The characters of The Skinjacker Trilogy:
Nick/The Chocolate Ogre
The fourteen-year-old hero. He arrives into Everlost with Allie following a car accident, dressed in a suit and his face smeared with chocolate. While initially passive and at times insecure, Nick develops into a more determined and strong-willed person. He quickly develops a crush on Mary Hightower.
- Betty and Veronica: He is the Veronica to Vari's Betty in Everlost, and the Betty to Milos's Veronica in Everwild and Everfound.
- But Not Too Foreign: Nick is half-Japanese.
- Character Development: Nick starts out a bit high-strung and not very courageous, but by the end he's brave and self-confident, even going as far as to lead the rebellion against Mary Hightower. Much of this character development happened while he was being pickled in a barrel by the Haunter and had lots of time to reflect.
- Character Focus: He spends much of the time separated from the three other main characters, having his own adventures, such as leading the ghost train.
- Love at First Sight: Nick and Mary felt quite a connection right away, partly love, and partly because Nick was destined to take over Mary's role, only to do it the right way, with unselfish intentions. Mary was basically Nick's evil counterpart.
- Distressed Dude: Gets captured twice—first by the Haunter and then by the McGill.
- Fish out of Water: He has to figure out the ins and outs of being a ghost.
- Home Sweet Home: Nick's initial goal until he meets Mary Hightower.
- Longing Look: Whenever he's around Mary.
- Only Sane Man
- With Lief when he becomes a Cloudcuckoolander.
- Also, in the chiming chambers, where most people had gone crazy from hanging around.
- Took a Level in Badass: When Nick realizes that Mary has been lying to the Afterlights about their coins in order to keep them in Everlost instead of moving on, he betrays Mary and frees all the Afterlights so they can reach the light.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Between Nick and Allie.
- Body Horror: He's not called the Chocolate Ogre without reason...
- Dating Catwoman: In spite of Mary's true colors and her scheme to prevent Afterlights from moving on and instead trapping them in Everlost, Nick is still in love with her.
- Like Brother and Sister: How Allie regards her relationship with Nick.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Mary labeling Nick "the Chocolate Ogre" in an attempt to scare Afterlights away from him. Nick tries to invert the trope and actually succeeds.
- Empty Shell: Nick is this for a short while at the beginning of the book. His personality slowly grows back with the help of Mikey.
- Fake Memories: Milos manipulates Nick into believing that Jill is who he loves and not Mary. This doesn't last for long.
- The Ferryman: Near the end, Nick explains to Allie this was fate had planned for him all along. Over the course of the final book he gains Super Strength, the ability to retain his identity, and even loses the weakness of gravity fatigue. It's likely he was challenged so he could gain these powers yet remain humble, acting as an ideal guide for the souls of Everlost.
- I Choose to Stay: In the end, he decides that his fate is to stay in Everlost, to help all newcomers.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Due to his near dissolving into nothingness and returning as a literal "Chocolate Ogre," Nick can barely recall who he was.
Alexandra "Allie" Johnson/Allie the Outcast
The-fourteen-year-old heroine. Arrives into Everlost with Nick following a car accident. She is practical and sarcastic. Allie desperately desires to return home and displays hostility towards Mary. Her choices in the story cause a chain of events that lead her to untimely consequences.
- Action Girl: Allie gets into the most physical confrontations of any of the characters and is willing to show anyone up.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Allie falls in love with the moody McGill, the "one true monster of Everlost."
- Convenient Coma: The reason why she (and other skinjackers) can skinjack.
- Dare to Be Badass: Allie was the first Afterlight that dared challenge Mary Hightower, the first character to see through the propaganda and the first character that took on (and fooled for a long while) the One True Monster. The rest is history.
- Deadpan Snarker: Just look at the following shout outs.Allie: Great. I'm playing Wendy to a delinquent Peter Pan and the lost boys of Juvie Hall.Allie: Don't try to charm me. The 'Beauty and the Beast' thing doesn't work with me, okay?
- Foreign People Are Sexy: Which is why Allie fell for Milos. But not for long.
- Guile Hero: She spends the whole first book tricking the McGill by telling him she would teach him how to skinjack. She ends with one giant trick when she puts a fake fortune in one of his cookies.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: Allie wishes she could become human once again. And it's closer to the truth that she initially thought.
- Ship Tease: With the McGill/Mikey. They become an Official Couple in Everwild.
- Tsundere: Type A. She can be quite Hot-Blooded and impulsive, but she genuinely cares about her friends.
- Will They or Won't They?: Mikey and Allie. They will-but not until Allie dies for real.
- Worthy Opponent: To the McGill. This is why Mikey has a change of heart and rescues her.
- Batman Gambit: Allie convinces the McGill that she can teach him the twelve steps on how to skinjack so she won't get thrown overboard. They're all Blatant Lies.
- Becoming the Mask: Nick calls out Allie on this when it appears the McGill's influence is rubbing off on her.
- Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: When Allie body surfs into a nineteen-year-old jogger and they fight for control of the girl's body while Allie is driving, they crash into a guard rail along the road. The jogger ends up mostly unharmed, but Allie literally falls out of the body and almost sinks into the water below before Mikey rescues her.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Between her loyalty in rescuing Nick and Lief versus her sympathy to the McGill.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Tricking McGill into beliving that she was teaching him how to Body Surf.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Whenever the McGill begins showing genuine kindness towards Allie.
- Easily Forgiven: The McGill easily forgives Allie twice—after he catches her opening his fortune cookies, and then within a couple of hours of chasing Allie for betraying him, the McGill/Mikey has a change of heart from vengeance to admiration towards Allie and rescues her.
- Interrupted Suicide: Subverted. When the McGill sees Allie staring off at the horizon from the deck and approaches her, she accuses him of trying to pull a Beast and Beauty. The McGill actually thought Allie was going to jump and wanted to make sure she wasn't going to.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Allie writes a book that is mentioned throughout the series, named Everything Mary Says is Wrong.
- Rescue Romance: Mikey's HeelFace Turn and rescuing of Allie.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Allie's slightly gradual sympathy towards the McGill.
- Took a Level in Badass: From Naïve Newcomer to Guile Heroine in days.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Allie attempts this on the McGill to defend herself from the Haunter. The Haunter gets thrown overboard, but the gambit fails for Allie because the McGill already knew she had fooled him.
- Badass in Distress: Gets strapped to the front of the train Milos and the rest of Mary's children are on, headed for the West. Ironically complains that the latter trope has been overdone.
- Big Damn Heroes: Zin lacks enough strength to rip Mary into the living world: Allie skinjacks some people and pulls from the opposite side, dragging her out.
- Living Legend: Allie is now rather famous at this point, as can be evidenced by the reactions in her first appearance in Everwild.
- Mistaken Identity: This is why she runs into Milos and his gang.
- Power High: An ethical dilemma for Allie as she has some trouble in self-restraint. She gets much better.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:Allie: Now that you are in the living world, there is something I wanted to do for a long time... (punches Mary in the face)
- The Red Baron: Allie the Outcast. A fitting nickname for a heroine that broke free of convention.
- The Reveal: Allie, like all skinjackers, is not actually dead, just comatose.
- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Much of the plot revolves around Allie's ethical dilemmas in skinjacking.
- Assassin Outclassin': Allie is checking on her own comatose body at a hospital when an assassin skinjacker sent by Mary tries to suffocate her (the body) with a pillow. When Allie finds out and makes a last-minute return the tables are quickly turned, with the assassin being lured into an elevator, after which Allie shuts the door and hits the top-floor button, causing him to fall through the elevator floor and down the shaft.
- Break the Badass: Gets stuck in a coyote she skinjacked, and stays that way for two weeks until she is run over by a car. Allie hates the experience. She bursts into tears immediately afterwards and goes through a Heroic BSoD. What makes this awesome is that she uses being broken to her advantage while lampshading the trope.
- Fate Worse than Death: Comes extremely close to getting one by having her comatose body killed by Mary's assassin. Allie figures it out at the last second and subjects the assassin to a Fate Worse than Death. Ironically, Allie herself delivered this trope to Milos via the exact same method, killing his comatose body.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Allie tries this twice: the first by knowingly crossing her Moral Event Horizon by euthanizing Milos, and the second time by trying to pull off a Taking You with Me moment by sinking herself while attached to Mary. Subverted in this case because it fails.
- Humanity Ensues: Allie ultimately choose to return to her own body and reunites with her mother.
- Summon Bigger Fish: When the train she is trapped on is blocked by a building, Allie refuses to give a solution (the building had been moved there and therefore can be moved off the track) she knows, not only because she can make a bargain but also because whoever moved the building would try to attack the train, possibly setting her free. Subverted, because a) Milos sees through her plan and B) the group turns out to be a Spanner in the Works and changes the plot dramatically.
- Taking You with Me: Tries to invoke this on Mary by going down the the centre of the earth with her. Subverted because it fails.
Mary is a fifteen-year-old girl who takes in Afterlights and gives them a home in her utopia. She is exceptionally knowledgable when it comes to Everlost and has written many books on it. Mary is slowly drawn to newcomer Nick.
- Affably Evil: Mary is very polite and proper, and just a relatively nice person, if only she wasn't set on destroying the world.
- Alliterative Name: Megan Mary McGill.
- Big Applesauce: Mary's haven for the Afterlights is the Twin Towers, where a good portion of the story happens.
- Cool Airship: In the epilogue of Everlost and for a long duration in Everwild, Mary uses the airship Hindenburg.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Played straight with Nick. Subverted by Vari and Milos, who are not quite heroic.
- The Reveal: The McGill is Mary's younger brother Mikey, and she has known about it the entire time. She also lied about the coins that Afterlights brought with them to Everlost being useless—she knew it was the key to Afterlights going into the light and wanted them to stay with her in Everlost instead.
- Dating Catwoman: Despite Nick betraying her in Everlost, Mary still holds strong feelings for Nick. It is hinted in various occasions, such as when she is captured by Pugsy Capone in Chicago and fantasizes about Nick finding and rescuing her.
- Humanity Ensues: Nick's plan succeeds and Zin crams Mary out of Everlost and into the human world, but Mary convinces Milos to kill her and watch over her body in Everlost during the nine-month hibernation period until she awakens.
- Deep Sleep: She is currently in her nine-month-hibernation.
- Driven to Suicide: Of sorts. After being defeated, rather than stay in an Everlost that is not hers, Mary decides to seal herself in a refrigerator that sinks to the center of the earth.
- A God Am I: Actually close to being worshipped.
A monster feared by all of Everlost. It is said that he leaves no survivors.
- Alliterative Name: Mikey McGill.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Feeling left out when he is around the Skinjackers, his ability to change, and his feelings for Allie.
- Cool Boat: Has a ship named the Sulphur Queen, but leaves it behind for a Cool Horse when he chases after Allie (and gets chased after, himself, by an angry mob. Vari takes the Sulphur Queen and becomes the new McGill.
- Cool Horse: Has a horse that can dive from frightening high places until he loses it in the sequel.
- Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: After the McGill catches Allie opening his fortune cookies, she hesitates in answering him, and he assumes that she will lie. In spite of this, he decides to believe what she says.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: The McGill takes a growing interest in Allie not only because of her skinjacking ability but also because she doesn't fear him (she secretly does).
- Living Lie Detector: The McGill believes he is this, but his arrogance blinds him from seeing Allie's Blatant Lies.
- Luminescent Blush: Or glowing lavender.
- Meaningful Name: He remembered his last name.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Played straight with the McGill. Averted with Mikey.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- In Everlost, the McGill chases after Allie for foiling his plans, but as time passes he grows to admire her as a worthy opponent and rescues her.
- In Everwild, under the belief that he can never have Allie and that Allie had chosen Milos over him, he becomes the McGill once again and pulls an If I Can't Have You moment by attempting to force Allie to move on into the light rather than not being able to have her at all.
- Tsundere: Type A as Mikey. Tsun-tsun towards people he doesn't know or when socializing with others in general. Dere-dere towards Allie.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Initially doesn't understand and denies his feelings for Allie.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Allie. They will.
- Big "NO!": When Mary shows him a picture of who he really is—Mary's brother, Michael Edward McGill, which changes him back from an Eldritch Abomination to the fourteen-year-old boy he once was.
- Lima Syndrome: Develops feelings for Allie.
- Stalker with a Crush: After he starts to like Allie, he has a habit of appearing behind her several times.
- Take My Hand!: "Hold on to me, and don't let go."
- Body Horror: When he turns into the McGill once again. He gets better.
- Butt-Monkey: For some time in the story since he's not as threatening in his fifteen-year-old body than he was as the monsterous McGill, and well, because Loners Are Freaks.
- Cassandra Truth: When he tells the Afterlights at the diner that he was the McGill, and when Mikey tells Milos, Squirrel, and Moose that Mary Hightower is his sister.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He does not take too kindly to Milos, a rival for Allie's affections and a fellow skinjacker. What sends him on the tip of the iceberg and makes him become the McGill once more is seeing Milos and Allie kiss.
- Date Peepers: Mikey spies on Milos's and Allie's "lesson," and everything went downhill after that...
- Green-Eyed Monster: Sees Milos as a threat and is jealous of the growing closeness between Allie and Milos and how much time they've been spending together.Mikey had no idea whether or not Milos was a good spirit, or bad, all he knew was that he hated Milos for simply existing.
- If I Can't Have You : Mikey (reprising his role as the McGill) literally says this to Allie in Everwild, convinced that he can never have Allie because she had chosen Milos over him, and he would rather have Allie take a coin and be returned to the tunnel to the light than to not be able to have her at all.
- I Will Find You: Twice towards Allie—Once as the McGill (again) to return Allie to the tunnel to the light than to be unable to have her, having been convinced that Allie had chosen Milos over him, and then as Mikey when Allie is captured and taken to the west, leaving Nick and him to find her.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: He is taken into the light at the climax of the book.
- Love Redeems: He acknowledges that his love for Allie had "saved" him and restored him to his true self, but at the time, cooled off his furious McGill nature, which serves to be a bit of a problem when the "Ogre" version of Nick and him are attempting to follow Mary's train by going through the earth (as doing so needs willpower and fury).
An initially nameless boy who finds Nick and Allie and introduces them to the world of Everlost. Allie names him "Lief."
- Cloudcuckoolander: Becomes this after he gets captured by the Haunter and gets stuck in a pickle barrel.
- Distressed Dude: Gets captured twice—first by the Haunter and then by the McGill.
- Please, Don't Leave Me: Does this to Nick and Allie when they decide to leave the forest to find their homes. He secretly follows them to make sure they don't get hurt and rescues them when they are ambushed by Johnnie-O and his gang.
- Retro Gaming: Plays The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Game Boy at one point and becomes so obsessed with Pac-Man that he plays it for five days straight.
A finder working under Mary. Named such because he died wet in a speedo. Owns the Hindenburg.
- HeelFace Turn: During the climax, he gets seriously pissed off when Mary takes everything he had. Allie finds and turns him.
- Motor Mouth: Because he's in the engine room with no one to talk to, once someone comes, he or she will be a "captive audience" until the train stops.
A gang leader that Nick and Allie encounter during their first few days in Everlost.
- Chaste Hero: According to Allie, he doesn't like girls because he died a year too young.
- Minor Major Character: Gets a bigger role in Everwild.
- Smoking Is Cool: He loses his cigarette in Everwild.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: He and his gang join Allie in rescuing Nick and Lief from the Haunter.
- Shout-Out: Allie compares him and his gang to Peter Pan and the lost boys with herself as Wendy.
Mary's right hand man and favorite, Vari is greatly loyal to Mary and grows jealous of Nick, who Mary takes an interest in.
- The Bus Came Back: He returns in Everfound.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Towards Mary. Doubles as Green-Eyed Monster, especially when he tries to Murder the Hypotenuse by indirectly leading Nick, Allie, and Lief to the Haunter.
- Cool Boat: Vari becomes the new McGill and takes the Sulphur Queen.
- Creepy Child: Especially in the beginning of the story when he's a Crazy Jealous Guy.
- Tagalong Kid: To Mary until he accidentally gets left behind. Then Vari becomes the new McGill.
An expert in the Criminal Arts of haunting the living world. He captures Nick and Lief.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: When the McGill sends the Haunter overboard his boat to sink.
- I Have Your Wife: Invokes this on Allie with her friends.
The McGill's chief associate, Pinhead is a boy with an unusually small head.
- The Reveal: The reason why the McGill never goes to Atlantic City is because that is where he suffered his first defeat at the hands of the Twin Pier Maradaurs, who captured him. One of the members of the Maradaurs later turned traitor and set the McGill free. He knows of this crucial information because he was the traitorous Maradaur who set the McGill free.
A nine-year-old Afterlight and the conductor of a ghost train.
- Cool Train: Owns a ghost train and the only source of transportation for Nick's team.
- Broken Record: Sings endlessly while trapped on the Hindenburg with Johnnie-O.
"Zach the Ripper"/Zinnia "Zin" Kitner
Known as "Zach the Ripper" in rumors of an Afterlight with the Criminal Arts skill of ecto-ripping. Nick hopes to find the Ripper to add to his forces to defeat Mary. It is soon revealed that "Zach" is actually a girl named Zin. She reluctantly joins Nick's cause when she hears about a war.
- Team Pet: Her dog, Kudzu. Nick later orders her to cram Kudzu back into the living world and she reluctantly complies.
Vitaly Milos Vayevsky
A skinjacker who befriends Allie and Mikey and travels with them. Milos and Allie can understand each other because they are both skinjackers. He is the leader of the group, the Deadlies, and his companions are Squirrel and Moose. Milos is looking for their former companion, Jackin' Jill, who he was once fond of.
- Birds of a Feather: Played with. Jackin' Jill and he are both skinjackers and were once in a relationship, but Jackin' Jill betrayed the Deadlies and disappeared. As fellow skinjackers, Allie and he also gradually grow closer, much to Mikey's jealousy, but Allie ultimately rejects him for Mikey.
- Broken Masquerade: Allie isn't the only person who can skinjack.
- But Not Too Foreign: He is Russian.
- Dragon with an Agenda: To Mary. He seeks to rule with Mary and to replace Nick in her heart. By Everwild, he has become the substitute leader while Mary's body is hibernating.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Two of his relationships with girls end sourly due to their betrayal until he meets Mary Hightower.
- In Love with Love: Even he is aware that he falls in love too fast.
- Perma-Stubble: He crossed into Everlost when he was 16, so he has a little bit of facial hair. And since he's an afterlight, it's literally permanent.
- Second Love: Invoked. He wants to replace Nick in Mary's heart.
- Technicolor Eyes:... Curious eyes that were blue, speckled with white, like a sky dotted with clouds.
- Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: He hunts down Allie to bring her to Mary as a prisoner in this fashion in order to be in Mary's favor.
- This Is Unforgivable!: When Mary is thrown back into the living world.
- Cessation of Existence: Via intentionally touching Clarence at the command of Mary.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Allie knows that in spite of how hot-headed he can get when his buttons are pushed or how evil his actions are, he won't hurt a girl or break his word. Of course, that doesn't stop him from using Exact Words loopholes.
- Fate Worse than Death: Willingly gets extinguished by Clarence at Mary's request. And before that, euthanatized by Allie, causing him to lose all his memories.
- Hot-Blooded: He can be quite furious at times if his buttons are pushed or if he's stressed.
Jackin' Jill was the former member of the Deadlies, a group consisting of Milos, Squirrel, and Moose. Among the jobs they did, she was the one who passed on messages of Afterlights to the living. Milos and Jackin' Jill were close. But one day, Jackin' Jill left, taking with her all of their belongings, as well as the belongings of the Afterlights they were staying with. Milos, Squirrel, and Moose are currently trying to find Jackin' Jill.
- The Smurfette Principle: Was the only girl among the Deadlies.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Stole all the finest belongings of the Deadlies and of the Afterlights they were staying with.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Inverted. Jix is the one who's attracted to her. She later reciprocates his feelings.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Jill: Very touching. I may have to skinjack someone just so I can hurl.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She sacrifices her coin in an attempt to free Jix when they are ambushed by the Neon Nightmares.
- High-HeelFace Turn: She leaves Mary's group after Jix and over fifty souls sink to the center of the earth through drowning.
- Kiss-Kiss-Slap: When having to choose between Jix and returning to Milos and the gang, Jackin' Jill kisses Jix and then slaps him before deciding to stay.
- Love Redeems: Jix's presence makes her second-guess her choices and lifestyle.
- The Mole: She rejoins Mary at Jix's suggestion to remain in her good graces and to keep an eye on her.
Squirrel and Mitchell "Moose" Terrence Moessner
Skinjackers who follow Allie, mistaking her for their former companion Jackin' Jill. Squirrel and Moose are companions of Milos, the leader of their group, the Deadlies.
- Cessation of Existence: Squirrel's fate after being touched by a scar wraith.
The loyal subject of the Mayan King of Everlost, perpetually fifteen-year-old Jix is a "furjacker"—a skinjacker except that Jix prefers to possess animals (specifically jaguars) rather than humans. After spying on Milos and his group on an excursion, he decides to join them their cause with a hidden agenda—to learn more about the "Eastern Witch" Mary Hightower.
- The Atoner: After because the indirect cause of a little girl's death, Jix makes it his responsibility to look after the girl and apologize her to after she wakes up from her nine-month-hibernation.
- Body Surf: Though he prefers to possess animals rather than humans.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Towards Jackin' Jill. His main reason for prolonging his stay on the train is because of her.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Jix is devastated when his actions of releasing a panther he had furjacked led it to killing a little girl standing nearby and letting it run loose in the city. See The Atoner.
- Unusual Ears: Much like the rest of his cat-like appearance, his ears have shifted higher on his head and have become smaller and pointier.
ClarenceA former firefighter hero turned public nuisance following a fire rescue that burnt the left side of his face and left his eye dead, his ear deaf, and stole his left fingers, Clarence can see Everlost through his left eye and is determined to uncover the "spirits" he sees to prove to everyone that he's not going mad. He turns out to be a "scar wraith," a being that is half in Everlost and half in the human world and has the ability to extinguish an Afterlight by touching one.
- Everyone Can See It: He quickly takes notice to Mikey's feelings for Allie and isn't above telling Mikey straight to his face that Mikey is in love with her.