Book 2: Land of Loss
Publishing Date: July 1999
Just a note – I’m not sure if I’m going to continue on this Project EverWorld thing. For one thing, it’s completely different to Animorphs. Those books hold up. The characters are likeable. Stuff actually happens to move the plot forward. There’s resolution, satisfaction at the end of a good story.
These EverWorld books are different. I felt neither satisfaction nor that any part of the story had concluded upon finishing both Books 1 and 2. When you write a series, you’re supposed to write like a picture of an open umbrella side-on: each book tells its own story, but the overarching plot is there, too. Applegate (and ghost writers) totally nailed this with Animorphs. Sure, some books sucked, but in a series of 54 you’re going to have some stinkers.
Both of these books so far have finished on a cliffhanger – and not the nice kind of cliffhanger. The plot isn’t resolved – the plot is barely legible to begin with. The characters spend all their time wandering around with no clear goals wondering what to do, and as a reader I find that frustrating. To top it off, Christopher, the narrator of this book, is a giant jerk-ass who hates everyone and is annoyed April’s not swooning in his arms.
So, the plot: the EverWorld gang are on the losing side of the Viking vs Aztecs war, manage to escape having their hearts cut out thanks to April who’s cleverer than all three boys combined, wander around for a bit, upgrade Jalil’s Swiss Army Knife so it can cut through anything, whine, whine, and whine some more about being stuck in EverWorld and angst if they’re going to get out, and end up going back to the place they nearly died for no reason and bumping into Senna on their way. Absolutely riveting stuff.
Like I said, Christopher’s a jerkass. His automatic response is to make people laugh, but he’s really an insecure racist dumb jock who can’t stand that David’s a better natural leader than him, despite having his own flaws. He doesn’t get along with anyone and quite frankly I wouldn’t mind if he was killed. Of course, I last read (a handful) of these books ten or fifteen years ago so I don’t exactly remember what happens to whom.
Unfortunately I feel that the events of this book didn’t move the overall plot forward of backwards, and the ultimate goal (finding Senna) just fell into their laps without them overcoming any hurdles or obstacles towards that goal. Then the books ends on a clumsy cliffhanger and I’m supposed to dive right into the next book.
I hope it’s an April book, she seems to be the only one who can think clearly in this insane physics-defying world.