Everfound (Skinjacker Trilogy Series #3)

Everfound (Skinjacker Trilogy Series #3)

by Neal Shusterman


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Everfound (Skinjacker Trilogy Series #3) by Neal Shusterman

While Mary lies in a glass coffin aboard a ghost train heading west, her minions are awaiting her re-awakening by bringing lots of new souls into Everlost to serve her. Meanwhile Jackin’ Jill has met Jix, a fur-jacker—a skin jacker who can take over the bodies of animals, most notably jaguars. Jix serves a Mayan god who collects Everlost coins, and has his own agenda. In the concluding volume of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Neal Shusterman reveals new sides of the characters of Everlost, who are pitted against each other in a battle that may destroy all life on Earth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416990499
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Series: Skinjacker Trilogy Series , #3
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 1,262,265
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)
Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including The Unwind Dystology, The Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award. Scythe, the first book in his newest series Arc of a Scythe, is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. The father of four children, Neal lives in California. Visit him at Storyman.com and Facebook.com/NealShusterman.

Read an Excerpt

Everfound Jix
The boy jacked a jaguar, slipping into its sleek body and sending its simple feline mind to sleep. He owned the beast now. Its flesh was his. Muscular magic in a compact four-legged frame, perfectly designed for running, stalking, and killing.

He had taken on the name “Jix”—one of the many Mayan words for “jaguar”—due to his inclination toward great cats, and he furjacked one every chance he got. He preferred wild jaguars, living in the jungles of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula—creatures that hadn’t lost their will to hunt.

Reconnaissance was Jix’s specialty: tracking and spying on Afterlights who His Excellency the King believed to be a threat. Afterlights such as the Eastern Witch—the one they called Mary Hightower.

His Excellency had created a barrier of wind upon the Mississippi River to keep her and other intruders out, but the Eastern Witch was shrewd and relentless. With the help of her own skinjackers, she had destroyed a living-world bridge, causing it to cross into Everlost. Then with a train full of followers and slaves, she rode a powerful locomotive across the river.

At least that was the story.

Others said that she never made the journey herself—that something strange and mysterious happened to her, but no one could agree as to what it was. She flew off into the sky. She melted. She turned to stone. She turned to flesh. Each rumor was more outlandish than the last, and no one knew for sure if any of them were true.

Jix was called in for closer surveillance. Discover their numbers, discover their intent, then report back to the king. If these trespassing Afterlights were truly a threat, they would be dealt with quickly, and would never see the light of day again. It all depended on Jix’s report.

“You should skinjack the pilot of a flying machine,” His Excellency had suggested to Jix, “for speed in this matter would greatly please us.”

Jix, however, had resisted. “But sir, my skill to stalk comes from the jaguar gods. If I make my journey impure, they will be angered, and take the skill away.”

His Excellency had then waved his hand dismissively. “Do as you will—as long as you bring us the results We require.” The king always said “us” and “we,” even when there was no one else but him in the room.

So, on a bright autumn day, Jix set out in the borrowed body of a jaguar, and within that speedy beast, he forged over mountains and rivers, resting when he had to, but never for long. When he came near human villages he heard many languages. Remnants of ancient tongues, Spanish, and finally English. Once he heard English, and saw signs written in that language, he knew he was getting close, yet never once was he spotted, for he had the best of both species now: the keen senses of the jaguar, and the full faculties of a human mind.

The ghost train had crossed the bridge in Memphis, so this was his destination. He was certain to pick up a scent of the supernatural there, and track them down. As he drew nearer, he could feel the thrill of the hunt filling him. The intruders wouldn’t stand a chance.

Reading Group Guide


by Neal Shusterman


When teens Allie and Nick are killed in a car crash, it isn’t the end of their story, but the beginning: they wake up in Everlost, a world poised between life and death, superimposed on the living world and populated only by the souls of children. The bickering Allie and Nick, traveling with their new friend Lief, head toward their homes. Along the way they spend time with Mary Hightower, who has made it her mission to save and comfort all the lost children of this inter-world, whom she has named “Afterlights”. They also hear stories of a monster called the McGill, a fearsome creature searching for souls to devour. But as Nick falls in love with Mary, and Allie comes to know the McGill, they begin to wonder which one is the real monster.


Nick has made it his mission to help children escape from Everlost to the light at the end of the tunnel. But Mary Hightower finds purpose in gathering these Afterlights to her, and wants to control all of Everlost. Even though she still loves Nick, she sees his actions as the ultimate betrayal. Meanwhile, Allie heads for home with Mikey, the boy she loves—formerly the monstrous McGill, now returned to human form. Allie, who has learned to “skinjack” (possess and take over a living human body), meets a team of skinjackers led by the charming Milos. When Milos and his team go to work for Mary, creating terror in the living world, Allie and Mikey team up with Nick to take one last stand against Mary—at Graceland.


After her seeming defeat, Mary returns to Everlost, using her skinjackers to sow chaos and terror across the western United States, replenishing her stock of Afterlights. Mary has a plan to bring the souls of millions of children to her in one stroke: with the help of Milos and his skinjackers, she is going to destroy the living world. When Allie, Nick, and Mikey discover Mary’s terrible goal, they vow to stop her. They enlist the help of a new friend, Jix, a “furjacker” (who possesses great cats, like leopards), and a “scar wraith” named Clarence, an adult in the living world who can see into Everlost, and whose touch will annihilate any Afterlight. Together they travel to meet Mary and her army of children for the ultimate showdown at Trinity, test site of the first atomic bomb.

Discussion Topics


• Allie and Nick gradually discover they were killed in the car crash, and gradually accept their existence in Everlost. How do you think you would react to this news? What is the first thing you would do?

• In the novel, we learn that the spirits in Everlost, detached from the living world, begin to forget things. Even if forgetting in Everlost brings comfort and remembering brings pain, which memories would you most want to hold on to? Which would you want to forget?

• Lief has been happy in his private forest for a hundred years. Mary Hightower tries to get her Afterlights do the same things over and over again, living out their perfect day. If you had to spend your eternity in Everlost doing one thing, what would that thing be?

• While Mary hopes each Afterlight will find their niche, Allie sees this as being stuck in a rut. We in the living world are not immune to our own repetitive tasks. What are your ruts?

• Paranorming (causing living world objects to move), ecto-ripping (bringing living world objects into Everlost), and skinjacking (possessing and controlling a live body) are also known as “the Criminal Arts.” Which of these three Everlost skills would you like to have? Why?

• Buildings and objects, from the old Penn Station to Lief’s rabbit’s foot, cross over to Everlost when they are made with love or become beloved, and then are lost quickly. What loved things, gone from your world—objects you’ve lost, buildings demolished, etc.—do you think deserve to wind up in Everlost?

• Strength in Everlost has nothing to do with muscle mass. It has to do with the strength of one’s will. How is this similar to the living world?

• When Allie pretends to teach the McGill how to skinjack, one step she tells him to perform is a selfless act. But the McGill points out anything he does won’t technically be selfless because he will be doing it to get something. Is it actually possible to perform a completely selfless act? Give examples.

• Allie at first is revolted by the McGill but ultimately falls in love with him; instead of killing her, he saves her life. How does Neal Shusterman make this character arc feel natural and inevitable?

• When Nick learns the purpose of the coins, to get the kids where they’re going, he distributes them to all the Afterlights. What do you think of Nick’s choice? Would you have made the same one?

• Throughout the novels, we see how different characters perceive things differently. For instance, Nick believes helping the children move on to the light is his purpose, while Mary thinks this makes him as monstrous as the McGill. Each believe they are right. How does Shusterman make us identify with each character, as each believe they are the good one, doing the right thing?


• “Memory in Everlost was a far greater force than gravity,” the author writes. Two examples are the space shuttle Challenger being suspended in midair, and Nick slowly turning into chocolate. What are some other examples from the book? How powerful is memory in our world?

• Allie begins to compare her skinjacking ability to being a vampire. The taste, the hunger, the need are almost overwhelming. How would you feel under these circumstances? Would you feed the addiction, or fight it?

• Milos tries to explain to Allie how skinjacking is her purpose, that the living take their lives for granted, and only the skinjackers really appreciate “every breath, every breeze, every beat of the heart.” What do you think of his argument? Why does Allie find it so compelling?

• Mary, with only good and positive thoughts, sends skinjackers into the world to murder children in order to turn them into Afterlights. How is it possible to believe that you’re the force of good as you do unspeakable evil?


• In Everlost, Wurlitzer, the old-fashioned jukebox, is given unlimited power by the Neon Nightmares. Jix fears “how much power a thing could have when it was given permission to have it.” Can you think of some examples of actual objects of power in our living world?

• For the first half of Everfound, Mary Hightower is not involved in the story directly, yet her presence looms over the novel. How does Shusterman achieve this?

• Jix believes that everything has a purpose, while Clarence thinks “it all goes belly-up in the end.” Who do you think is right? Why?

• From the first time Allie skinjacks, she feels bad about changing the course of people’s lives, scaring them, using them. By the time she takes Milos’s life, she wonders if she’s as much of a monster as Mary is. What do you think? How is killing Milos different from what Mary is doing?

Activites & Research


• Lief has saved three objects from his life that have crossed over—a shoe that had been his father’s, a rabbit’s foot, and a photo of himself. Make a list of objects you’d like to have with you in Everlost, and explain why.

• Mary Hightower’s books include Tips for Taps, The Gravity of Gravity, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Vortexes but Were Afraid to Ask, and You’re Dead—So Now What? Make up the title of your own book about Everlost, and write some appropriate tips for Greensouls.

• The twin towers of the World Trade Center crossed over to Everlost on September 11, 2001. They are Mary Hightower’s headquarters and the source of her name. Research any aspect of the towers—the origin, construction, use, or destruction—and present your findings in a report.

• In Everlost, you wear forever the clothes you died in. Cut out photos from a magazine that show what you would most like to spend your eternity in. Explain why. Discuss the disadvantages of your particular outfit.

• Allie the Outcast writes her own book and calls it Everything Mary Says Is Wrong. But her title isn’t entirely correct—only some things Mary says are lies. Put two columns on a piece of paper, labeled “Truth” and “Lie.” Go through the writings of Mary and place quotes in the appropriate column.

• The McGill became a monster by imagining himself as the ugliest, most terrifying creature in the world—with an eye that dangled from its socket, a tongue that forked into three octopus tentacles, etc. Draw a picture of the monster that you would become if you had to.

• Allie, quick on her feet, tells the McGill that she will teach him how to skinjack. She claims it takes twelve steps, but only gets through seven before he finds out that she’s lying. Write down your own five final steps that Allie might have used to trick him.

• Mary and Nick travel to meet the McGill in the Hindenburg, a giant airship that crashed and burned in Lakehurst, NJ, in 1937. There is a famous news report of the destruction of the Hindenburg. Listen to the recording, then imagine how such an event would be handled today—via TV coverage, live tweets, on-the-spot interviews, etc. Then, with a group, do a live report for your class on the disaster.


• “The rational world demands rational explanations,” the novel explains by way of justifying how ecto-rippers get away with pulling objects out of the real world. Research some paranormal events (the Loch Ness Monster, hauntings, UFO reports) and find the “rational” explanations offered by experts. Do you think these official responses hold up?

• Zinnia Kitner is a young girl who was so determined to fight in the Civil War that she cut her hair and dressed as a boy. In real life, before women had equal rights, many girls have done the same—to fight in a war, to play music as a career, or simply to get a job. Often the truth came out only after they died. Research and write a report on a real-life woman who pretended to be a man in order to fight, perform, or work.

• It turns out the reason that Allie can skinjack is that she isn’t really dead—her body is still alive, but in a coma. There is a political and ethical debate taking place in the country regarding the question of when life ends, what medical science can and should do, living wills, etc. Choose one aspect of the issue and stage a debate on the right to die.

• Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, is now a landmark and tourist attraction. In Everlost, the structure is a vortex known as The Intolerable Nexus of Extremes. Learn more about Graceland and Elvis Presley, and explain why the name of this vortex makes sense.

• When the story ends, Zinnia (the Civil War girl) has been returned to the living world, and we never see her again. Write a short story describing what you think happens to her in the present day.

• The first character we meet in this novel is Jix, a child from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico whose ancestors were Mayan. Learn what you can about the Mayan civilization and draw a map of their empire. Include Chichen Itza and the great pyramid of Kukulcan.

• The Alamo was the site of a battle between Texas and Mexico in 1836. Folk heroes James Bowie and Davy Crockett both died there, defending the Alamo. Research the causes of the battle, and the results of the Mexican victory there.

• Wurlitzer, an old jukebox in the basement of the Alamo, an Object of Power as defined by Mary Hightower, is worshipped by the Neon Nightmares. Wurlitzer plays songs to answer questions posed by its devoted followers. Make up your own list of questions, along with a playlist of songs that answer them.

• The more Allie tries to help the living world by skinjacking, the more problems she causes. (For instance, when she frees Seth Fellon, the innocent kid accused of arson, she has to occupy the bodies of prison guards and the warden—all of whom may go to prison for allowing Fellon to escape.) Allie has run afoul of the Law of Unintended Consequences, a theory of the social sciences. Research and find real-world examples of unintended consequences.

• Alamogordo, Trinity, Ground Zero—the climax of the novel takes place in the New Mexico desert where the first atomic bomb was tested, and where Mary develops her plan to use such a weapon to destroy the world. Choose a topic involving nuclear bombs and present a report. You can choose the development of the first atomic bomb, the debate over their use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, or the current status of nuclear weapons around the world.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

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Everfound (Skinjacker Trilogy Series #3) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 119 reviews.
always_rightt21 More than 1 year ago
His words are moving and captive. This series, and book are ultimately one of the best I've EVER read. It was unbelievable. I jumped up and down! I shrieked when I saw it, grabbed it and rushed out of the store. I spent almost all night reading it and (I'm not encouraging this) I skipped school to read it. I just read and read this over 500 hundred page book. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING. Allie did something I would NEVER expect her to do, and someone disappeared in a completely unusual way that I've never heard of!!! And best of all the ending was such a twist, it ended in a way that finished everything off, but left me in love with it. If your looking for the next BEST BOOK EVER, here it is!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Neal Shushterman is one of the most amazing authors that I've had the grace of expierencing. His writing is crafty and laced with intricacy. He had me on the edge of my seat and living on every word, literally. The sly writing of this trilogy was filled with an air of elegance unlike any other. I don't believe that any reader would be disapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book once again brought in new information on Everlost but also it had the same type of storyline. The ending though, was epic. If you liked the others, this is a MUST. I loved it, I could not put it down and this was the longest book in the series, slow at some parts but never non entertaining. It was a great ending to my favorite series.
Natalie Boyce More than 1 year ago
This series is really great and entertaining although it is obviously fiction. I hope you will be able to enjoy it but just remember that it is fiction and not necessarily meant to be taken seriously.
aly_loves-books More than 1 year ago
I stumbled over this author by accident or you could call it fate, or a skinjacker helping me.(haha) Honestly This series is a very thought provoking world that deals with the questions we all have about life and death and the things inbetween. I would highly recommened this and ALL of Neal Shusterman's books not for that fact that they are good, but that there is something about finding yourself and what your true purpose is in life in his books(the ones I've read so far). The fact that I wasn't able to put his books down or when I had to I couldn't stop thinking about them is a true writeres greatest hope. He captures everything he sets out to, wraps the entire series up in a nice fit and then lets your immagination wander to fill in the remaining "lives" of your favorite characters. You will not be dissapointed with this final book. Everyone has an ending(except for one, sorta). So get this book and the first two, everwild and everlost and READ till you finish, you'll be on a ride of your life. It's not all goose bumps, but it may happen, it could happen, but really we will never know until it does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot wait. I will buy the first and second one just for this one. I have waited, and now, it is upon us. Buckle up for the final ride in Everlost!!! This... will... be... EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, the first book, and the second book were amzing! I wish there were more the three biooks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its all in the headline best book ever and best series ever you should definitley read this amazing, thrilling, action packed trilogy!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best series i have ever read! Neal Shustermans words are beautifully woven together!
Peg Sahagun More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I turned 13 this year and my whole class loved and still loves it. We are all reading the rest of the trilogy since we all loved it so much. I finish very disapionted i had read it so fast and didn't hav anymore to read. You must read this book! If you don't it will be like never being able to see one of the wonders of the wonders of the world!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a really good book .It is the 3rd book of the skin jacking trilogy . If you enjoyed ever lost and ever wild you will enjoy ever found .
owlluver15 More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading this series I couldn't put it down. There was a character named Mary who got more annoy as the series went on, but if you really think about it she thought she was doing the right thing. Besides her the other character were wonderful and full of life. Great ending to a amazing series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since the beginning of the book, Allie is tied to the front of a train in Everlost. She was accompanied by a boy named Jix very often, he grew on a cat like look and was a very serious person. They talked about if he would set her free and why he was even on the train. Since Jix’s plan wasn’t to free her, he was still hesitant. Then, the train started moving and they were heading west again… until a mansion blocked their path. It was built directly on top of the old tracks, and nothing broke in everlost unless its purpose was to break. So when Milos was pressured by the raging Neons, he decided to ram the mansion off the tracks. But of course, it didn’t budge, the train smashed into the mansion ripping allie apart only to pull herself back together. The train derailed and sunk to the center of the Earth along with the afterlights inside it and the others that were pushed down by the Neons. Mary was captured and protected because she was in a glass coffin and they figured she was important. Then Jix skinjacked a coyote and brought it over to Allie for her to skinjack. once she skinjacked it, its instincts were too powerful for her to control and was permanently stuck in the coyote after the first day. Milos finds some of the spared afterlights and starts his journey to find Mary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to find out about how allie is. Do her and mikey find each other again!?!? I want to know. To much of a cliff hanger for me! Want another! Need more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great ending to this series! I love love LOVED it! When I closed the book I smiled and said this is probably my favorite series. I was screaming and jumping while reading this book. I loved the creativity and the suspense. AMAZING BOOKS!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everfound Book Review: I very much enjoyed reading this series along with this book! It kept my attention very well with multiple events happening simultaneously. There are adventures happening with Allie in one moment and in the same moment the author explains what the resurrected “chocolate ogre” Nick is doing and how he is starting to remember his goal to find Allie and conquer Mary. There are many characters to follow in the story, but pretty much all of them are essential to the plot. Even though this book has many different fictional features to it, the author made it seem very real; this caught my attention while reading. The story wasn’t rushed and there was great detail put into much of the story, which made it easy to visualize. I love the fact that the story had many different themes along with love and good vs. evil. I also really like how some of the characters changed along the way, especially Mikey who came from being a monster and part-ruler of Everlost, but changed into his human self and fought for the good of Everlost alongside Allie. Great book, great series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and a great series. Recommend the read. Also great for young teens.
AttyEve More than 1 year ago
Neal Shusterman does it again. He wrote a series that draws you in so deep that when it's over you feel lost and abandoned. The best way to cure this is to move on to another one of his books. He never disappoints.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago