.
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana. Nix, the biracial “girl from everywhere,” would adore this #ownvoices fantasy rich with Indian folklore. She would recognize the struggles that Princess Amrita faces-- a seemingly inescapable fate, deep loss, and crushing sacrifice--while finding hope, as Amrita does, in unlikely friendships and ancient mythology.
Wintersong by S. Jae Jones. This book is #ownvoices for bipolar disorder, and since Captain Slate is bipolar (as am I), I know he would recognize our heroine Leisl’s mood swings, as well as the way hedonism draws her in. Leisl’s desperation to save her family is a feeling he would also connect with deeply. And since Slate is a hopeless romantic, the love story would have him completely hooked.
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate for Bee and Ayen. Ayen loves music, and Bee loves Ayen, so they would both love Jordon Sun’s foray into a capella. The exploration of gender (and toxic masculinity) would speak to Bee, and the mischievous pranks the boys play on their rivals are right up Ayen’s alley. This is definitely a book they would discuss late into the wee hours.
These are just three of the fabulous diverse books coming out this year alone. So whether you’re reading in a crow’s nest overlooking the moonlit Pacific, or in a cosy nook at your local library, let these excellent books take you on a fascinating journey to a place you might not otherwise go. Happy reading!
After writing this guest post, Heidi went on to recommend books for other characters on Twitter:
Blake, son of a 19th century sugar-baron, would be fascinated by the sci-fi thriller WANT by @cindypon. Excesses of the rich? So familiar.— heidi heilig 🇺🇸 (@heidiheilig) January 13, 2017
Rotgut, jokey ex-monk w/ a heart of gold & a cast-iron stomach, would adore the raw emotion of HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME. Still waters etc.— heidi heilig 🇺🇸 (@heidiheilig) January 13, 2017
Thank you, Heidi, for the recommendations! I don't know about you, but there are few books here I'm going to be adding to my TBR ASAP!
Do check out Heidi's website, follow her on Twitter, and check out her fantastic second book in The Girl From Everywhere duology, The Ship Beyond Time! You can read my rave review here.
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
(2nd March 2017, Hot Key Books)
Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-travelling 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 centre of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognisable world that has no bounds. From Goodreads.