Book 12: Entertain the End
April and the EverWorld gang, minus Senna for obvious reasons, have one final quest now that the gateway has been closed forever: get King Baldwin of the dwarfs on their side and free Thor who will somehow make it so they can defeat Ka Anor and remove the threat of the god-eater from EverWorld.
Here’s the annoying thing: David’s convinced the quest is to get back to Athena on Olympus (which never happens, so I don’t know what’s up with that). The audience is convinced the quest is to defeat Ka Anor, as that’s what we’re being told. Neither of these things happen in this book. This book is all about rescuing Thor. I know there was a lot of unrest when Animorphs ended on a cliffhanger, and it seems Applegate can’t help repeat herself. It’s like the Battle of Helm’s Deep from Lord of the Rings, if we followed all the preparation but then way before the battle started, before the elves even show up, the book would end.
The other part of the book is the gang fading from the real world as EverWorld pulls them in. But it’s their choice to go, and I’m unhappy with April’s final decision. The entire series, she’s been the only one who wanted to get back to the real world. She has a life, she has hope and a future, and she hates EverWorld, unlike the three boys. David wants to be a hero, Christopher’s got no chance in the real world, and Jalil doesn’t have to fight his OCD in EverWorld – plus, his intelligence is a massive bonus. The boys have reasons to stay. April doesn’t. She doesn’t even necessarily like who she is in EverWorld, unlike David who’s become a general, Christopher who’s slowly turning into a decent human being, and Jalil who’s worshipped for his knowledge.
So all along April’s wanted to stay in the real world. And when she starts fading from EverWorld, that’s the cue. Instead, for no reason whatsoever, she decides to stay in EverWorld. It’s not like she’s become a different person, like Christopher. Or that she enjoys it, like David and Jalil. She very clearly prefers the real world. But all of a sudden it’s bye-bye, April. Kaput.
It’s one of the better books because it has an actual goal the kids work towards, but as a series ender it’s a major disappointment – not only because April’s decision is majorly out of character, but because we never get the final showdown between the real worlders and Ka Anor, which was the very reason the gang was dragged into EverWorld to begin with. The whole thing feels like it kind of fizzled out instead of going out with a bang.
PS – all through my childhood I thought that red-haired girl on the cover was April, but I actually think it’s Etain, the red-haired half-elf princess.