Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quickie Review: Everlost by Neal Shusterman

(First book in the Skinjacker Trilogy)
Genre: YA, contemp fantasy
Page Count: 313 (Hardcover)
Released: 2006 by Simon & Schuster
Recommended for: Lost fans, fans of Micheal Grant's Gone series, anyone who likes a good ghost story or a fast-paced read

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he's found a home. But Allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.
In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.

My (Quick) Thoughts:

The best fantasy and sci-fi books-- books of any kind, really-- are those where the author has fully realized and brought to life their story world.  Everlost is one of these books, and Neal Shusterman is one of those (brilliant) authors.  I loved all the little details: the bizarre, funny, and sometimes eerie lives of the Everlost kids, the way the most impossible things that happen in their world seem not only plausible, but incredibly believeable.  Nick and Allie are both good protagonists (they share that role, for the most part), but I liked Allie better because she's gutsy and brave and isn't a slave to that absolutely horrible Mary Hightower-- a girl who has pretty much declared herself frilly-dress-wearing-Overlord of the limbo Everlost.  Altogether though, this book is definitely more plot-driven than character-driven.  None of the characters were very memorable or impressive-- it's the question of what will happen to them next that makes me eager to dive into the sequel, Everwild.     

Everlost was intended for Middle Grade readers-- it has the typical characteristics of a MG novel, mainly a break-neck-paced plot and shallower characters than most YA novels.  But nobody should let 'age range' stop them from checking out this book.  (Heck, I'll probably be reading YA when I'm seventy-- there's an image for you, lol )  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one and will definitely be reviewing the sequel soon.  

Overall Rating: 4/5

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