IT BEGINS WITH AN ACCIDENT.
Nick and Allie don't survive the crash, and now their souls are stuck halfway between life and death in a sort of limbo called Everlost. It's a magical yet dangerous place, where bands of lost souls run wild and anyone who stands in the same spot too long sinks to the center of the Earth. Frightened and determined, Nick and Allie aren't ready to rest in peace just yet. They want their lives back, and their search for a way home will take them deep into the uncharted areas of Everlost. But the longer they stay, the more they forget about their pasts. And if all memory of home is lost, they may never escape this strange, terrible world.
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 8 Up-Nick and Allie are killed in an automobile accident and meet as they are heading down a tunnel toward the light. They land in Everlost, the space between the living and the end of the tunnel, and meet Lief, from whom they learn that Afterlights cannot walk where the living walk and that they cannot be seen or heard by the living. Allie is determined to go home, so she and Nick set out from the accident site in upstate New York and the safety of Lief's forest for New Jersey. Even though they have been warned about the McGill, a dreaded, evil monster, they slowly make their way, eventually arriving in New York City. There they meet Mary Hightower, who cares for Afterlights in the destroyed World Trade Towers, keeping them safe from the McGill and the Haunter. (In addition to children, buildings and objects can also cross into Everlost if they were much loved.) In their ensuing adventures, they are captured by the McGill and suffer a horrible fate before Nick discovers his true purpose in Everlost. Schusterman has created a world in which nothing is as it seems. As the teens struggle to make sense of this alternate afterlife, they also grow and develop as people. They learn to question those who have put themselves in power, and they begin to see what is truly important. Shusterman has reimagined what happens after death and questions power and the meaning of charity. While all this is going on, he has also managed to write a rip-roaring adventure complete with monsters, blimps, and high-diving horses.
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.
Critically acclaimed author Neal Shusterman writes a book about life, death, and how the choices we make define ourselves in this luminous sequel to Everlost, which Orson Scott Card called "marvelously inventive...and magically beautiful."
From 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.
CURTESY OF NEAL SHUSTERMAN WEBSITE
From Kirkus Reviews
Shusterman ends his provocative trilogy with a rock-solid adventure that manages to examine deep questions of faith and morality.
At the end of Everwild (2009), Nick the Chocolate Ogre had dissolved into a mass of chocolate pudding, Mary Hightower was asleep in a glass coffin waiting to be reborn, Allie the Outcast was strapped to the front of a runaway train and Mikey McGill (formerly the monstrous McGill) was searching for a way to rescue her. The adventures continue, with Mexican Afterlight Jix joining the cast of characters as a furjacker, slipping into the bodies of giant cats as he spies on Mary’s army for the Mayan King. The rules of Everlost are unique, catering to the children who go there upon death and wait until they are ready to go into the light. But even those rules can be overset with the introduction of Clarence, the scar wraith, whose touch can extinguish anyone out of existence—forever. Alliances form and melt as characters decide between their own self-interest and what is right; the shifting third-person perspective gives readers glimpses into everybody’s souls.
Rich in detail, with exceptional characterization and shot through with unexpected (and very necessary) humor, this is an engrossing and thoroughly satisfying ending to a unique saga of life after death.