I am going to do a mini-review for the rest of these books. I have looked at things like the writing and the plot progression in depth before and I think at this point there is nothing too new to say about any of it. I want to concentrate some of these reviews on the development of the characters. This is where this series excels and I am curious how I see their progression now. I don’t think I need to do a longer review with these anymore, because it will just get repetitive.
This is Jalil’s book. I was having trouble remembering what Jalil’s story was. I knew some of David’s, April’s and Christopher’s but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what Jalil was doing in the story.
I forgot that Jalil has OCD. We see it from the first pages. He is enslaved to his mind and he hates it. He can’t fight it and he doesn’t let anyone know what it does to him. In Everworld though he is free. Senna gave him that freedom which makes him appreciate her but also hate her.
I most curious about how his story grows. Jalil is very logical. He loves science and everything has to have an explanation. He is trapped in his own mind in the real world so he uses knowledge to control everything else around him. He is going to change, take on the idea that things are different in this world and that is okay.
I still like watching Jalil try to make sense of this new world he is in. He is slowly realizing that magic is real here. That science is not the same. I am want to see how he begins to rethink his two worlds. One he is trapped in a disease he can’t free himself from. In another world he is free of that disease but he has many more dangers to fight. I think he whole story is going to revolve around this fight and I am eager to see how it comes out.
This book also introduced Hel which is who I thought abbot when I was reading Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book. I remembered she was in this book and I wanted to see how she compared. I really like how close these books are to the real stories and how Applegate makes them her own as well.
April, Jalil, David and Christopher are trapped in a world that shouldn’t exist. Myths are supposed to stay on the page. Merlin shouldn’t be fighting dragons. Galahad is in storybooks. Not in Everworld, in Everworld all their wildest myths and stories are living and breathing. Question is can our group stay that way as well?
This book ventures into Merlin and King Author myth territory. I really like the idea of the Arthur myths. I think they intrigue me because they are myths that have a touch of reality to them. No one knows for sure if they are true or not. We know that Zesus was a myth and that Loki never played tricks on people. But the Arthurian legends could be based on real people.
I liked in this story though that Arthur is not our main focus. Galahad is our focus in this one, which is interesting. We get to see a different character than people generally see in similar retellings. Merlin is prominent but not in a connection to Arthur. I liked that aspect.
I am enjoying the way the group is able to go back to the real world and make sense of what they are encountering. In this book Galahad and Gawain had similar memories of looking for the Holy Grail. Neither knew why, they just accepted it. They find out it is because our stories have them both in that role. I liked that we see this connection to the myth characters. They are influenced by their connections to our modern world.
I do enjoy the fact that we don’t just focus on typical mythologies in this series. While Loki and Zeus do play a part we also see people like Galahad and I know later elves. The lesser myths got carried along in the wake of the larger myths which is interesting. We are given a broader world and a more full world this way. It is all our stories connecting into one world.
I know that we are going to be getting Jalil’s POV next and eventually Senna’s. I am really interested in both of their stories. I remember that April, David and Christopher’s were pretty simple and predictable but the other two are a bit more of wild cards. I am really interested to see how they play into the larger picture.
This book was told from April’s POV and I had a bit of an issue with her. She is someone who is all talk but little action. She talks about wanting to not be the damsel that gets saved but then can’t take care of herself. She needs saving all the time.
She is hard to understand because she is constantly wanting Galahad to save her but she also sees that as annoying as well. She knows she needs to stand up for herself more but also realizes that isn’t easiest for her. I like how self-aware she is but I also want to see her use that self-awareness to actually start making a change for herself.
I like these stories. I love the plot and the characters are great. I am having more and more of an issue with the writing itself though. Not only is is choppy it is very repetitive. The same words or phrases are used over and over again. Sometimes right after one another. I know this adds emphasis but it does get tiresome.
Also I think this series may be where I got the habit of using synonyms too much. I found that when I write I tend to write something like “It was a beautiful, gorgeous day outside.” There is no need for both of those words, they tell the same thing. I see that happen a lot in this book. I know this book stuck with me when I was a teenager and I think that idea or habit in writing crept into my style a bit.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I am enjoying the series still. I am just curious to see April grow a bit more and have to not focus on some aspects of the writing too much.
“He was a legend….We didn’t know him, but we knew what he represented. He was good standing up against evil. He was the strong man defending the weak. He was brave when the odds were against him.” (pg. 161)
The group has survived their encounter with the Vikings, even made friends with them. They are still on the run from Loki, though he is the least of their problems right now. A heart hungry god and blood thirsty Aztecs are staring them in the face. Can they survive? If they do can they ever get home?
(This is a review for the second book in the series. Naturally there will be spoilers for the first book at times).
I remember how much I loved Christopher in these books and I am glad to see that I still love his character. His is witty, he is funny and he is the one that I thought sounded most like a teenager. He doesn’t have a beyond-his-age view of life, like Jalil. He is your average guy just trying to make it through this adventure with his head and heart in one place.
I also found it interesting that Christopher has a good family. A lot of times the comedy relief character comes from a broken home. They use humor as a defense mechanism. This is different though. Christopher has a great family. His parents are still together and he has a brother he loves. He is just a funny guy who is trying to find his way. I liked this characterization because it makes me want to see how he progresses, since it is not a usual character type. I feel like I don’t know where his character will go.
I also found it interesting and a testament to the writing that in this book I was very annoyed by David. Reading about him from Christopher’s point of view made me want to shake him. In the last book I understood where David was coming from, I understood why he was obsessed with finding Senna and risking all their lives.
In this book I was right onboard with Christopher and just wanted him to get his crap together. I was annoyed that he was always putting them all in danger. I was irritated that he could not think beyond Senna. Applegate does a great job of making you feel the story from the P.O.V character. I thought it was really interesting how this changed in this book. I am eager to keep reading to see how I view Christopher from April or Jaili’s P.O.V.
There was also a bit of call back to first book scenes in this book. In the first book David remembers hearing a coach berate a player, using some horrible terms and destroying this kid’s self-esteem. Then in this book there is a moment where the gym teacher is quite cruel to Christopher. You realize it is the same man. She makes sure to keep things in line and in order here. Someone is mentioned in one place they appear in another, there is no discontinuity which I appreciate.
I felt like all the action in this book appeared n the first half. They are fighting the Aztecs and trying to escape. Then they do and they are just wandering around for a bit. We meet some new players in the story, (Merlin and the Coo-Hatch), but it slowed down considerably in the last half. I think it would have been better to keep that momentum through to the end.
I am still eager to read the rest of the series but I didn’t race through the end like I did in the first book.
I am still enjoying my re-read. I haven’t come onto anything that feels out of sorts or thrown me out of the story. Even at almost 30 I can still relate to this story and am finding new aspects to it.
I gave this 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I am eager to see how the character progress I just wish the end was a bit more exciting.
“There was nothing human here. Man’s god and demons and monsters were always mostly human. Distorted in form or power, but mostly human.” (pg. 110) (I found this interesting because it is very true. We tend to make all our gods and demons close to us, creatures we can relate to in some fashion).
One minute four strangers are standing on the bank of a lake. They are all watching a girl they know by name, but don’t truly know. The next moment they are pulled along with her into another universe. A universe where gods rule, giant wolves chase you down and nothing is impossible. Now the search is one to find Senna and return to their real lives.
I was in love with this series when I was in high school. I read it over and over again. I loved the concept but I mostly remember loving the characters and the dialogue.
The dialogue was my main pull to this series. It was one of the first times I remember hearing characters that sounded real, like people I met every day.
I recently finished reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and I kept thinking of this series as I read it. I remembered this series uses all kinds of mythology and I found myself wanting to re-read these books again.
I was worried. Worried that the magic would disappear from these books. As someone who is almost 30 I thought I would not be able to relate to the characters. I thought I would feel like it was clunky or not well written. I wondered if this was a series I should just leave on my shelf for nostalgia purposes.
I am glad I began reading it again. In this first book I felt the same love I did when I was 16. I love the characters. They still feel real to me. They still talk like teenagers talk. There is no forced dialogue or weird sounding sentences. Too many times teenagers are written to sound like adults and that always annoys me. Here they use jargon, they makes stupid jokes and they all sound different.
I found myself liking David’s character more in this book too. I don’t remember liking him much before. Now I see his point of view better. He doesn’t want to live in a world that dictates every move. Much like myself he has serious problems with the pre-planned life that so many people seem to think you need to live by. He doesn’t want to do the path of graduate, job, marriage then kids. He wants something different and new.
I also noticed in this reading that there are much deeper storylines then I picked up on before. In this book were get hints of abuse in David’s life. I didn’t realize how dark this series was. I am curious to see how it progresses and how I pick up on how these elements shape him throughout the story.
I remember this series making use of a lot of different mythologies and legends. I am eager to see how they play together now that I know more about them. I like in this one that I understood the Norse mythology references. I think I will have a deeper appreciation for this world now that I have more knowledge about the source material.
The sentences in this book are quite short. Many of them are one or two words long. I am okay with the sometimes but I do feel like it may be overused here. It works when the character is in panic mode. But it isn’t necessary all the time. I think it slows things down a little bit too much.
I also noticed there are a lot of things mentioned that date this book. David talks about Blockbuster and Borders. It doesn’t harm the story at all. It just is interesting because I don’t feel like this is happening now. I know this was the past even if there is no date and time associated with the story. Just an interesting idea to think about the way things can date a story or change the timeline even if you don’t mean for them too.
As of this book I don’t have anything that is really throwing me out of the story. I still feel connected to the characters. I understand the world and I am still eager to continue on with this adventure even though I know how it ends.
I did take my rating down from 5 to 4 stars on Goodreads for this book. It is fun and exciting but I do think I am not as connected to it as I was when I was younger.
“But being scared was one thing. That was normal. How you acted once you were scared – that’s what mattered.” (pg. 33)
“‘Maybe dreams aren’t in your head. Maybe dreams are memories of another universe.'” (pg. 144)