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Literature / Everland

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To die would be an awfully big adventure

Everland is a Young Adult Steampunk series by Wendy Spirale, taking inspiration from various fairy tales. The plot revolves around a war started by Germany, led by the ruthless Queen Katherina, and the race to find a cure for the Horologia virus, which has decimated humanity.

The first book, Everland, focuses on Gwen Darling and her siblings Mikey and Joanna, living in a desolate London, devastated by bombings from Germany. When Joanna is abducted by the Marauders, led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer, Gwen sets off to rescue her, joined by the mysterious daredevil Pete and his band of Lost Boys who live in a hidden city underground.

The second book, Umberland, takes place a few months after the first book. Gwen, Pete, and the others have arrived at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, where the supposed cure for the Horologia virus has mutated into something even more deadly. With the situation growing increasingly desperate, Duchess Alyssa of England sets off on a journey to a fabled labyrinth hidden deep within Germany to locate the virus's origin, an extinct poisonous apple, which may hold the key to a cure.


In the third book, Ozland, with both Everland and Umberland destroyed, survivors have taken refuge in a small village within Germany, where a cure for the Horologia virus has been created. Meanwhile, rumors claim that the former king of Germany, thought dead, is actually alive and hidden away in a secret land. When the survivors are captured by the Bloodred Queen, Gail, a huntress, sets off to find the former king and put a stop to the wicked queen's tyranny once and for all.

A prequel novella, Lost Boy, was also released, focusing on Pete's life prior to the annihilation of London and the creation of the Lost City.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Queen Katherina is this to both Hook and her stepson, Jack. Notably, she clawed out Hook's eye on his thirteenth birthday.
  • Accidental Murder: Gwen accidentally fatally wounds Mr. Smeeth when he charges her and ends up running into her blade.
  • Action Girl: Many, Gwen, Alyssa and Gail being notable examples.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Marauders storm the Lost City and capture the surviving children after Jack reluctantly reveals their location to Hook.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Hook loses an arm to Gwen Darling at the end of Everland.
  • Anyone Can Die: Death is a very real threat throughout the series. Few of the characters introduced in Everland survive to the end of the series.
  • Becoming the Mask: Jack was initially sent by Hook to infiltrate the Lost Boys as a double agent, but he ended up joining them and never reported back.
  • Big Bad: Queen Katherina, who is the one responsible for the war and the outbreak of the Horologia virus.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Gwen is very protective towards her siblings.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Millions of people have died, including many of those close to the protagonists, but the Bloodred Queen is finally overthrown, a cure for the Horologia virus has been created, and King Osbourne is back on the throne and paving the way for world restoration.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Bella's weapon of choice is a slingshot.
  • Bus Crash: Mole and Dozer are revealed to have died sometime between the events of Everland and Umberland.
  • Cain and Abel: Captain Hook and Jack.
  • Cool Big Sis: Bella becomes one to Mikey.
  • Crapsack World: The series takes place in a war-torn dystopia where much of the adult population is dead, the female gender is threatened with extinction, and Germany is being run by a tyrannical despot.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Pete lost his parents in a car accident, which also crippled his sister, Gabrielle. The two were put in foster care, where Pete spent years defending his sister and trying to make enough money to get her out of the orphanage. When the outbreak began, his sister became infected and ultimately passed away, leaving Pete grief-stricken.
  • Defiant to the End: When the Marauders capture the Lost Kids, Justice remains resilient against them, even kicking a rock into Hook's head. He pays for his bravery with his life.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Doc mentions that Gabrielle died in his arms.
  • Doomed Hometown: Evergreen is destroyed by Katt's forces early on in Ozland, leaving Gail to rescue King Oswald on her own.
  • The Dragon: Mr. Smeeth to Captain Hook.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Gwen, Joanna and Mikey's mother, the Professor, reunites with her children after a year separated in Everland, only for her to pass away from illness at the beginning of Umberland.
  • The Evil Princess: Katt is the younger sister of the Queen of England and desperately wants to usurp her sister as ruler of Northumberland, to the point of collaborating with the Bloodred Queen and stirring up civil war within Alnwick Castle. She later makes ambitions to overthrow Katherina as ruler of Germany, and then, the world.
  • Eye Scream: Hook had his eye clawed out by Katherina on his thirteenth birthday when he offered her a green apple from the Forbidden Garden, unaware that it contained the Horologia virus. He returns the favor at the end of Ozland.
  • Fiery Redhead: General Ginger.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Katherina isn't known as the Bloodred Queen for nothing.
  • Happy Ending Override: Everland ends on a positive note, with the survivors escaping the devastated Everland to seek refuge at Northumberland with a cure for the Horologia virus. The opening of Umberland negates this, showing that the conditions at Alnwick Castle are worse than before, with the cure having mutated and become more contagious than the original virus.
  • Headbutting Heroes: This sums up Pete and Doc's relationship. Pete holds a grudge against Doc for failing to prevent his sister's passing from the Horologia virus and the two prefer to stay away from each other during their time in the Lost City. Their scorn for each other only escalates after Doc's supposed "cure" for the virus mutates, leaving nearly all of their allies, particularly Bella, in an even worse state than before, which Pete holds Doc responsible for. Their contempt escalates into physical spats between the two at times.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Hook in Ozland.
  • Heir-In-Law: In Ozland, part of Katt's plan to become Queen of Germany involves marrying Prince Jack, as she knows the populace won't accept her, a foreigner, as ruler otherwise.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pyro sacrifices his life buying the other Lost Boys time to escape from Hook's crocodiles.
  • Ill Girl: Bella. While nearly everyone is infected with the Horologia virus, she suffers the most from the disease, spending much of the series on the brink of death.
  • The Immune: Gwen is immune to the Horologia virus due to receiving the vaccine from her mother before the virus broke out.
  • Karmic Death: Katherina dies by getting stabbed in the eye by Hook, whose own eye was gouged out by her years prior.
  • La Résistance: The village of Evergreen against the Bloodred Queen.
  • Mark of Shame: Jack is branded with the insignia of the Marauders by Hook to ensure that neither he nor anyone else questions his allegiance.
  • The Maze: The tree bearing the poisonous apple is hidden within one. Alyssa and Maddox Hadder are forced to enter it in order to retrieve said apple.
  • The Medic: This is Doc's role in the Lost City, providing medications for those infected with the Horologia virus. He's also the one responsible for finding a cure.
  • Motor Mouth: Gabs.
  • Mutual Kill: Hook and Katherina ultimately kill each other; Hook by stabbing her in the eye, Katherina by driving her claws into his gut.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Expressed by Hook and Gwen at the end of Everland, the former for destroying England and the latter for severing Hook's arm.
    Hook: What have I done?
    Gwen: What have we done?
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Captain Hook keeps crocodiles as pets and uses them to pick off survivors of the London bombings. One of the Lost Boys, Pyro, falls victim to them early on.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Doc supposedly creates a cure for the Horologia virus, which is mass produced to refugees at Alnwick Castle. Fast-forward to Umberland, and the "cure" has mutated, making the virus even more contagious and deadly than it was before.
  • Offing the Offspring: Katherina kills Hook at the end of Ozland as a final act of spite. However, Hook gives her the same fate.
  • Parental Abandonment: Gwen, Joanna and Mikey's parents are missing. Luckily, they manage to reunite with both of them over the course of the series. Unluckily, neither of them stick around for long.
  • The Plague: The Horologia virus.
  • Promotion to Parent: Gwen was forced to take on the role of parent towards Joanna and Mikey after London was bombed and their parents vanished.
  • Rabble Rouser: Princess Katt, as part of a ploy to overthrow her sister as Queen of England, stirs up the suffering refugees of Alnwick Castle and turns them against those still loyal to her sister and Duchess Alyssa.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Katherina and Katt.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Hook dies not long after joining the heroes.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Duchess Alyssa is noble and dignified, but is also a very experienced swordsman.
  • The Starscream: Katt allies with the Bloodred Queen while secretly planning to kill her and take the throne.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Bella falls victim to this in Ozland.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: At the end of Everland, Gwen, upon realizing that Hook is infected with the Horologia virus, comforts him and even requests that the rest of the survivors take Hook with them.
  • Synthetic Plague: The Horologia virus.
  • Taking the Bullet: Gabs dies when he takes a bullet from Katt meant for Pete.
  • Teenage Wasteland: What London has been reduced to ever since the Horologia virus wiped out its adult population, with the only survivors being eighteen and under.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Gwen keeps her father's military tags as a memento.
  • Underground City: The Lost City.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Hook, according to Jack. The two were very close in their youth despite not being blood siblings. Unfortunately, Katherina's abuse morphed Hook into the monster he is in the present.
  • The Usurper: Katherina poisoned the previous king of Germany in order to replace him as ruler.
  • We Can Rule Together:
    • Hook makes this offer to Professor Marie Darling in Everland.
    • Katt makes the same offer to Pete in Umberland while plotting to take power from the Queen of England.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Katherina towards Jack. As abusive as she was towards her biological son, her treatment of Jack was even worse.

Example of: