Everwild by Neal Shusterman - WARNING! I cannot review Everwild without spoiling the first book in the series. If you plan on reading Everlost, don’t read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled.
There was the rumor of a beautiful sky witch, who soared across the heavens in a great silver balloon. And there were whispers of a terrible ogre made entirely of chocolate, who lured unsuspecting souls with that rich promising smell, only to cast them down a bottomless pit from which there was no return. Everlost, the limbo land of dead children, is at war. Nick the "Chocolate Ogre" wants to help the children of Everlost reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Mary Hightower, self-proclaimed queen of lost children and dangerous fanatic, is determined to keep Everlost's children trapped within its limbo for all eternity. Traveling in the memory of the Hindenburg, Mary is spreading her propaganda and attracting Afterlights to her cause at a frightening speed. Meanwhile, Allie the Outcast travels home to seek out her parents, along with Mikey, who was once the terrifying monster the McGill. Allie is tempted by the seductive thrill of skinjacking the living, until she learns a shocking secret. From Borders US.
Before I get into this review, I need to talk about the summary. The one above from Borders is the best in giving the most summarising info, but every summary I found included one line that is also on the back of the book; one line that made it so obvious what was going to happen for one of the characters, that I worked it out before I even opened the book. Does it not annoy you when summaries/blurbs give away too much information? It drives me mad! So for the sake of those who haven’t read the book yet, I removed the line from the summary. I recommend that you try and roughly remember this summary or just that you like the sound it, and don’t read the summaries on online bookstores or on the book when you buy it.
But now to the actual story! I loved it! I cannot tell you just how mind blowing the plot of Everwild is! Despite the obvious detail in the blurb, there were so many things that happened in this book that would literally have me gawping at the book. Everwild is written in the same style as Everlost, which I can only describe as sweet, so there is nothing graphic or too violent that actually happens in the book, which I think just makes these bombshells even more surprising!
There were moments in this book when I was close to tears, there were moments when I was so disturbed and disgusted I didn’t want to read anymore – but couldn’t put the book down at the same time. We find out more about Everlost, about skinjackers and ecto-rippers, and we see the characters we followed in Everlost evolve in surprising ways. I said in my review of Everlost that it was really unique in its world building; the world building didn’t stop with that book, it continues in Everwild, and there’s so much more to discover and be in awe of. It’s just fantastic.
There’s nothing I can really add about the great characters I mentioned in the last review than to say is that they get better in this book. We still have Nick, Allie, and Micky, and they’re great! Mary, however, is a whole different ball game. I said she was quite twisted and disturbing in my review of Everlost, but in Everwild, she goes above and beyond. She is just evil, there is no other word for it. She’s evil, and scary in her disturbing ways – and what’s even worse, she truly thinks she’s doing the right thing, and is as sickly sweet as ever. She’s actually lovely. It’s disgusting!
We meet some new characters along the way, too, and re-meet some older secondary characters who become more important. We re-meet Johnnie-O, Choo-Choo-Charlie, and Speedo, and I absolutely love Johnnie-O! He is just so funny! He’s great! The new characters we meet include a group of skinjackers; Milos, Squirrel and Moose. Milos is almost as disturbing as Mary, and will do anything for what he believes is love, and Squirrel and Moose take his lead. We also meet Zin, a ripper with the coolest way of speaking ever! I love her too, and I so hope we get to see her in the next book! And then there’s Jackin’ Jill, another skinjacker who starts the clogs turning in Mary’s mind for more sinister plots and schemes.
I love this series, and I was so completely wowed by the ending, that I don’t know how I’m going to wait until next year to read the next in the series, whenever it comes out. If you haven’t read this series, you really need to start!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a review copy.
Published: 4th February 2010 in the UK (though can be bought on Amazon now)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
Neal Shusterman’s Website
My review of Everlost