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Authors: Neal Shusterman

Everwild

BOOK: Everwild
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EVERWILD

Also by Neal Shusterman

Novels
The Dark Side of Nowhere
Dissidents
Downsiders
The Eyes of Kid Midas
Full Tilt
The Schwa Was Here
The Shadow Club
The Shadow Club Rising
Speeding Bullet
Unwind
What Daddy Did

The Skinjacker Trilogyscenter
Everlost

The Dark Fusion Series
Dreadlocks
Red Rider's Hood
Duckling Ugly

Story Collections
Darkness Creeping
Kid Heroes
MindQuakes
MindStorms

Visit the author at
storyman.com
and
MySpace.com
/Neal Shusterman

EVERWILD

BOOK 2 OF THE SKINJACKER TRILOGY

Neal Shusterman

For Christine

Acknowledgments

I'd like to thank my editors, David Gale and Navah Wolfe, as well as Justin Chanda, Paul Crichton, Michelle Fadlalla, and everyone at Simon & Schuster for being so supportive, not just of
Everwild
, but of all my work. Thanks to Brandi Lomeli for research into crazy things, and for keeping my life organized. I'd also like to thank my parents for their constant love and support, as well as my “big sis,” Patricia McFall, and a special thanks to my kids, Brendan, Jarrod, Joelle, and Erin for their love, inspiration, and valuable critiques throughout the writing process. An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020 This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division

1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2009 by Neal Shusterman

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or [email protected]

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event, contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com.

Book design by Chloë Foglia

The text for this book is set in Cochin.

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Shusterman, Neal.

Everwild/Neal Shusterman.—1st ed.

p. cm.—(Skinjacker trilogy ; bk. 2)

Summary: Nick, known as the dreaded “Chocolate Ogre,” is trying to find all the children in Everlost and release them from the limbo they are in, while Mikey and Allie have joined a band of skinjackers and are putting themselves in danger by visiting the world of the living.

ISBN 978-1-4169-5863-5

ISBN 978-1-4169-9738-2 (eBook)

[1. Future life—Fiction. 2. Dead—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.S55987Ew 2009

[Fic]—dc22

2008051348

A “Read Me” from Mary Hightower

Hello, and welcome to Everlost. For new arrivals, I am happy to provide a comprehensive list of everterms and definitions that may help you in your postmortal journey. Naturally I've included my own personal opinions as well, for what list would be complete without the wisdom of someone who knows? Thank you, and I look forward to meeting you very, very soon.

Yours most truly,

Mary Hightower

afterglow:
This is the gentle light that all spirits in Everlost generate. Of course some shine more brightly than others.

Afterlight:
All residents of Everlost are properly referred to as “Afterlights.” To call us ghosts is insulting.

chime:
To hang one's captives upside down by their ankles from long ropes, allowing them to swing free. As it is impossible to feel physical pain in Everlost, certain evil entities,
such as the McGill will chime their prisoners in an attempt to induce long-term boredom.

chiming chamber:
A place where such unfortunate afterlights are chimed.

deadspot:
This is a small patch of ground that has crossed from the living world into Everlost. In most cases these spots are just a few feet wide, and mark the place where someone has died; however, in certain instances deadspots can include larger areas.

dominant reality:
When a building is destroyed, and crosses into Everlost, and a new structure is built in the living world to take its place, which of those buildings is more real? To us in Everlost, the older, “crossed” building is the one we see. Therefore, it is my opinion that Everlost is more real. You can read more about this in my upcoming book
The Living World and Other Myths, as Told by Mary Hightower
.

ecto-ripping:
One of the criminal arts, as I like to call them. “Ecto-ripping” or “ripping” is the ability to reach into the living world, and rip things out of it, and into Everlost. Avoid ecto-rippers at all costs. Any ecto-ripper sighting should be reported to an authority.

evercookies:
Certain individuals (whose names I shall not mention) claim that all Chinese fortune cookies cross into Everlost, and if that's not enough, they also insist that every
fortune in Everlost is true. I say that these are lies, lies, lies. I advise you to stay away from fortune cookies as if they carry the plague.

eversight:
We Afterlights can see the living world, but it looks blurry and out of focus to us. Even the colors of the living world are subdued. Only the things and places that have crossed into Everlost appear bright, solid, and clear to us. Such is the nature of eversight.

everslugs:
You may have discovered a time-worn coin in your pocket when you awoke in Everlost. Throw it away. It's worthless.

The Everwild:
The unexplored, uncharted, and mostly dangerous regions of Everlost.

fleshie:
A skinjacker slang term for a living, breathing human being.

gravity fatigue:
Afterlights are not immune to the force of gravity—it pulls down on us just as it does to the living. Unfortunately, since we sink in the living world, there is always a clear and present danger that we might sink all the way to the center of the earth if we don't keep moving when on living ground. Once one sinks over one's head into the ground, there is usually no hope that that person will ever pull himself back to the surface. We call this gravity fatigue.

Interlights:
After crossing into Everlost, Afterlights sleep for nine months before awaking in Everlost. During that hibernation period, they are properly referred to as Interlights.

peel out:
When a skinjacker pulls out of a fleshie, it is sometimes referred to as “peeling out.”

skinjacking:
Another criminal art—perhaps the most useful— if any of the criminal arts can be called useful. Skinjacking is the ability to “possess” a living person, by leaping inside of that person, and taking control of, him or her.

vapor:
This is the proper way to refer to a gathering of Afterlights. A flock of birds, a gaggle of geese, and a vapor of Afterlights.

Contents

Acknowledgments

Part One: A Vapor of Afterlights

Chapter 1: Fresh Havoc

Chapter 2: The View on High

Chapter 3: Audience with an Ogre

Chapter 4: The Outcast

Chapter 5: Southern Discomfort

Chapter 6: Shuttle Diplomacy

Chapter 7: A Fistful of Forever

Part Two: Dancing with the Deadlies

Chapter 8: Treasures of the Flesh

Chapter 9: Good Stewards

Chapter 10: Skinjacking for Fun and Profit

Chapter 11: Surfing Tennessee

Chapter 12: Of Monsters and Mullets

Chapter 13: Bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Chapter 14: Strange Winds

Chapter 15: The Flight of Mikey McGill

Part Three: The Great White City

Chapter 16: Mary's Master Plan

Chapter 17: The Death Boss

Chapter 18: The Interlight Incubator

Chapter 19: Eminence Green

Part Four: Way of the Chocolate Warrior

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