Alright! On to the second book series review for today. I was not sure that I wanted to do this series as individual book reviews, and by the time I got to book three (where I wanted to) I’d already done it in this form. As such, this is going to be rather long. Take that as you will. I had a lot of fun with this series and I know that one of my coworkers now wants to read it thanks to me.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Fantasy | YA – PW |Racism, Sexism, Antisemitism, Gun Violence | Identity, Dreams, Coming of Age, Breaking free of constraints
Search for Senna
Land of Loss
Enter the Enchanted
Realm of the Reaper
Discover the Destroyer
Fear the Fantastic
Gateway to the Gods
Brave the Betrayal
Inside the Illusion
Understand the Unknown
Mystify the Magician
Entertain the End
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
So I was gonna make this a individual review for each book. And I still can, but I probably am not because of how short these are. After the first book I will decide, if I’m going to continue for the last eleven. For now, it’ll be a series. So we shall see
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
Book 1: Yeah I’ve decided to do this as one. This book was short but not bad. Some interesting characters and lines that were said. I am invested to learn more about them and their world. So it probably is a good thing I got this whole series, lol.
Book 2: This book really did help with the world building Everworld. Christopher is really not my favorite. He has a lot of prejudices and things that he needs to unpack. However, reading from his perspective and how he saw everyone else vs how David saw them, is intriguing.
Book 3: I really liked April’s book. As a person, she was more interesting than the others so far. She’s also a theater nerd, so I’m biased. I also really love Arthur’s nights so I’m doubly biased towards this book. Honesty it just wasn’t fair to the other two so far how much more I enjoyed this one. Lol
Book 4: I think this book had the longest battle sequence so far with Hel. That entire sequence was magnificent. Also learning about Jalil’s OCD and how it’s treated as a the actual condition. We got a bit of Jalil’s family but most of his part was in his head and his compulsions which was different than the others, I feel. Interesting to see how the characters are turning on Senna, save for David. She really is horrible tho, so I don’t blame them.
Book 5: Oooh the newly changing David is far more entertaining to read than book one. His trauma is horrifying, and his desire to be greater is admirable. He is going through a lot, and his character has developed so much since book one, even considering it’s not his POV in the others. I really loved the fairy market in this book. It was the best part.
Book 6: wow. That was actually really saddening. I tested up a little. Christopher has a ways to go before I will truly be good with him, but he is growing and changing. Lol what more can I ask for?
Book 7: Wowowow. I am liking this book. David being a general, April and her dilemma. Christopher trying to stop being such a bigoted jerk. It was so nice. I was surprised. And now we are headed into the last leg of this series. Time to see how the cookies crumble.
Book 8: well then. This book was scary. So much violence in this book. Which isn’t saying much cuz there has been violence in all the books. But this one just felt more violent. Eitherway. Jalil’s books are always interesting to read.
Book 9: WOW. ALRIGHT THEN. I am used to the deaths at this point. Although I’m not going to lie, April’s hypocrisy is starting to grade me. They’ve killed so many people and still she is like “oh my god” about the others who have killed in the book. This book was Senna’s perspective, making it the most twisted yet. She goaded everyone, picking at their insecurities and why she brought them to begin with. Just to mess with them.
Book 10: David is so close to being a true hero. I can’t wait to see it. Also all the undersea parts were really cool to imagine. The real worlder, Monsieur Mayor Jean-Claude LeMieux, played three real game by taking over Atlantis with politics. Lol. Fun book! Going on!
Book 11: The Penultimate book and OH MY GOODNESS. SHE DIED? FINALLY! But also, now what? What do they do now??? I’m so hype for this last book.
Book 12: BUT WAIT!! What about the end war? What about the software? Does Jalil techno-fi the whole world? Do they stop the Hetwan? What about the racists who Senna let in? (Sennites). I have so many questions! And yet it seems right that it ends here, because they aren’t in the real world anymore. And in retrospect we were only learning what their real world selves learned, as they learned it in the real world. It felt that we were learning everything with the Ever world selves, but it was the opposite. I realize that now. Still I have so many questionssss.
Fun book series all the same.
Book 1: David is dating Senna, popular anomaly and her ex doesn’t like that. After getting his face smashed in by one of Christopher’s, her ex, friends, Senna tells David that things are changing. The next day he, Christopher, Jalil, and April are pulled into Everworld after Senna. Senna disappears and their journey begins with Loki. Loki was looking for Senna who vanished and tries to use them to find her. They escape his castle and get with Vikings. They learn that they are living two lives, one in Everworld and one in their world. They can’t go home for full until they find Senna and every time they sleep in Everworld their mind wakes up in their world. Time moves differently and they are trying to figure out how to find Senna. After two days in Everworld, David sees Senna who warns him. Don’t go into the Viking battle, but he does anyway.
Book 2: This book takes place from Christopher’s perspective. The battle between the Vikings and Aztecs comes to a close with the Vikings losing. The group is captured, and are nearly sacrificed when Mjolnir helps them escape. They meet the Coo-Hatch, a group of people that can make steal that can cut anything. They are from another universe themselves and were dragged to Everworld. The crew trades to get a utility knife with the steal, for a book that April was holding. They go back to the Aztec city to search for Senna and find Merlin instead. When they finally find Senna, she asks the group to help save her from Merlin’s plan.
Book 3: This book takes place from April’s perspective. Merlin’s ally the Dragon attacks. April and Jalil flee but Christopher and David are under control of Senna trying to fight. The group is captured and brought to Galahad’s castle where they party. April talks on how her father cheated on her mother and then brought Senna to their family, and Senna was with them from that point. Loki comes to eat with Merlin and Galahad. He fights to get Senna back. Loki needs Senna to open a gate to the other world so that the people of Everworld can flee the God Eater. Galahad’s people want to fight the god eater. Big battle breaks out and April bonds with Galahad. When he almost dies she gives her blood but he is badly wounded again. A dragon kills him and all April wants is to figure out a better life for herself.
Book 4: This book follows Jalil. For two weeks the team is hunting Senna through a forest when they come upon a town guarded by eunuchs. They are escorted to Hel and have to escape her. While escaping, Jalil is separated from the group because he saves Senna. He finds out that she can change her appearance and is lying, a lot. She tries to control him and fails. They meet up with the others and escape into a cave system where they happen upon a dragon who had things stolen from him by leprechauns.
Book 5: David is POV again. The dragon, Nidhoggr, steals the hearts of everyone but Senna. If they can not get his treasure back in 6 days, they will burn alive by the rubies that replaced their hearts. They go to fairyland. There they interact with a massive market of buyers and sellers and try to find the stollen goods. They are captured by the royal family and Senna sells April out as the witch. April is captured and the others are released but can not leave fairy land to warn Nidhoggr of the traps the fairies have lain. Jalil helps create a telegraph and sells it to an investor. David escapes with Senna, but Senna casts nightmares over him (of when he was assaulted as a child at camp), and he leaves her. With the dragon they free April and get his friends.
Book 6: The group is in Ka Anor’s land. They meet with gods of Olympus and have to escape. They battle many Hetwan, the alien followers of Ka Anor, and one of the gods ends up being eaten by the god eater. In the real world, Christopher is falling flat in his life. He gets a job and then loses the job when he won’t join the fascists at work. He starts drinking everything in sight when those former coworkers cut his bike’s seat with a swastika. In Everworld, they do make it to Mt. Olympus.
Book 7: April’s POV. They are being taken care of at Mt. Olympus, but it is besieged by the Hetwan. The group quickly realizes that the gods are only sending in mortals. If they fought, they’d be easily able to take care of the issues, but they will not. The gods argue, have spats, and David steps up. He becomes a general for the army and starts helping Mt. Olympus. April is caught between hating Senna, who has arrived again, and wanting to just go home. She doesn’t want to be in Everworld anymore. Christopher gives up immortality because of the death in book 6. David’s leadership makes the Hetwan retreat (along with some firebombing). Senna almost kills both Coo-Hatch who were providing arms to the Hetwan, but they stop her. And the Coo-Hatch tell Athena and the others, that they want to return home. Senna’s mother is with the Egyptian gods and she may be able to get the Coo-Hatch home.
Book 8: Jalil is realizing how they are changing in their real world counterparts versus the Everworld selves. Which ones are real. Which ones are not? And how their Everworld selves are consuming their real world selves. In the real world, Jalil tries to flirt with a girl named Miyuki, who tells him that she can only study with him because her parents don’t want her dating American boys. Jalil is late to the study session, because he saves Christopher from Keith, the Nazi who is harassing Christopher, in Everworld the Coo-Hatch are following behind the team that travel towards Egypt. They cross into the African god’s real and meet a man name Eshu, who tells them they must make a sacrifice to the gods in order to move in. The refuse and continue to refuse. This results in hallucinations, a demon attack, and being tracked by lightning. The Coo-Hatch save them from the demons, and David makes a deal with them and gives them some advice which will leave them in his debt. The group is pushed into the mud and find themselves in an upside down world and then nearly are captured. The Vikings, who claim to already be dead, save them. Jalil chooses to try to bluff the gods by aiming for the world tree in their lands and threatening to use Senna’s blood to kill it. The world flops about and Vikings die (again) and the gods take that as a sacrifice. They are able to move on.
Book 9: Senna and the others make it into Egypt but the Nile is flooded. After running into the god of crocodiles, they get a new boat and make their way to destroy a dam. There is a dam in place because of Dwarves wanting money. They destroy the dam and make it to the great city. There they find that the Amazons have taken over. The group speaks to the Amazons and then Senna talks with her mother who was controlled by the Amazons. Her mother ends up selling her out to Merlin, and Senna opens a gate to bring a man with a gun (sub machine gun) to kill him. It’s the racist guy Keith. It fails. They, not Keith, flee with her mother. Her mother goes with the Coo-Hatch to help them home.(not sure. Pretty sure tho)
Book 10: The team is on a boat when it is wrecked. The crew are taken to an underwater safe haven ran by Neptune. Neptune orders to kill them all with sharks and David kills one shark. David claims himself under Athena’s protection and April follows up that they are minstrels. Because of this, they are allowed to stay alive for the night. David wakes up in the real world and almost has a car accident. He pulls over and meets the maid lady he saw in his last book. He follows her to her house and learns that she is Brigid, a Celtic god, and that she needs him to kill Senna or to give her to Merlin. David wakes up in Neptune’s holding. The group sings some songs for Neptune and then David makes a fool of himself trying to attack Merlin (his sword won’t hurt Merlin). They try to escape and succeed past the guards and others. Only before they get to the surface they are wrecked again. They end up in Atlantis and meet a Real Worlder like themselves. They learn of the scroll that can control Everworld (the software as Jalil named it and what Senna wants more than anything). They are then helped back to the surface but because of a fight between Poseidon and Neptune, they are crash landed on an island with a giant about to eat Christopher.
Book 11: Christopher’s perspective. He is almost eaten by a giant, resulting in him ruining a dinner with his girlfriend when he passed out in Everworld, and wakes up to see a version of the Ireland folk. They travel to the new city, and lose Senna. Christopher finds her and she almost kills him with Keith. Christopher returns alive and warns everyone of her plan. They go again, with David and others. Christopher almost dies but is brought back thanks to April’s medical knowledge. Death in Everworld means Death in the other world. They try to attack Senna again and fail again. They fail again, and there are massive casualties. April learns no man will kill Senna. They wreck some of Senna’s plans in the real world, with an arms dealer. Senna sneaks into the castle and bewitches Christopher who opens the gates. Chaos reigns. Christopher almost dies. He finds Merlin and then is bewitched again. More death and destruction reigns as Senna burns people alive, makes Jalil scratch at himself, and humiliates David. Loki’s forced attack and another battle breaks out. April saves them all by killing Senna.
Book 12: The group makes a plan to save the world. They decide to break into Hel to save Thor and get Odin. They have to get the dwarves to help, and then they’ll have an army to take down the enemies. They go to the dwarves and announce themselves. Only after saying they killed the dwarves on the dam, are they taken in. They bargain. And sleep. April finds out David has disappeared from the real world. Jalil and Christopher are fading. She is fading in Everworld. David knows he’s not in that world anymore. Jalil convinces the dwarves to help, with technology. They agree. For the next week they build. April is interviewed in the real world, about David’s disappearance. Jalil is disappearing even more. At a date, she begins to disappear. And she finds out that Christopher is sent to the hospital because he is disappearing. In Everworld they, David, Christopher, and April, fight through Hell’s domain to save Thor and Baldur. April powers then through it. Hel arrives and April almost is taken by her but Merlin appears with Loki and Odin, who he convinced to the cause. April makes it back with the others and she sleeps peacefully in bed.
The last two pages are a news article about how five kids disappeared.
What I Liked:
David; As a coward who turns into a hero, his story was actually better seen through the eyes of the others. He went from attacking because he had to, to someone who commanded an army because he could. His transformation was a large one in a physical one that people could see outwardly. Most of the others had internal changes, but David’s was very physical.
April; April… oh April. The only one who really hung onto their other world. The only one who wanted to make sure that they staid there. She did her best, and in a way, I am not satisfied with why she ultimately decided to stay in Everworld. Unlike the others, I feel that her reason wasn’t as strong. Although, I did think that April was a very interesting and multifaceted character. I loved her so much. I just wish her motivation to stay in Everworld was stronger.
Jalil; This kid. He was too smart for his group, but also an idiot at times. I suppose that’s why he fit in just well. Him having OCD was interesting. I’m not sure how accurate the representation was, but it was one of the few times I’ve seen OCD as the actual disorder rather than someone being like “oh. I’m so OCD.” If anyone else has read the series, please let me know how accurate the representation was. Otherwise, while Jalil did feel like a token Black character at times, he had some great lines. I cherish him being in the series at all, for it would have been just as easy to not have him be Black at all.
Christopher; He has a lot of work to do, but seeing him work on it through the series was great. He was the reason for someone’s death and that shattered him. He got recruited to the Nazi KKK group, and that disgusted him. He changed his behaviors because of how he saw his behaviors hurt others and while he has a lot to do, I know that in the post from the series, that he will work on in. His internal growth was great.
Senna; This… Ohh. Man. She makes me so angry. As a villain she was great. The others all wanted to trust her so much, but she had to be killed because of what she was, and what she was doing. Look, Senna wanting to take over the world, makes sense to me. Her using evil people to do it, just shows how twisted she was. She was just trying to survive in her own way, and honestly I don’t know why she didn’t just pick her own friends to really help her. I have a lot of questions, and I figure her friends do too.
Coo-Hatch; This group is the best. They are excellent inventors who can make weapons ten times better than weapons that we can make and I love it. I love them, and I would love a whole book about them specifically.
Gods; Their inability to change, grow, etc. along with their bloody nature was pretty on point. The fact that the gods had to act one way, made them so easy to predict in the way that group interacted with them. They were interesting to learn a bit about, and a great stepping spot to learn more about all the gods mentioned.
POVs; At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the shifting perspectives. However, with each book, I realized quickly that I liked it. I liked learning more about all the characters through other character’s eyes. Reading April, and watching April were two different experiences that really rounded her out. The fact that we got a Senna book was so important for rounding her out too. I liked this use of POVs in order to show that we don’t really know what people are thinking.
Ending; Now. This is what really got me. For the longest time (until the end), I was reading the series as the main story being in Everworld. What I mean is, that the Everworld perspectives were the focus, and then every so often we end up back in the real world. This was wrong. It was the opposite. The real world lives were the story we were reading. We were seeing the world from their eyes, as they are going through their mundane lives and every so often they get flash forwards of what their counterparts are doing in Everworld. The flash forwards, are what we are reading. This is to say, we must place ourselves in real world David. He suddenly, in class, remembers all that happened for the last few days in Everworld. Those memories that he gets at that moment, are what we are reading. It is not that Everworld David is suddenly remembering what happened to him in the human world. That’s why the Real world versions have “CNN reports” because they are the ones getting the information. It is why, when their real world bodies disappeared that the series ended. There was no way for them to tell the story, because they weren’t in the real world anymore, only Everworld. I will not lie, I was so confused about the CNN breaking news comments, until I realized this at the end when they lost their real world bodies. And I love that it ended this way, adding an element of mystery to what happened in this world, after the connection was over.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Maybe for the books to be a bit longer than they were. I would have liked more content in the pages.
“You know a guys is funny when a week later you can still feel the little knives he stuck in you. ” -pg 2, Search for Senna
“Yeah? Well, stick around. The day is young.” – pg 32, Understand the Unknown (about not having died yet)
“You know that boy just has a way with words. He’s just so — I don’t know — so subtle.” – 68, Entertain the End (Christopher on how David is not subtle at all)