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Everfound (The Skinjacker Trilogy)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
Let me start this review with a confession: I freaking love Neal Shusterman. Absolutely everything of his that I have read I have freaking loved. Not just loved -freaking loved. That's a whole lot of love right there. Even some of the authors that I've been reading for a long time don't have the kind of love. Ever since I read Unwind a few years ago, Neal Schusterman has had a special place in my heart as the king of awesomely haunting, meaningful YA novels that are always worth reading -and the Skinjacker trilogy is no exception.

Everfound picks up right where Everwild picks up. Mary Hightower has managed to come back to Everlost, but is stuck in the usual hibernation period (called being an Interlight) before awakening as a full-fledged Afterlight. As her minions wait for her to awaken, Allie and others head west. Meanwhile, Jackin' Jill's path crosses with Jix, a strange Afterlight who has the ability to furjack -or take over the bodies of animals. Jix takes orders from a Mayan king who enjoys collecting the coins of Everlost. As the many characters and plot lines converge, the wild twistiness and epic awesome of Everfound explodes.

Completely and absolutely satisfying, Everfound delivers an epic thrill-ride from start to finish. From the very first word until the last, I couldn't put this book down. I kept flipping pages, desperately wanting to know what would happen next. It was amazing to see the intricate and unexpected twists and turns, even when it got close to end. Even now, Shusterman revealed things about his characters that readers would never expect.

Everfound is an excellent conclusion to a great series. Taking the stakes higher and the plot further, Shusterman continues to develop his world up until the very end, crafting a fascinating and engaging world that never ceases to amaze. I'm really sorry to see this series end. It was a fantastic world with incredibly unique characters, and I would recommend to anyone -Shusterman knows how to do it right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 28, 2011
It could be the end of the world as they know it. Even though Mary Hightower has yet to be awakened from her glass coffin, her accomplices are doing their best to serve her and her grand plans--bringing the entire world into Everlost. And so Mary's loyal followers reap new souls by preventing recently deceased children from getting where they were going and ultimately "saving" them. At least, that's how Mary sees it. But not everyone agrees with her, and it soon becomes apparent that Mary's crew will have more than just familiar enemies to deal with. Can the dissenters put aside their differences to fight against Mary, or will she be successful in orchestrating her vision of a worldwide Armageddon?

I have to say that I quite enjoyed Everlost and Everwild, but I was completely blown away by Everfound. This conclusion to Shusterman's spectacular Skinjacker trilogy was its longest and most memorable installment by far. There is so much danger and drama already in the world of Everlost, as detailed in the first two books of the trilogy, but Shusterman introduces many new and exciting complications. There are whole hosts of new Afterlights to be reckoned with, new vortexes and objects with formidable powers, and new ties between Everlost and the real world. The sheer amount of imagination evident in Shusterman's writing simply astounds me; I doubt many other writers could incorporate bodily possession of animals, physically living within two worlds, and a prophetic jukebox into a story as skillfully and realistically as Shusterman does in Everfound. What's even more impressive is how he does this while maintaining completely believable if eccentric characters and situations. This trilogy was such a pleasure to read that I am truly sad that it is coming to a close. It's an epic story of life, love, and death that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very satisfying end.

I most definitely recommend the Skinjacker trilogy to any fans of fantasy and especially to readers who enjoyed reading Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot by Andrew Auseon and the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
Once again, Neal Shusterman outdoes himself! So many final books in a series tend to leave readers disappointed on some level. I don't think too many people will feel that way when they finish Everfound. This book has the right balance of new and familiar, as well as even more depth, complexity, excitement and emotion than the previous books.

Everfound takes up where Everwild left off, with Mary Hightower ("The Eastern Witch") hibernating as an "interlight" after her second death. Her cohorts--including skinjackers Milos and Jackin' Jill--await her reawakening while journeying west. On the way they "reap" the souls of children (cause their deaths and then grab their souls before they can go into the light). In their clutches is Mary's enemy Allie ("The Outcast"), who has sworn to stop her maniacal plans. Pursuing them to rescue Allie is Mikey McGill (once the monster known as "The McGill") and Nick ("The Chocolate Ogre"). Mikey and Nick are captured by a "scar wraith" named Clarence, someone who has body parts that have crossed over into Everlost and can see the ghostly children while most of him remains in the living world. One big complication: the touch of a scar wraith can make their souls cease to exist. Also new to the story is Jix, a "furjacker" who can inhabit the bodies of animals. He is on an assignment from the Mayan king he serves to bring Mary to a place called the City of Souls.

Whew, that's just the beginning and not even the half of it! This story really ramps up the stakes, not just for Everlost, but for the entire living world. Yes, Mary is THAT much of an evil (though in her mind, well-intentioned) genius.

Not only does Mr. Shusterman have a remarkably inventive mind when it comes to plot, he creates the most incredible characters. Even a sarcastic sociopath like Jackin' Jill can surprise you. As I said, in Mary's mind, she is not doing wrong, but actually "saving" the children that are reaped into Everlost. Mikey (who is high on my list of favorite fictional characters of all time) never QUITE shakes his "monster" side, even though he has found a redemptive love with Allie. Allie is not so perfect, either--in her own way she can be as ruthless as Mary. Nick, who turned into a blob of chocolate at the end of Everwild, has a wonderful emotional arc as he finds himself again.

The ending is bittersweet, but that won't be a surprise to anyone who was paying attention, especially to the last book. It made me both smile and cry, and wish I could hold on to these characters and this world just a little bit longer.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
I'll be honest, I am a very picky reader. I LOVE to read but have a hard time finding books that will appeal to me. The Skinjacker Series tops any other series I have read and each are definitely on my very select list of favorite books.

Assuming you're here because you have already read Everlost/Everwild you should already know the stakes at hand. If you haven't read those then you should stop here. Allie the Outcast has been captured by Milos and his gang. Nick and Mikey are on their way to save her. Then, Mary has been brought back to Everlost to finish what she started, which is to destroy the world.

There are many familiar faces, including a few you may have forgotten, as well as new characters who add much more to the story. The main new character, Jix, should be welcomed easily into the series. Some characters are so different from what you expect, that they will feel new as well. Shusterman has created complex characters with ease and has given them different dimensions to their personality. It is rare for me to root or feel sympathy for a character that has caused so many problems for the characters I've come to love. Shusterman not only was able to do this, he did it with multiple characters. Characters you think you knew will be explained in a new light as well as surprise you with their actions and leave you rethinking a lot.

I could go on about the story but honestly I don't want to spoil any part of it. If you're looking on this page of reviews then you, more than likely, have read the other books and have already decided you're going to finish the series. If this is the case don't ruin your experience by finding out what happens. Trust me once you have the book in your hands, you will find out soon enough because it will fly by at lightspeed.

Although, I will tell you that there are so many twists and turns that you will have a hard time putting the book down but also a hard time flipping the pages. Because you will have ideas of what will happen next and while you don't want to see it fulfilled you know that you must. The worst part of this book/series is that it has to end. As I reached the last 100 or so pages, I kept hoping it wouldn't end. I wanted it to last awhile longer but couldn't hold off my desire to finish it to its entirety. I kept wishing that there was a fourth book in the making or that "The Skinjacker Trilogy" wouldn't be the end of "The Everlost Series." Hey it's still possible. If Shusterman can start "The Ecto-Ripper Trilogy" or something than this beautiful world doesn't have to end. Sadly though there really are no loose strings to tie up. This is most likely the end and what an ending it was. Fans should not be disappointed. I can't wait to see what Shusterman has up his sleeves next.
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on August 18, 2013
Trilogies usually go one of two ways for me. I'm either disappointed that the author didn't tie up a loose ends and rushes the story so it doesn't feel completed, which is disappointing. Or at the end of the spectrum everything is done nicely and everyone is moving on starting there new lives having triumphed and I want to desperately have another book to find out what happens next. But rarely, just rarely an author is masterful and is able to end the story with you feeling like yes I went through that and I know where their lives are going, I'm okay to say goodbye to this world, story and characters, this is where we should part ways and I feel good about it. This is one of those trilogies, where I went for the ride and it was fantastic, I loved the world the characters and story. It wasn't all a happy endings but everything seemed to come out as it should be at the end and I felt okay when I put the book down.

This is a fantastic wrap up with all the old characters from books 1 and 2 and just enough new elements added in to keep it interesting fresh and fun. I forgave people I didn't think I would, I hated others more than I had and some endings were so unexpected that I really didn't see it coming but later thought how could it have ended any differently for them. It is an epic journey for Nick, Allie, Mikey and Mary full of unexpected turns of events and absolute horrors for the sake of a cause. I really don't want to give much away because there was so much and it unfolded so perfectly.

Neal Shusterman really has a way of telling a story that is layered. There are deep undertones to his entertaining stories that really make you think and sometimes you don't realize he has pushed your buttons until long after they have been pushed. I empathized with Mary because she truly believed what she was doing was right. I hated Milos for following Mary and later I felt so bad for his fate. Nick and Allie are always easy to root for and I think their fates ended perfectly. Mikey came a long way from the monster he used to be and his time with Allie was so special, that were written perfectly for each other.

Honestly this is one of the best middle grade YA trilogies I've ever read.
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on May 4, 2012
I started reading Everfound a LONG while ago, and for some reason I stopped. I recently picked it up again and was completely swept up in the world of Everlost! Neal Shusterman is a master at creating a story that moves at a fast pace, without missing out on character development. His new characters are fresh and bring the story to a whole new level, and his old ones never cease to surprise you. Each person has so many layers beneath them, and he just peals them away to reveal some shiny and not-so-shiny interiors. Your thoughts about previous characters are practically pushed out the window as you discover that people are more than what they seem.

Which brings me to introduce the newest addition in this never ending race to establish justice. Jix is a skinjacker who prefers large cats to people. His Mayan roots help instill his reputation as a messenger who's "Blessed by the Gods". He's calm, collected, intelligent, and crafty which makes for a stimulating combination as he learns how to climb his way to the top in this crazy race. No sign of idiot thugs so far. Now about Mary, I have honestly never read a book where I was so put off and revolted with the "bad guy", or in this case, "bad girl" as I am with Mary. My Lord, she is the anti-Christ of the afterlights. She deceives and uses people, and her biggest issue is that she actually believes that she's doing the right thing for her kids. I also love reading the clips from her "guides" at the beginnings of the chapters. Just getting a look into her hypocritical mind is hysterical.

Everfound takes us on a westward journey through the U.S.; following Mary's locomotive to an unknown destination where her plan to destroy the living world can be fulfilled. Allie the Outcast starts out tied to the front of said locomotive until she says adieu to the freaks and begins the task of stopping Mary. All in the midst of this, Mikey, along with what's left of Nick, is making his way towards Allie so as to be reunited with the love of his life. The author juggles all these developments (and a few others) with ease, and even manages to add a new romance with some unexpected effects. One other point I may bring up is the humor. I found myself laughing at the absurdity of some of the situations the characters found themselves in. It lightens the story, bringing it away from the epic, battle-between-good-and-evil feel that this series has. The ending (though it may have been a little rushed) was bittersweet and fulfilling, and while it was hard to say goodbye to some of the characters, I left satisfied.
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on July 24, 2011
(NO MAJOR SPOILERS)

Fans of Shusterman's Skinjacker Trilogy have anxiously awaited this final installment, and the book does not disappoint. It not only completes the picture drawn by the two previous books, it expands the canvas to show an even larger and more complex backdrop than before.

The limbo-world of Everlost is inhabited by the after-essences of children who have not reached their final destination. Some of them are skinjackers, who can move in and out of the bodies of the living. Others are Finders, or even leaders, or often just lost, all discovering the Afterlife's rules and competing factions in the course of their own personal journeys.

The final book introduces a few new characters. There is Jix, a skinjacker from south-of-the-border, who prefers inhabiting the bodies of hunting cats (jaguars, panthers, lions) to those of people. Clarence, a tormented alcoholic, is the only living person who can see into Everlost--and his sanity has already suffered as a result.

In this third story, Mary Hightower's band continues its mission to destroy the living world. Mikey (formerly the monstrous "McGill") attempts to chase the group down, but is slowed by the helplessness of the childlike creature he refuses to abandon, a creature who was once Nick, "The Chocolate Ogre." As Mary's followers do increasingly evil things to achieve their goals, Mikey and Allie (and some unexpected allies) try to stop them.

Like the rest of the series, this book features characters who look like monsters but are not, and others who look pure and virtuous but are instead the biggest monsters of all.

I've enjoyed Shusterman's Everlost universe so much that I really hate to see it end. But the author has handled this three-story arc to perfection, with great confidence and skill. The shifting loyalties, character growth, and difficult moral dilemmas in this final story all combine to create a strong and utterly satisfying series conclusion.
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This is the third and final book in The Skinjacker Trilogy. It ends the series well and continues to be an extremely creative series that delves into interesting questions surrounding life and death. I listened to this on audio book and it was very well done.

Mary Hightower has been sent back to sleep as an Interlight, Allie is strapped to the front of Mary's train, Mikey is on his way down to the center of the earth, and Nick (the chocolate ogre) has been blasted to pieces. This book starts out a little time after the second book ended. Things are falling apart; Allie wants to defeat Mary's army of Afterlights in hopes of stopping Mary's plan to destroy the living world but she is trapped on the train carrying Mary's sleeping body. Some new characters are added to the fray; enter Jix an Afterlight sent to retrieve Mary by the King of the City of Souls and Clarence a skin-wraith that can extinguish Afterlights with just a touch.

There is a lot that happens in this book. The characters are all acting how they think is best, but they don't know what the other characters are doing so there are a lot of twists and turns as their story threads come together. There are a number of things in this story that happen and you think, huh...what did that have to do with anything? In the end though everything in this story had a purpose to serve. Shusterman does an excellent job of creating a complicated story with numerous story threads that all come together nicely to create a well-thought out book.

The characters continue to be a mix of good and bad and are very human. Mary has decided that to save everyone she needs to destroy the living world; she is evil in her intent but her reasoning makes sense to her and this makes her surprisingly human. The same can be said of many of the characters. Ally is trying to save the living world, but in doing so ends up being just as ruthless as Mary in some cases. Mikey has tried to leave the monster part of himself behind, but can't quite stop playing the monster. All of these characters are shades of grey and they are all doing what they think is best for humanity.

Jackin Jill plays a large role in this story, as does Jix an Afterlight that has taken on decidedly Jaguar features and is present at the request of the king of The City of Souls.

Shusterman pays a lot of attention to detail so all of the mechanics behind Afterlights and inanimate objects going over to Everlost are well explained and interesting to read about. This is a well thought out and very creative book. The book is tied up nicely and the epilogue ties up all of the characters loose threads.

At times it did seem like too much is happening, so it took the story a long time to spin itself out. Everything did happen for a reason, but some of the diversions the characters took (for example the whole Wurlitzer part) got a bit lengthy.

Overall fans of this series should find this book to be a very satisfying conclusion to the series. The plot is well done, the characters very life-like, and the world incredibly creative. There were a couple times that I thought side stories were drawn out too long; the characters all take very twisty paths to the final battle. I am in awe of Shusterman's ability to think through the complexities of this world and in awe with his creativity. I will definitely be picking up some of Shusterman's other books to read.
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I have been a big fan of the Skinjacker series and felt that in Everfound, the author brought things to a close in a way that is sure to please. All of the things that we loved about the first two books; the characters, the innovative mythology of Everlost, and the rousing action, are back in Everfound - X10!

In Everfound we meet new characters such as the scar wraith, whose touch can permanently extinguish a soul, and Jix who sometimes seems more cat than boy. Nick starts his journey back from oblivion, Mikey is off to search for Allie, and Allie is only now discovering what it really means to be a Skinjacker and the responsibilities it entails. The reader gets a good long look into the mind of Mary Hightower, and it's hard to remember a more complete, multi faceted villainous character in all of YA literature.

My only complaint about Everfound is that it expanded the Everlost story so much it became rather bloated. This is a big tale that spans the world and the author keeps so many characters up and going! It sometimes felt like too much was going on, and some side journeys ended up feeling like unnecessary distractions. Switching back and forth between each character's stories sometimes took too long, leading to a disjointed feeling throughout the middle of the book.

Readers will be glad to know that everything is resolved at the end of Everfound. It all felt right, and it left me with the feeling that even though it's impossible to know all the "mysteries of science and of soul that will never be understood no matter how hard we measure", it is possible to know what is good and what is right. A great series by a fantastic author.
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on July 17, 2011
Three days ago i finished Everwild, the second book in the trilogy, and then immediately started Everfound. Everfound is the longest of all three book, around 500 pages instead of the 300+ pages of Everlost. Being the logest, it also has the most plot developments.

The first 2/3 of the book is focused on Milos and his "reaping" expeditions with the furjackers the furjackers Jix and Jackin' Jill, Allie and her skinjacking, combined with attempts to thwart Milos, and Mikey and Nick and the scar wraith, Clarence. The three groups mostly remain seperate at first, going about their own paths, a bit like 3 seperate but related storylines, untill around the last 1/3, when the two "sides" clearly emerge, and everything in the series starts building to a grade finale.

And what a finale! I dont want to give away important plot points, so I'll just say that the trilogy ends with the perfect ending. It's not sudden or out of place or disappointing, it's simply the perfect ending. I'm not saying that only the ending was great though, because the whole book was fantastic. Everything from the start to the end fits likes a puzzel, with more and more revealed until the ending. Every plot point in the book adds to the story instead of detracting from it.

The point is, if you havent read this book yet, buy it and read it! If you haven't read the whole trilogy, be sure to get all 3 of the books, starting with Everlost, and then Everwild, and finally, Everfound, because trust me, the whole series is FANTASTIC. It's imaginative, intriguing, and i love the characters. Everlost is defintely one of the best fantasy worlds out there.
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