Everwild (Skinjacker Trilogy Series #2)

( 143 )

Overview

Going against Mary Hightower's wishes, Nick, "the chocolate ogre" is slowly trying to reach every kid in Everlost to hand each and every one a coin, which will release them from Everlost. Mikey McGill and Allie have joined a band of skinjackers who have more of an impact on the living world then any other inhabitant of Everlost. Except Mikey can't skinjack and Allie can - and there is a very good reason.

Allie is not actually dead.

...
See more details below
Paperback
$9.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (37) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $2.06   
  • Used (22) from $1.99   
Everwild

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
Note: Visit our Teens Store.

Overview

Going against Mary Hightower's wishes, Nick, "the chocolate ogre" is slowly trying to reach every kid in Everlost to hand each and every one a coin, which will release them from Everlost. Mikey McGill and Allie have joined a band of skinjackers who have more of an impact on the living world then any other inhabitant of Everlost. Except Mikey can't skinjack and Allie can - and there is a very good reason.

Allie is not actually dead.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Cheryl Clark
In the second novel of the planned Skinjacker trilogy, Allie and Nick are following their separate paths in Everlost, that strange world between the living and the dead into which children sometimes stumble. Nick, now known as the Chocolate Ogre, begins building an army to defeat Mary the Sky Witch, whose fanatic obsession is to trap young souls in an eternal monotony. In the meantime, Allie has teamed up with Mikey, the monster-turned-boy, to find objects that have crossed into Everlost, and when the two come across a trio of skinjackers—those who can possess the bodies of the living—Allie is tempted to indulge in her own skinjacking skills. Unbeknownst to either of them, Nick and Allie are on course to reunite in a showdown that will affect every soul in Everlost—and possibly in the living world as well. Shusterman creates a solid, entertaining sequel to Everlost (Simon & Schuster, 2006/VOYA October 2006). In fact, it might even be better. The characters are drawn with more emotional complexity as Allie feels the pull from the living world and Nick's inner turmoil leave him melting, quite literally, into a pile of fudge. There is plenty of romance to draw in readers. While Nick broods over his love for his sworn enemy, Allie is torn between two possible love interests. The broad scope of this installment creates wonderful tension and excitement as readers flip the pages to find out what will happen next. Secondary readers of fantasy will eat up this sequel. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Some young people, when they die, lose their way on the path toward the light and end up in Everlost, a sort of purgatory between life and final peace that the light brings. Everwild continues the story of Allie the Outcast; Nick the Chocolate Ogre; and Mikey McGill and his sister, Mary Hightower, that began in Everlost (S & S, 2006). Nick continues to oppose Mary, who believes that her destiny is to keep all children in Everlost forever, preferably in her care. One of his new allies is Zin, a girl who can "rip" things from the living world into Everlost. Allie meets other "skinjackers," Afterlights who can possess people in the world of the living, and learns from them matters both exhilarating and horrifying. Mikey gains more control over his power to change himself and even learns to extend his ability to others. Shusterman demonstrates by Mary's choices of allies and goals just how terrifying the righteous can be. As with any good book two of a trilogy, readers are treated to unexpected developments and a blockbuster cliff-hanger to hook them in for the concluding episode. In this moment in popular culture when vampires are everywhere and zombies are shuffling to the fore, Shusterman has created a new way to be undead. A perfect read for the spooky time of the year—and without any loss of vital fluids.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Everlost is where children go when they die, if they miss their chance to go into the light or are just not ready to transition into the hereafter. It's a world between, where lost souls search for safety, for permanence or just a feeling of belonging (not unlike real life). Mary seeks to trap children there forever as her loyal-but unwitting-followers. Nick, the Chocolate Ogre, has already discovered how to send these lost souls into the light and is determined to fight Mary before he turns completely into a chocolate statue. Allie can move back to the real world by hijacking the body of a living being, but she can't move on into the light, even if she wanted to. In this sequel to Everlost (2006), Shusterman has once again created a world that is beautiful and imaginative yet increasingly eerie and grim. Each character grows, developing new aspects of their personality and finding out just how far they'll go to achieve their aims, whether anyone else likes it or not. Everlost is turning into Everwild, right before readers' eyes. A fascinating read penned by an expert hand. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
"Thought-provoking and scary, invoking elements from history and mythology, the novel ends with a shocking event that will leave its fans wanting the next volume immediately."—Horn Book Magazine

"Shusterman creates a solid, entertaining sequel to Everlost. In fact, it might even be better...The broad scope of this installment creates wonderful tension and excitement as readers flip the pages to find out what will happen next. Secondary readers of fantasy will eat up this sequel."—VOYA

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Everlost is the limbo land of dead children, the ghostly land where the souls of dead children linger between life and death. In this second title of Shusterman's extremely popular "Skinjacker Trilogy," Nick the Chocolate Ogre is working to help the children of Everlost escape its confines by slipping them coins that have the power to release them to freedom, while Mary Hightower, the self-righteous, self-styled savior of lost children, is working with even greater relentlessness to keep its children perpetually in her frightening care. Allie the Outcast travels back to the land of the living to reunite with her parents with her traveling companion Mikey (formerly the monster McGill). But Allie will find that her journey has complications and challenges she never could have imagined. As in the first book of the series, Shusterman creates an entire, vividly realized world complex enough to have its own extensive vocabulary—"afterlights," "afterglow," "gravity fatigue," "skinjacking"— and chronicles its adventures with storytelling mastery. Characters are psychologically complex and layered. Gorgeous sentences cascade one after the other: "It was an old steam engine, forged and destroyed in the nineteenth century, but so well-loved by its conductor that it earned a place in Everlost. Of course it could travel only on tracks that no longer existed. Such were the inconveniences of life after life." Wow. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—After losing her children to Nick, the Chocolate Ogre, at the conclusion of Everlost (2006), Mary Hightower takes to the heavens in her silver ship, the Hindenburg. Having momentarily lost her purpose, Mary quickly becomes zealous in her fanatic quest to become "mother" to all Afterlights (those who have died and are living in an alternate afterlife) and, with the help of some newly introduced skinjackers, sets out to conquer the world of Everlost. Meanwhile, Nick, spurred on by his victory over Mary, sets out to find her and keep her from preventing more Afterlights from crossing over. Allie and Mikey are traveling, looking for Nick, but also are slowly returning to Allie's hometown. They run into the skinjackers who teach Allie some new tricks, but also make the two Afterlights question where their powers can lead them. Neal Schusterman's action-packed, yet contemplative novel (2009, both S & S) introduces many new characters and new settings, and continues to pose important questions about morals, identity, mortality, and power. The fascinating and compelling tale leaves listeners breathless at its conclusion. While Nick Podehl does a good job of distinguishing characters' voices, there are several instances where the audio becomes fuzzy. Familiarity with the previous volume is necessary in order to understand much of the background character development and world scene.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, New Britain, CT
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416958642
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Series: Skinjacker Trilogy Series , #2
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 82,513
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Neal Shusterman
Neal Shusterman is the author of many critically acclaimed novels for young adults, including the Skinjacker trilogy, Unwind, and Downsiders. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. The father of four children, Neal lives in southern California.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Fresh Havoc

There were rumors.

Of terrible things, of wonderful things, of events too immense to keep to oneself, and so they were quietly shared from soul to soul, one Afterlight to another, until every Afterlight in Everlost had heard them.

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.

In a world where memories bleach clean from the fabric of time, rumors become more important than that which is actually known. They are the life's blood of the bloodless world that lies between life and death.

On a day much like any other in Everlost, one boy was about to find out if those rumors were true.

His name is unimportant — so unimportant that he himself had forgotten it — and less important still, because in a brief time he will be gone forever.

He had died about two years earlier, and, having lost his way to the light, he slept for nine months, then had woken up in Everlost. The boy was a wanderer, solitary and silent, hiding from others who crossed his path, for fear of what they might do to him. Without camaraderie and friendship to remind him who he was, he forgot his identity more quickly than most.

On the occasions that he did come across packs of other Afterlight kids, he would listen to them from his hiding spot as they shared with each other the rumors of monsters, so he knew as well as any other Afterlight what lay in store for the unwary.

When the boy had first crossed into Everlost, his wanderings had a purpose. He had begun in search of answers, but now he had even forgotten the questions. All that remained was an urge to keep moving, resting only when he came across a deadspot — a solid, bright patch of earth that had, like him, crossed into Everlost. He had learned very quickly that deadspots were unlike the faded, unfocused world of the living, where every footfall pulled you ankle-deep, and threatened to take you all the way down to the center of the earth if you stood still for too long.

On this day, his wanderings had brought him to a field full of deadspots — he had never seen so many in one place...but what really caught his attention was the bucket of popcorn. It just sat there on a deadspot, beside a huge Everlost tree, like it had no better place to be.

Somehow, the popcorn had crossed over!

The dead boy had not had the luxury of food since arriving in Everlost — and just because he didn't need to eat anymore, it didn't mean the cravings ended — so how could he resist that popcorn? It was the largest size, too — the kind you order with big eyes in the movie theater, but can never finish. Even now the corn inside glistened with butter. It seemed too good to be true!

Turns out, it was.

As he stepped onto the deadspot and reached for the tub, he felt a trip wire against his ankle, and in an instant a net pulled up around him, lifting him off the ground. Only after he was fully snared within the net did he realize his mistake.

He had heard of the monster that called itself the McGill, and his soul traps — but he had also heard that the McGill had traveled far away, and was now wreaking fresh havoc across the Atlantic Ocean. So then, who had set this trap? And why?

He struggled to free himself, but it was no use — his only consolation was that the bucket of popcorn was trapped in the net with him, and although half of its contents had spilled onto the ground, half still remained. He savored every single kernel, and when he was done, he waited, and he waited. Day became night, became day over and over, until he lost track of time, and he began to fear that his eternity would be spent strung up in this net.... Until he finally heard a faint droning sound — some sort of engine approaching from the north. The sound was echoed from the south — but then, as both sounds grew louder, he realized it wasn't an echo at all. The sounds were different. He was being approached on two sides.

Were these other Afterlights coming for him, or were they monsters? Would he be freed, or would he become the victim of fresh havoc himself? The faint memory of a heart pounded in his ghostly chest, and as the whine of engines grew louder, he waited to see who would reach him first.

Copyright © 2009 by Neal Shusterman

The View on High

Miss Mary, one of our lookouts spotted a trap that's sprung."

"Excellent news! Tell Speedo to bring us down close, but not too close — we don't want to frighten our new friend."

Mary Hightower was in her element this far from the ground. Not so high as the living flew, where even the clouds were so far below, they seemed painted on the earth, but here, in that gap between earth and the heavens, is where she felt at home. She was queen of the Hindenburg, and she liked that just fine. The massive silver airship — the largest zeppelin ever built — had gone up in a ball of flames way back in 1937, leaving the living world and crossing into Everlost. Mary, who believed all things happened for a reason, knew why it had exploded: It had crossed into Everlost for her.

The Starboard Promenade, which ran the full length of the passenger compartment, was her plush personal retreat, and her center of operations. Its downward-slanted windows gave her a dramatic view of the ground below: the washed-out hues of the living world, speckled with features both man-made and natural that stood out more boldly than the rest. Those were the places that had crossed into Everlost. Trees and fields, buildings and roads. While Afterlights could still see the living world, it was blurred and faded. Only things and places that had crossed into Everlost appeared bright and in sharp focus. Mary estimated that one in a hundred things that died or were destroyed crossed into Everlost. The universe was very selective in what it chose to keep.

Only now, as she spent her days riding the skies, did she realize she had stayed put for way too long. She had missed so much up in her towers — but then the towers were a citadel against her brother, Mikey — the monster who called himself the McGill. Mikey had been defeated. He was harmless now. And now Mary no longer had to wait for Afterlights to find her. She could go out and find them herself.

"Why are you always looking out of those windows?" Speedo would ask her, when he took a break from piloting the airship. "What do you see?"

"A world of ghosts," she would tell him. Speedo had no idea that the ghosts she spoke of were the so-called living. How insubstantial that world was. Nothing in it lasted, not places, not people. It was a world full of pointless pursuits that always ended the same way. A tunnel, and surrender. Well, not always, she thought happily. Not for everyone.

"I'd still rather be alive," Speedo would say whenever she spoke of how blessed they were to be here in Everlost.

"If I had lived," Mary would remind him, "I'd be long dead by now...and you'd probably be a fat, bald accountant."

Then Speedo would look at his slight physique, dripping wet — always dripping wet in the bathing suit he died in — to reassure himself that he'd never have grown fat and bald, had he lived. But Mary knew better. Adulthood can do the most horrific things to the best of people. Mary much preferred being fifteen forever.

Mary took a moment to gather herself and prepare to greet the new arrival. She would do it personally. It was her way, and it was the least she could do. She would be the first out of the ship — a slender figure in a plush green velvet dress, and with a perfect fall of copper hair, descending the ramp from the impossibly huge hydrogen airship. This is how it was done. With class, with style. The personal touch. All new arrivals would know from the first moment they met her that she loved each and every child in her care and they were safe under her capable protection.

As she left the Starboard Promenade, she passed other children in the common areas of the ship. She had collected forty-seven of them. In her days at the towers, there had been many, many more — but Nick had taken them from her. He had betrayed her, handing each of her children the key to their own undoing. He had placed a coin in each of their hands. The coins! Those horrid little reminders that a true death did await all of them if they were foolish enough to seek it — and just because there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it didn't mean it was something to be desired. Not the way Mary saw it. Heaven might shine bright, but so do flames.

As the ship descended, Mary went to the control car — the ship's bridge which hung from the belly of the giant craft. From there she would have the best view as they descended.

"We should touch down in a few minutes," Speedo told her, as he intently piloted the sleek silver beast. He was one of the few Afterlights to refuse to take a coin on the day Nick betrayed her. That had earned him a special place. A position of trust and responsibility.

"Look at that field." Speedo pointed it out. "Do you see all those deadspots?"

From the air it looked like a hundred random polka dots on the ground.

"There must have been a battle here once," Mary suggested. "Perhaps the Revolutionary War."

There was one Everlost tree, standing on its own deadspot. "The trap is in that tree," Speedo told her as they neared the ground.

It was a grand tree, its leaves full of rich reds and yellows, set apart from the greener summertime trees of the living world. For this tree it would always be the early days of fall, but the leaves would never drop from its branches. Mary wondered what had caused it to cross over. Perhaps lovers had carved their initials in it, and then it was struck by lightning. Perhaps it was planted in someone's memory, but was then cut down. Or maybe it simply soaked up the blood of a fallen soldier, and died years later in a drought. For whatever reason, the tree didn't die entirely. Instead it crossed into Everlost, like so many things that the universe saw fit to preserve.

The foliage of the tree was so dense, they couldn't see the trap, even after they had touched down.

"I'll go first," Mary said. "But I'd like you to come too. I'll need you to free our new friend from the net."

"Of course, Miss Mary." Speedo smiled a smile that was slightly too large for his face.

The ramp was lowered, and Mary stepped from the airship to the earth, keeping the grace of her stride even as her feet sank almost to her ankles in the living world with each step.

But as she got closer to the tree, she saw that something was terribly, terribly wrong. The net had been taken down, and there was no Afterlight inside. All that remained was the empty popcorn tub on the ground — the bait she had left, just as her brother used to — but while the McGill offered his captives slavery, Mary offered them freedom. Or at least her definition of it. But there was no Afterlight in the net to receive her gift today.

"Musta gotten out," Speedo said as he came up behind her.

Mary shook her head. "No one gets out of these nets."

And then a scent came to her from the tree. It was a sweet, heady aroma that filled her with a rich blend of love, swirled with loathing.

The aroma was coming from a brown handprint on the trunk of the tree. A handprint left there to mock her.

"Is that dried blood?" Speedo asked.

"No," she told him, maintaining her poise in spite of the fury that raged within her. "It's chocolate."

Copyright © 2009 by Neal Shusterman

Audience with an Ogre

It was an old steam engine, forged and destroyed in the nineteenth century, but so well-loved by its conductor that it earned a place in Everlost. Of course it could travel only on tracks that no longer existed. Such were the inconveniences of life after life.

A kid with hands much too large for his body, and with a cigarette that never went out dangling from his lip, had freed the boy from Mary's net. Now he gripped the kid's arm a little too hard as he moved him through fields and woods toward the waiting train.

"Whose train is it?" The boy asked in a panic, "What's gonna happen to me?"

"Don't ask stupid questions," said the kid with big hands, "or I'll send you down soon as look at you, I swear I will." Then he pushed the boy up the steps and into a parlor car.

The smell hit him right away.

"Oh, no! No!"

As wonderful as that chocolate smell was, it could only mean one thing. The rumors were true, and he was doomed.

At the other end of the car sat a figure wearing a tie and a white shirt, although the shirt had become stained with countless brown smudges. So was the rich red carpet. So were the red velvet chairs.

"Don't be afraid," the Chocolate Ogre said — which was always what monsters said when you really should be afraid.

Light poured in from the windows into the frightened boy's eyes, so he couldn't see the face of the ogre clearly, but then the ogre stood and came into the light. All at once everything became clear.

It was as if someone had dipped the entire left half of his face in a fudge bucket. It seemed to ooze right out of his pores — even the color of his left eye had gone chocolate-brown. It was the other half of his face that was the more surprising, for that half did not look monstrous at all. In fact the right side of his face looked like that of an ordinary fifteen-year-old boy.

"Let me go," the terrified Afterlight begged. "I'll do anything you want, just let me go."

"I will," said the Chocolate Ogre. "Even better than letting you go, I'll send you on your way."

That did not sound good, and the boy waited for the bottomless pit to open beneath his feet. But that didn't happen.

"What's your name?" the ogre asked.

It was something the boy had not thought about for a long time. "I'm...me."

The Chocolate Ogre nodded. "You can't remember. That's okay." Then the ogre held out his hand to shake. "I'm Nick."

The boy looked at the ogre's hand, and didn't know how to respond. It was much cleaner than the other one, which was totally covered in chocolate — but still even his "clean" hand had plenty of stains, probably from touching all the other chocolate-splattered things on the train.

"What's the matter? You didn't expect the 'Chocolate Ogre,' to actually have a name?" His smile made chocolate drip from his cheek and to the darkly stained carpet.

Then the big-handed kid, still standing behind the boy, nudged his shoulder hard. "Shake his hand — you're being rude!"

The boy did as he was told — he shook the ogre's hand, and when he brought his hand back, there was chocolate on it. Even in his fear, that chocolate on his hand looked better to him than the popcorn had.

As if reading his mind, the ogre said, "Go ahead — it's real, and it's just as good as when you were alive."

And although the boy sensed this was a trick — that maybe it was somehow poisoned, or worse — he raised his fingers to his lips, and licked the chocolate off. The ogre was right — it was real and it was good.

The ogre pointed to his face. "The only good thing about it is that I get to share."

"And it's milk chocolate today," said the kid with big hands. "You must be in a good mood."

The Chocolate Ogre shrugged. "Any day I save someone from Mary is a good day."

This monster was being far too friendly. The boy would have much preferred a fiery temper. At least then he would have known exactly where he stood.

"What are you going to do to me?" he asked.

"I'm not going to do anything. The question is, what are you going to do?" He folded his arms. "You crossed over with a coin. Do you remember what happened to it?"

The boy shrugged. "It was just a slug," he said. "I threw it away."

Then the Chocolate Ogre reached into a rusty gray bucket. "Hmm...looks like I found it." He pulled a coin out of the bucket and held it out to the boy. "Take it." And when he hesitated, the big-handed kid behind him nudged him again.

The boy took the coin. It did look much like the slug he had tossed when he first arrived.

"Tell me how it feels in your hand," the ogre said.

"It feels warm."

The ogre smiled. "Good. Very good. Now you have a choice. You can keep holding it in your hand...or you can put it into your pocket, and save it for another time."

"What happens if I hold it?"

"I really don't know. Maybe you can tell me."

And although the boy had not been this frightened since his first days in Everlost, there was a certain comfort coming from the coin itself. It filled his hand with a relaxing warmth — a sense of peace that was already radiating from his hand to his arm, to his entire spirit. His afterglow — the faint aura of light that every Afterlight radiated — seemed to grow brighter.

Before he could change his mind, he closed his fist on the coin which grew ever warmer in his hand, and in a moment, space itself seemed to split before him, revealing a tunnel. Its walls were blacker than black, but at some impossible distance ahead was a light, as bright as the walls were dark. Why, this wasn't a bottomless pit at all! He had seen this before! Yes! He had seen it the very moment he —

" — Jason!" he shouted joyfully. "My name is Jason!"

The ogre nodded. "Have a safe trip, Jason."

He wanted to thank the Chocolate Ogre, but he found he was already too far away, shooting down the tunnel, finally on his way to where he was going.

A rainbow sparkling of light, a shimmer in the air like heat on a summer road, and the boy was gone.

"They never tell what they see," complained Johnnie-O, cracking his oversized knuckles. "You'd think at least one of them would."

"If you really want to know what they see," said Nick, "then take a coin yourself."

Johnnie-O shifted his shoulders uncomfortably. "Naah," he said, "I'm not done makin' your life miserable."

Nick had to laugh. With all of Johnnie-O's tough-guy attitude, he had turned out to be a solid friend. Of course it hadn't started that way. Johnnie-O was none too happy when Nick showed up with his magic bucket of coins. That bucket, like the fortune cookies, like the coins themselves, were a gift from the unknown places beyond the tunnel — because the bucket was never empty as long as there was a soul who needed a coin. Nick thought he'd have to search far and wide for those coins, and the fact that the bucket would refill itself the moment no one was looking was a sign to Nick that he was doing the right thing.

Johnnie-O had watched as every member of his gang took a coin, and completed their journey out of Everlost. Why Johnnie-O didn't use his own coin is something only he could know — Nick never asked him why — such a decision was too personal to ever question.

"I'll send you down!" Johnnie-O had screamed the day his gang took their coins and disappeared. "Even if I gotta go down to the center of the earth with you, I'll send you down!" And he had almost done it too. He and Nick had fought and struggled until both were chest deep in the earth. But when Johnnie-O realized he really would go down along with Nick, he backed off, pulled himself out, and let Nick pull himself out as well.

Nick liked to think that, in the end, Johnnie-O realized that giving those kids a ticket out of Everlost was the right thing to do. Nick liked to think Johnnie-O respected him for it. Of course Johnnie-O would never admit that aloud, but the fact that he stayed with Nick, and helped him in his own intimidating way, was proof enough for Nick.

With the boy dispatched to his destination, Nick went up to the train's engine, where a nine-year-old who called himself Choo-choo Charlie stoked the boiler and studied a map that he had drawn himself. Aside from Charlie's map, no one had ever made a record of Everlost's rail lines.

"D'ya think Mary would put my map in one of her books?" Charlie asked.

"Mary won't put anything in her books that doesn't help Mary," Nick told him. "You'd probably have to draw a map where all roads lead to her."

Charlie laughed. "Most of 'em kinda do," he said. "She's got her fingers in everything." Then he got a little quiet. A little scared, maybe. "D'ya think she knows I'm helping you?"

"She'll forgive you," Nick said. "She prides herself on how forgiving she is. She'd even forgive me if I gave up my 'evil ways.' Anyway, you're not 'helping me' — I've hired you, and business is business, right?"

Then Nick handed Charlie a mug full of chocolate. Payment for his services.

"Someday I'm gonna get tired of this stuff," Charlie warned.

"Well," said Nick, "it's all I've got to give."

Charlie shrugged it off. "No worries. I can always trade it for something else."

He was right about that. As awful as Nick's affliction was, in Everlost dripping chocolate was like dripping gold. It was his bad luck to die at fourteen with a chocolate smudge on his face, and as he forgot more and more of his life on earth, that little smudge spread. In Everlost, we are what we remember, Mary had once told him. So why did he have to remember that stupid chocolate stain?

Allie — who had died in the same accident as Nick — had never laughed at Nick because of it. And when other kids in Mary's domain had taken to calling him "Hershey," she helped him fight to keep his memories and his name. The thought of Allie saddened him. They had arrived here together, and had journeyed through Everlost together. He had always felt that their fates were somehow intertwined, but they had both gone their separate ways, and Nick never even had the chance to say good-bye. No doubt Allie finally made her way home to find what became of her family. He wondered if she ever took hold of her coin, and completed her journey. He hoped she had, but another, more selfish side of himself hoped that she remained here in Everlost, so he might see her again someday.

"Look," said Charlie, "Mary's already leaving."

Sure enough, Nick could see the Hindenburg in the distance, rising up to the sky.

"I should have stayed there by that tree," Nick said. "Then she'd have to face me."

"Wouldn't work," said Johnnie-O. "If she saw you there, she'd never get out of that ship."

Johnnie-O was, right, of course. Still, Nick longed for the moment they came face-to-face. It wasn't just about seeing her frustration — it was about seeing her. Being close to her again. In spite of everything, he still loved her. It made no sense to Charlie or Johnnie-O, but it made perfect sense to Nick, because he understood Mary more than she understood herself. She was a victim of her own righteous nature — a slave to the order she tried to impose on Everlost. If he could, Nick would open her eyes to the truth of it, making her see that she was creating far more harm than good. Then, he would be there to comfort her in that moment of revelation, when all she believed about herself crumbled before her. Once she understood what was truly right, Nick had to believe she would embrace it, and together they would free as many souls from Everlost as they could. This was the Mary he loved. The Mary that could be.

Each time Nick arrived at one of her traps, and freed one of her snagged souls, he hoped for that moment of confrontation, where her anger would be undermined by the love he knew she felt for him. But she never came forward to face him. Instead, Mary always left without affording him the dignity of a proper slap in the face.

"She's heading northwest," Charlie said. "D'ya want to follow her again?"

"Where are we?" Nick asked.

Charlie looked at his map. "Somewhere in Virginia. East of Richmond."

This was the farthest south they'd ever been — but there were Afterlights who Nick had come across, who spoke of things even farther south than this. Rumors. Things that could not be believed in the living world, but in Everlost, anything was possible. So Mary would not face him — and now he suspected she never would without a full-out war. There was no question her soul traps were all about gathering up an army. Fine, Mary, thought Nick. If that's what you want, then I'll play.

"Head south."

Charlie shook his head. "Can't. I haven't charted any tracks south of Virginia. Why d'ya wanna go south anyway? Nothing there but the Everwild."

Nick grunted in frustration at the mention of it. "That's all I ever hear! Everwild to the north, Everwild to the west, Everwild to the south — "

"Hey, it's not my fault no one knows what's out there!"

"And to the Afterlights there, we're in the Everwild."

Perhaps the living world had finally connected coast-to-coast and around the world, but Everlost was a new frontier. It was just like the days when America was still the New World, and no one knew what breathtaking vistas and unforeseen dangers lay over the next ridge. Perhaps the unknown wouldn't have been so daunting if they had an entire crew — but unlike Mary, Nick hadn't been interested in collecting followers. His job was to get rid of them, which made it hard to maintain more than just the barest of skeleton crews — namely, himself, Charlie, and Johnnie-O. It was time to change all that.

"Come on, Charlie — let's tame the Everwild! We'll chart the rails, and mark the deadspots on the way!"

And although Charlie was reluctant to travel to places unknown, Nick knew he was tempted. There was a certain excitement in breaking away from the familiar, and shattering old routines.

"We'll need to look for a finder who can trade us the paper we'll need to make a new map," said Charlie, "but until then I can scratch the map into the engine bulkhead."

Nick slapped him on the back, leaving an accidental chocolate stain. "Let's get started, then. We'll get to the southern Afterlights before Mary can!"

With the furnace blazing on the memory of coal, the steam engine headed south into a vast unknowable wild.

Copyright © 2009 by Neal Shusterman

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 143 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(98)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2011

    Love it!

    The book I am reviewing is Everwild by Nick Shusterman. I thought that this book was one of the most intense and magnificent books I have reads in a while. This followed the first story in the Skinjacking trilogy and was mainly about the war between The Sky Witch (Mary Hightower) and the Chocolate Ogre (Nick).
    I think I could relate to Allie the most because I always liked being different and spontaneous just like how she is in the story. My favorite part of the book would probably have to be the ending because I didn't see the twist that happened.
    I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystical adventure to a different world. I personally love this book and I could read it over and over and never get tired of it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2010

    MUST READ

    waaaaayyyy better then the first!!! way!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Best series ever

    You have to get the book so stop reading the reviwes and GET IT!!!!!! So what are u waiting for

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2011

    its a real good book,yes

    ok so i read the first book and loved it and i got everwild and loved it as well... im wondering if theirs going to be another book coming out becuse i want to know what happen to everyone and what happens next???

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    GREAT

    This book has left me speechless. It keeps you turning pages and on the edge. Read it in one whole sitting. I cant wait to get the new book!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 11, 2011

    hii

    this book is uhhmazzzzing

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Caution, This Means You!

    Nick and Mary are making an army and Allie finds a skinjacker teacher that Mikey does not approve of. And almost every charactar is in love with someone, or maybe sometwo. Action,fantasy,and romance could not combine in a greater way than EVERWILD.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 3, 2010

    A Step Down

    I believe that my expectations may have been too high for this series after reading Everlost, which is why the second book was such a let down for me.

    I adored reading Everlost, and reread it several times. So when Everwild came out, I expected to see all of the same aspects of plot in this. I loved Allie's spunk when she was aboard the McGill's ship, and I enjoyed Nick and Mary's quiet romance. This book somehow had less emotion than the first - we see many of the same characters, but they've lost something for me. That sense of reality that leaps off the page when Ir ead about them, perhaps. The plot seemed weaker, also.

    Now I don't want to rag on this book with all the negatives I saw, so some positives are in order, I believe. TO begin, Shusterman writes with a sort of detatched eloquence that I enjoyed at times. The language is beautiful, and it is evident that quite some thought went into the actual writing. The story is, as always, creative and unique.

    It is up to you whether or not you want to continue Nick, Mikey, Allie, and Mary's story. Personally, I thought that the ending to Everlost was sort of bittersweet and, well, perfect.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Breath Taking

    I could go on for ages about this book but right now, I won't. You have to read the first book so that everything is understandable. But in Everlost, (the firs book) it was pretty cool and I wanted to read the second. My reaction, PHENOMENAL! My absolute favorite book ever. I might seem weird that I like the equal than the first book but that is the way Neil Shusterman made me feel. I could defiantly figure out who I was to cheer for and how to hate for eternity. Ally and Nick: amazing, awesome. Milos: a trap waiting for you. OMG! I HATE Milos! I started to get an uneasy felling about him from the begging and guess what? I am glad I felt that way because now he is a jerk how jeopardized Ally's and Mickey love! Grrr! But other than my absolute hatred toward Milos, there had been a lot of action and a definite emotion roller coater. If you not read this book, it is a must and if you had not read the first book,
    You will want to read it first. Trust me, you won't regret reading this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    LOVED THIS BOOK MORE! I love the little romances and the thrill

    LOVED THIS BOOK MORE! I love the little romances and the thrill and more creativity than the first. Again, I couldn't put this book down! So addicting!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Ok

    It's a good book but the "overview" gives too much away

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Bad writing

    The book was ok aside from the writing which was awfully childish. It felt like i was reading a childrens book instead of an actual novel

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Love this book.

    Love this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Haley senn

    This book i so good! Im going tp meet the auther at my school too!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Wonderful book; wonderful series

    Read the whole serious a few years back. I can honestly say that the series is extremely well written, thought provoking, and addicting. Good stuff

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Awesome

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    BEST BOOK EVVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? BEST BOOK EVVER!!!!!:):):):):):)

    THE BEST BOOK AND SEIRES EVVER!! IT IS A NEED TO READ. Read it. It is so good i stoped waching my favorite tv show to read this. Burn notice if your curious... anyway you should read it. My brother also loved it and he hates everything.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Love love love

    After reading the first book in this series, i fell in love. I cant put them down and i tell EVERYONE they MUST read them!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Love it!

    Wow! Love this series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Sequel just as good, maybe better

    Just as amazing as the previous book with all the same little twists that help add to it. As the story continues it just gets better and better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)