The second novel of The Skinjacker Trilogy.
There was a rumor of a beautiful sky witch,who soared across the heavens in a great silver balloon. And there were whispers of a terrible ogre made entirely of chocolate, who lured unsuspecting souls with that rich promising smell, only to cast them down a bottomless pit from which there was no return.
Everlost, the limbo land of dead children, is at war. Nick the "Chocolate Ogre" wants to help the children of Everlost reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Mary Hightower, self-proclaimed queen of the lost children and dangerous fanatic, is determined to keep Everlost's children trapped within its limbo for all eternity. Traveling in the memory of the Hindenburg, Mary is spreading her propaganda and attracting Afterlights to her cause at a frightening speed.
Meanwhile, Allie the Outcast travels home to seek out her parents, along with Mikey, who was once the terrifying monster the McGill. Allie is tempted by the seductive thrill of skinjacking, until she learns a shocking secret: those who skinjack are not actually dead.
Has a Character Sheet.
This novel provides examples of:
- Body Horror: Nick is called the "Chocolate Ogre" for a reason. The chocolate smudge on his face has taken over half his body. At the end of Everwild, it completely consumes him, turning him into a large chocolate puddle.
- Breaking the Fellowship:
- Nick and Allie are separated for most of the story. They briefly reunite, but then they get separated... again.
- Johnnie-O's gang all take coins and reach the tunnel to the light. Johnnie-O stays behind and is currently serving as Nick's Number Two.
- Mikey leaves Allie's team when he sees Allie and Milos kissing. Then, after that, Allie parts ways with Milos, Squirrel, and Milos, which leaves her alone.
- Allie briefly reunites with Mikey and Nick, who is reduced to a chocolate puddle, only to get kidnapped by Milos and taken to the west, leaving Mikey and Nick, who was restored by Mikey, to rescue her.
- Butt-Monkey: Mikey for some time in the story since he's not as threatening in his fourteen year old body than he was as the monstrous McGill, and well, because Loners Are Freaks.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Mikey sees Milos as a threat, and dislikes/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.
- Holding Hands:
- Allie holds Mikey's hand whenever she needs to reassure him.
- Allie holds Mikey's hand at one point to show to reassure Mikey and to show their new companion Milos that "the two of them were together in every way that mattered."
- Becomes a bit of a mind game between Milos and Allie when either refuses to hold the other person's hand.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Mikey as he gradually learns many of the feelings that humans feel.
- If I Can't Have You…: Mikey/the McGill literally says this to Allie, convinced that Allie had chosen Milos over him, that Mikey can never have Allie, and 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 Have You Now, My Pretty: Happens twice to Allie (by Mikey/the McGill and again then by Milos, happens once to Mary (by Pugsy Capone).
- I Will Find You: Mikey searches for Allie twice. Once as the McGill to return her to the tunnel to the light rather than be unable to have her, having been convinced that Allie had chosen Milos over him, and once again as Mikey when Allie is captured and taken to the west, leaving Nick and Mikey to find her.
- Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Milos and Allie. After they kiss, Allie rejects Milos, and they get into an argument over Mikey's disappearance.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Nick thinks of this about Allie. He believes that their lives have been intertwined through their journey together, and since she had always been there for him, he regrets never telling her goodbye. Nick hopes that Allie took a coin and completed her journey, but secretly wishes that Allie stayed in Everlost so he could meet her again.
- Not a Date: What Allie tells Milos whenever their lessons seem to borderline something more.Milos: "I know it is not a romantic place for a date."Allie: "Good thing it's not a date."
Allie: "Do you think I don't know what this is all about?"Milos: "Indulge me. One dance is all I ask."Allie: "Why should I?"Milos: "Out of simple gratitude for all I have taught you."Allie: "No — you lied to me! You said tonight would be a lesson, not a free dance ticket."
- And then again
- The Power of Trust: Mikey's trust in Allie is broken for about half of the story when he sees Milos and Allie kissing.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The mob of Afterlights that chase after the Deadlies when their belongings are stolen by a missing Jackin' Jill. Mikey, once again, goes through this as the McGill after he feels betrayed over Allie kissing Milos. He goes to Memphis along with a group of Afterlights he enslaved to find Allie and capture her in order to have a If I Can't Have You… moment, as he would rather have Allie returned to the tunnel to the light than to not have her at all. But when Allie reveals her true feelings for Mikey, Mikey returns to his fourteen-year-old-boy-self, and they become an Official Couple.
- Samus Is a Girl: "Zach the Ripper," soon revealed to be Zinnia "Zin" Kitner, a fourteen year old girl who secretly joined the Confederate War. Nick noticed that there was something off about "Zach's" eyes and face, but the entire realization didn't process until the end of the chapter.
- Tsundere : Mikey - Type A. Harsh towards people he doesn't know or when socializing with others in general. Sweet towards Allie.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Zin, who dressed as a boy to pass into the Confederate War. Unfortunately, she is unable to stop doing so thanks to the inability of Afterlights to remove the clothes they died in.