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Literature / Everworld

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"You hopeless idiots. Where do you think you are? This isn't a church. This isn't America. And it's not Philosophy 101, Jalil! This is Everworld, you blind, stupid, ignorant, willful jackasses. You simple-minded, narrow morons, these aren't gods you argue about. You fight them if you have the power, and if you don't, then you do what they say."
Senna, Brave the Betrayal.

A Young Adult series written by K. A. Applegate and Michael Grant and published by Scholastic between 1999 and 2001, written alongside the duo's most successful title, Animorphs.

The series is about four teenagers with opposing personalities who are Trapped in Another World, where all of the classical polytheistic gods, demons and legendary heroes from various mythologies fled when people stopped worshiping them in the "Old World." While dealing with lunatic gods and insect aliens, they must find a way back to the Old World. Unfortunately, the only person who might be able to help them return is Senna, the witch who brought them to Everworld and shows up from time-to-time to either save their lives or travel with them and lend her magic to help. However, Senna has her own goals and plans for Everworld, and is more interested in bringing them to fruition than helping the rest of the group, and may be following a master plan darker than any of them could ever guess.

Everworld had many of the themes of Animorphs, but aimed at an older audience, so it got to include "fun" subjects such as alcoholism, homophobia, religious intolerance, prejudice, neo-Nazism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and child molestation. Like Animorphs, each book was told in first-person narrative from one of the main characters' viewpoints.

Books in the series include:

  1. Search for Senna (1999)
  2. Land of Loss (1999)
  3. Enter the Enchanted (1999)
  4. Realm of the Reaper (1999)
  5. Discover the Destroyer (2000)
  6. Fear the Fantastic (2000)
  7. Gateway to the Gods (2000)
  8. Brave the Betrayal (2000)
  9. Inside the Illusion (2000)
  10. Understand the Unknown (2000)
  11. Mystify the Magician (2001)
  12. Entertain the End (2001)

In 2021, KA Applegate and Michael Grant confirmed the rights to the series were given back to them, and the series was rereleased in Spring 2022.

Includes examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Inside the Illusion sets up two plot points that were lost in the shuffle and never mentioned again: in one, Senna recalls a mysterious young man with 'the glow' (which would make him the only character from the Old World other than Senna and her mother to wield magic) who led her to a statue of Isis (leading Senna to link her mother with Isis) in a store only to disappear and never be seen again. In another, Senna notes that she feels an unseen presence watching her whenever she opens the gateway between the Old World and Everworld, something distinct from the gods or anyone else. Like the mysterious young man, this watcher is never seen or heard from in any way again.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Coo-Hatch steel weapons, particularly the jokingly-named "Excalibur." Galahad's sword is also tougher and more durable than your average blade.
  • Action Survivor: The core four (April, Jalil, David and Christopher). They're just trying to stay alive long enough to get home.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Dionysus is portrayed as one of the nicest gods in the setting (at worst, he's a Chivalrous Pervert). In the original myths, he is also the god of insanity and a lot nastier.
  • The Alcoholic: Christopher
  • The Alliance: The group opposing Ka Anor by series end includes the Norse and Olympian Pantheons, the Dwarves, the Elves, every Fairy mercenary that Dwarf gold can buy, Merlin and the Irish, and the core four. They plan to grow it even more.
  • Alliterative Name: The titles of all of the books.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Dumb Muscle made of stone, with rhino heads growing out of their chests. In thrall to Loki.
  • Almighty Idiot: Everworld's gods are Nigh-Invulnerable and have Reality Warper-level power, but most might as well have walnuts in their heads for all the brain activity going on upstairs. It's implied in Inside the Illusion that this is an inevitable consequence of their Time Abyss-tier lifespans, and that left to their own devices long enough they'll all either degrade into living statues (as the entire Egyptian pantheon has) or get devoured by Ka Anor. Loki and Athena (and Sobek, once Senna coaxes him into it) are the only gods the kids meet who can think outside of their mythologically-mandated boxes, likely because of the nature of their divinitynote .
  • Ambition Is Evil: Senna. She's more ambitious than every other character in the entire series combined.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Whatever it was that Merlin had planned for Senna. He presented it as taking Senna somewhere where she would be safe and providing her with all she would ever want, while Senna herself saw it as a prison sentence to avoid at all costs. Since both characters are inclined towards deceit and Merlin never actually does get his hands on Senna, it's never revealed whether his intentions for her were in fact as benevolent as he claimed or whether he really did intend to imprison a teenage girl (albeit a powerful and dangerous one) without any benefit of charges or trial.
  • Ancient Grome: We get both the Greek and Roman pantheons, who hate each other. Neptune and Poseidon are always beating the crap out of each other, and Zeus refers to the Romans as "that impostor Jupiter and his brood."
  • Anti-Hero: Senna is an Unscrupulous Hero on a good day.
  • Anti-Villain: Loki, who wants to survive as badly as the kids do.
  • Arch-Enemy: Several groups.
    • Loki to the core four.
    • Merlin to Senna.
    • Ka Anor to all the other gods.
  • Arc Words: A supremely creepy example. "Ka Anor is Fear"
  • Artifact of Doom: The Great Scroll of the Gods. Pick it up, and you become the Dimension Lord of the entire universe of Everworld. Naturally, Senna wants it bad.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The only way to injure Hel is to attack her living side.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Loki's sons, Jormungandr and Fenrir are, respectively, a snake so big he encircles the world, and an elephantine wolf.
  • Atlantis: One of the few decently-run, semi-democratic places in all of Everworld, courtesy of its real-world mayor, Monsiuer Le Mieux.
  • Axe-Crazy: Neptune, Hel, Keith, and Senna in the 11th book.
  • Badass Normal: The core four approach this as the series progresses. They'll never win any stand-up fights, but their ability to survive and turn situations to their advantage is very impressive. Any human characters they encounter are either utterly pathetic, or this, with special points going to Thorolf and the other Vikings.
  • Bad Boss: All the gods and Senna.
  • Barrier Maiden: The "gateway" Senna, though she has her own agenda.
  • Bastard Bastard: Senna.
  • Berserk Button: For April, anything involving her half-sister.
    • Senna's list of berserk buttons include: being called by her birth name, being in a situation where she isn't in control, any action that she constitutes as a betrayal of her, and the idea of anyone using her as a pawn in a scheme.
  • Better than Sex: To Senna, using magic. She makes numerous quotes about it in Inside the Illusion to this effect.
    ...filled me up, rushed through me, the sensation of power more erotic than any fantasy, more exciting.
    The power, I loved it so, it filled me and fulfilled me.
    It was mind, it was body, it was sex and money and power and revenge and triumph all rolled into one.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Holy manslaughter and sororicide, April.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Loki, Ka Anor and Senna.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Hetwan.
  • Big Fun: Personified in Dionysus, the God of Wine and Ecstasy. Deconstructed, as a God whose powers rely on drunken revelry becomes a gigantic liability when trying to rescue him in enemy territory.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Loki's. Christopher says it the best: "As bad as Loki is man, his kids are worse. I mean, how is it that you're this Calvin Klein, underwear model-looking god, and your kids are a snake, a wolf, and a half-dead monster woman?"
    • And that's not to mention the Wales family; both members that appeared in the series have a serious case of Moral Myopia, and it's implied in the ninth book that Senna was conceived when her mother used magic to seduce her father, just as Senna is doing to David in the series.
    • Worse yet: it's implied that this magic-powered seduction is how the Wales family has reproduced for untold generations, and Senna may be descended from Morgan La Fey.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Senna. While it's relatively obvious that she's up to no good, she makes an effort to appear polite and reasonable to the others in the first three books. As the series goes on, she eventually drops the facade and lets her Jerkass behavior come to the forefront when they continue to distrust her.
  • Black and Nerdy: Jalil
  • Black Shirt: The Sennites. Christopher describes them as a bunch of "hopelessly fried, Klebold-Harris wannabes."
  • Black Vikings: Lampshaded and Justified:
    • There are Vikings of all different races because Everworld's Fantasy Counterpart Cultures have a vastly different geography from our world, so that Everworld-Vikings regularly raid Everworld-Aztecs, Everworld-Africans, and apparently Everworld-Asians; this results in many new people entering the Viking society as slaves (who may gain freedom and work their way up) or from mixed marriages between Vikings and captured women. Their king, Olaf Ironfoot, is actually black.
    • The Amazons are described as similarly having children with whatever men they happen to conquer. The queen, Pretty Little Flower, is mixed-race.
  • Bloody Murder: Witch's blood is poisonous. Loki's blood (which is black, and freezes as it bleeds) is apparently burning hot.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Explored in Brave the Betrayal with Eshu and the Orisha. From the kids' perspective Eshu is a Jerkass Trickster God, constantly following them around needling them to make a sacrifice to the Orisha and then punishing them when they don't. But from Eshu's case he is simply enforcing the rules of the land the kids have come to and is more puzzled than annoyed by their continued defiance (though he does start to get annoyed with Jalil in particular as the dispute turns into a personal contest of wills between them. In the end, the Orisha get their sacrifice through a handy bit of Loophole Abuse and Eshu sends the kids on their way without further incident, though he warns them not to return to his lands again.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Thorolf and the other Vikings.
  • Body Snatcher: Senna can insert her mind into the body of a mentally unstable person, taking control of them. The owners are still fully aware when she does this, and think she's just a figment of their imagination. Senna being Senna, she doesn't waste the opportunity to snark about it.
    Fat Billy: You're not real. Go away now. Don't be bothering me. I took my meds.
    Senna: You can't get rid of me that easily. I'm with the CIA. You know we can control your brain. You should have worn your tinfoil hat. It's the only way to stop us. Get up, Fat Billy. We have places to go, people to see.
  • Born in the Wrong Century:
    • David, who'd much rather be a Greek general.
    • Senna also laments being born in the 20th century, noting in Inside the Illusion that while she might have been drowned or hanged or burned in earlier days, at least she'd have been less bored.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Senna's backstory. See Freudian Excuse below.
    • David's backstory, too. Heck, all the main characters over the course of the series, especially April.
  • Breaking Speech: An example where one character's attempt to break another with words is turned around and broken in return. Jalil attempts to point out to Senna that she's in a bad situation, being on her own in a world where she has few allies and many enemies. Senna promptly composes and responds with one of these, deconstructing everything from Jalil's confidence to his religious beliefs, to great success.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Senna's mother Anica, who has all of her daughter's magical ability but none of her ambition, and seems to have crossed over into Everworld solely as a means to escape the poverty and obscurity of her life in the Old World. She doesn't do much better for herself in Everworld either, though, and Senna is so disappointed all she can do when she learns the truth is laugh at the notion that she ever considered this woman a potential threat.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: David wets himself when they get to Everworld and are interrogated by Loki.
  • The Brute: Keith, so much. He believes in force, More Dakka, and not much else. Even Senna thinks he has issues. In a purely story-wise sense, he's closer to The Dragon.
    • Ares and Heracles fulfill this role for the Olympian gods, with their short tempers, love of violence, and incredible stupidity. Ares in particular is a wonderful case of Dumb Muscle meets Psychopathic Manchild.
  • The Bus Came Back: Thorolf the Viking vanishes early in the second book and doesn't come back until the eighth.
  • Butt-Monkey: Even though he considers himself The Hero, David gets no respect.
  • Cain and Abel: Senna and April. But in this case, April, the good sister, kills Senna, the evil one.
  • The Caligula: Most of the gods, but Neptune exemplifies the trope.
  • Can't Stay Normal: The first variation of this is a recurring theme throughout the series. As the series progresses, the characters want less and less to do with their regular lives in the real world, until eventually they are forced to choose between staying in Everworld or returning to the real world, and all four choose Everworld.
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse: A rare example where someone's friends smuggle them somewhere this way, alive and willing.
  • Cassandra Truth: Spoken by the actual Cassandra, no less. Despite being Genre Savvy enough to know about her and her curse, they still don't/can't believe her.
  • Character Development: April develops from The Heart to an Action Girl, Jalil experiences serious Messiah Creep, and Christopher drops his racist act and starts to contribute. Even David learns the value of teamwork, and slowly starts to recover from his Badass Decay. At the start they're four normal kids who can't stand each other. By the end, they're a band of True Companions, ready to do war with Ka Anor himself.
  • The Chessmaster:
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Also ties in with Gods Need Prayer Badly, as there is a terrible implication about the nature of Ka Anor... it's theorized by Jalil that he may not actually exist, not in the way the other Gods in Everworld do. The idea that the God-Eater may actually be a manifestation of the religious fervor of The Hetwan disturbs the group more than any other God they encounter does, though the series ends before it can be fully explored.
  • Classic Villain: Senna representing a full temperament of pride, wrath, greed and envy. Given how she describes magic you could even throw in Lust and Gluttony as well.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The group (particularly Jalil) become adept at this simply to survive, as each culture seems to be mode-locked into whatever tactics were the norm when they were brought over into Everworld. Under Athena's patronage they are tasked with instructing the Greek Army in guerrilla warfare in order to combat The Hetwan horde. When the Sennites invade Everworld with modern weaponry capable of killing immortals, the group brings multiple cultures together to school them in modern tactics.
    • The Hetwan as a culture do battle in this manner. Their bodies are frail compared to a Viking or Spartan and they rarely utilize armor (as their carapaces would shatter beneath it with enough force anyway), but they can overwhelm most armies through sheer numbers given how quickly they can spawn. They've developed attachments to their bodies allowing them to weaponize their acidic bodily fluids as projectiles, not to mention the fact that they can fly.
  • Compelling Voice: Senna has a sort of compelling touch which can cause anyone to fall under her spell and obey her every whim, or believe something that is false. Later in the series, she becomes able to extend it at a distance as well.
  • Cool Sword: Galahad's sword burns anyone who isn't supposed to touch it. It also survives physical contact with Hel, something normal swords do not do, and seems pretty much unbreakable.
  • Cowardly Lion: Christopher is no less able than any of the other characters, and when push comes to shove, he shows it. Otherwise, he's usually the first to advocate running away.
  • Creepy Child: Senna, especially when she was younger, but still creepy as a teenager/young adult. When the author was describing the series online, the only character she mentioned by name was, "Senna Wales, a strange, disturbing girl."
  • Crossover Cosmology: Anything from human religion or myth lives in the corresponding part of Everworld, i.e. Egyptian gods live in the Everworld's version of Egypt and so on.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The entire main cast, but David and Senna in particular.
  • Darker and Edgier: Essentially, it was a darker and edgier take on a lot of what made Animorphs popular. And that wasn't the most cheerful series to start with.
  • Dark Messiah: Senna
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Senna is actually traveling with the four, she tends to stay quiet, except to occasionally make a sarcastic comment to mock them.
    • Christopher is also prone to snarking (especially in the books he narrates). Nidhoggr gets a few choice lines in Fear the Fantastic.
  • Death Glare: Senna's cold, contemptuous looks; she prefers these to express disapproval most of the time, unless she gets really angry.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: In Enter the Enchanted, April goes to see David in his room at the castle they're staying in, and finds to her surprise that he's shirtless, and Senna is in the room with him, in a suspiciously cheery mood. He later admits he can't remember if they slept together or not.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Senna is unusually polite and courteous, even to April, afterwards.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Merlin, while he lacks the power of the average god, still holds his own against them by using his intelligence, cleverness and imagination. Senna recognizes this, and later uses the same strategy to good effect.
  • Dirty Coward: Anica, as noted by Senna while she was giving her "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Dominance Through Furniture: The Norse goddess Hel has taken to using the victims she's ensnared as the road leading into her domain, essentially burying people up to their necks so their heads serve as the paving stones; as a result, they are left to be repeatedly trodden on and tripped over by any unfortunate guests invited into Niflheim until the victims finally die and decay into skulls that are - at a distance - identical to real paving stones. For good measure, Hel has a thing for keeping the freshest examples closest to her domain, likely so she can enjoy the screams.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": "Senna" isn't her real name, though it isn't revealed until Inside the Illusion, because the only two people who know about her birth name are Senna herself and her mother.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
    • When the kids aren't kowtowing to the gods, they're insulting them.
    • Defied by Senna, who repeatedly tells them that taunting Cthulhu is a very bad idea. The page quote is given by her after the core four flip off the African deities, which Senna thinks is outright stupid and unnecessarily risky.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Several characters express this.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Senna's control over David is portrayed as creepy, but nothing particularly worse than that. It's implied that early on her actions are giving him flashbacks to when he was molested as a kid at a summer camp or deliberately causing the flashbacks. Either way it's not okay.
  • The Drag-Along: Everyone, at some point, but most notably Christopher.
  • The Dragon: Merlin has an actual Dragon, Senna has Dawkins to act as her second-in-command and Keith as her primary physical crony, and Loki has Fenrir. Judging from what Eshu says in Brave the Betrayal, the Orisha (demi-gods) play this role to the Great High Gods of the African myth the group wandered into on their way to Egypt.
  • Dragon Hoard: The only thing dragons seem to care about is money. The best example is Nidhoggr, who, aside from being huge even by dragon standards, has a hoard to match. Yet when four magical items are stolen, he has a major breakdown and weeps "swimming pools of tears".
  • Dragon Rider: While it's not clear if Merlin actually rides any dragons, her certainly seems to have an affinity for them.
  • Dream Weaver: Senna has the ability to project her mind into another person's dreams and control them. This might explain the rather freaky dream of her that David had in Search for Senna.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Debateably Senna, who gets knifed by April in Mystify the Magician, right after her moment of triumph, and then the book just ends abruptly afterwards. Definitely Finn McCool, an Irish hero who looks like he's being set up as a Foil to David and Christopher and who promptly gets shot by an unnamed Sennite during an ambush.
  • Dumb Muscle: Most of Everworld's inhabitants are heavy on the muscle and physical ability and light on the reasoning and critical thinking.
  • The Dung Ages: The kids' view on Everworld is not a positive one. And it's largely accurate.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The already dead Thorolf manages to bail the kids out of an upside down African afterlife by holding onto a messenger of the gods with his bare hands while Jalil blackmails the gods themselves. This leads to their release, resulting in Thorolf's immediate death...which he greets in true Large Ham style, demanding the Valkyries come and get him.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The core four, and Senna. Deliberately, because Senna wanted a bunch of real-worlders mucking about and causing havoc without working together, so that when the Sennites come to conquer Everworld anyone who can shoots back rather than tries to talk to them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The ever-changing Ka Anor. He's witnessed once, and all the kids can really remember is an all-powerful sense of revulsion.
    • He is implied to be some kind of physical personification of Primal Fear. He's pretty much a living, sentient Brown Note.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: Averted. The dwarves prize elven women as potential mates.
  • Emotionless Girl: Senna, most of the time, comes across as this due to her withdrawn nature.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Witches. Like Senna No horse will bear them, and their bodily fluids kill anything they come into contact with. As we seen in the series, at least with Senna , it's pretty justified.
  • Eunuchs Are Evil: Or at least in the employ of Hel. Oddly, Hel's eunuchs do avert the Evil Chancellor, Sissy Villain archetype associated with this trope, as they are Viking eunuchs, and thus big, brutal and tough.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Senna thinks Hel is nuts. Even the other gods think Ka Anor is nuts, as is lampshaded by Christopher.
    "How bad? Bad enough that really bad, really violent, really hard, nasty, evil guys are scared of him. Imagine Jeffrey Dahmer thinking someone else was really a hard-core psycho. "Hey, man, sure I kill guys and cut them up and put them in the freezer and cook certain body parts for lunch, but see that guy over there? That guy is crazy!"
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Hel gets this treatment. The original version of her from Norse Mythology was nowhere near as evil as this version.
  • Evil Genius: Loki is probably the smartest of the gods in his own warped way. He knows they can't beat Ka Anor and just wants out of Everworld. Hel is also far from dumb, to the dismay of all.
    • Mr. Trent is also the Evil Genius for the Sennites, being the primary recruiter and "mission control" who gets their supplies and arms, and presumably delivers them to Dawkins.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: In Brave the Betrayal, Jalil thinks of Senna as the 'modem' that he can use to 'hack into the software' of Everworld and reasons that if he can use her to learn and understand magic, he can control it and then take it away from her. Come Mystify the Magician, Senna shows him exactly what she does to people who try to use her.
  • Evil vs. Evil: This actually seems to be what's driving the plot a good portion of the time—both Ka Anor and Loki want Senna to keep the other from having her, and she's planning to overthrow both of them. The villains sometimes have alliances (like Loki and Ka Anor in the beginning), but even then they always seem to be planning to betray each other.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: The Sennites laugh at your silly gun control.
  • Fatal Flaw: The god's is their immutability, Senna's is her ego and need for control, David's his urge to prove himself.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Senna is this for many, especially after she drops the Affably Evil act. The combination of Deadpan Snarker and Chessmaster ability helps, causing some to overlook her Jerkass moments in favour of her capability.
  • Females Are More Innocent: April is easily the nicest of the main four characters, and the only girl in the group. Subverted with Senna, who seems nice enough at first, and tries to act innocent, but is really a very Manipulative Bitch.
  • Flanderization: Subverted. The characters seem to be playing it straight for a few books, but eventually grow depths that shed a different light on past actions.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Jalil, who is an actual atheist, thinks that the gods and other supernatural creatures in Everworld are just some kind of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens or something, and that the magic is just due to the laws of physics working differently there. Rather ironically, April, who is a devout Christian, mostly agrees with his view that the gods of Everworld aren't for real, although she doesn't seem to have a theory on what they really are.
  • Flaw Exploitation:
    • Senna does this to everyone throughout, but especially in the climax of the story. Poor Jalil...
    • Conversely, the core four are not above exploiting Senna's need for control to their own advantage. Jalil is especially adept at it, and he and Merlin put her through the psychological ringer in Mystify the Magician.
  • Fiery Redhead: April. She's green-eyed to boot, and, of course, has an Irish ancestry.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Senna can sense (and even see, when we finally get a book narrated from her perspective) magic and other magic users.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: April is Sanguine, Christoper is Choleric, David is Melancholic, and Jalil is Phlegmatic.
  • Friendship Moment: Mostly between Christopher and Jalil, when they stick up for each other despite their many arguments, especially when that lapses into the "real world."
  • Freudian Excuse: Senna's mom was generally a nice person (well, sort of) who did want her daughter to be safe, but was too overwhelmed. However, it was precisely her absence that caused her daughter's start of darkness, because Senna considered it Parental Abandonment. Senna's stepmother contributes to her Freudian Excuse as well; she seems to have never become comfortable with having to take care of her husband's bastard daughter.
  • Functional Magic: Used by wizards and by witches, though the rules and limitations of the system aren't seen in detail until Inside the Illusion, when Senna details her experiences with using it.
  • Gambit Pileup: With Senna, Merlin, Loki, Ka Anor, Athena, Jalil, and every one of Everworld's other major players all putting their own plans in motion, this was more or less inevitable.
  • Gangsta Style: Keith. To quote Jalil, "He'd learned his moves from TV."
  • Genre Savvy: Played with, or possibly satired: Christopher babbles about how the laws of movies and TV are inescapable, and even predicts his own death through redemption. Defied by April.
  • A God Am I: In Mystify the Magician, Senna seems to honestly believe she's become a god, and starts to really act like one.
  • God-Eating: Ka Anor terrifies the gods from this reason. He eats Ganyemede onscreen and is known to have eaten the Daghda.
  • God of Evil: Ka Anor embodies everything bad. Fear, revulsion, lust, hatred, it's all there in one twisted, shapeshifting Eldritch Abomination.
  • God Guise: Senna in Inside the Illusion. She admits freely that she is no god, merely a mortal with unusual abilities. However, she also pretends to be a god, creating an illusionary appearance and voice, and then passing herself off as one to the Sennites, in order to better unite and encourage them, and give her cause a greater sense of importance. (And she puts on quite a performance.)
  • Good Is Not Nice: Merlin's heart seems to be in the right place, but he spends most of his time trying to abduct Senna, without even bothering to explain to her or the other kids why.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Played straight at times, averted at others.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Ka Anor. The entire plot of the story is kicked off by Loki's desire to escape him. Every major scheme or plot in the story is generally caused in some way by him; either by his direct influence or, more commonly, as a reaction of his mere existence.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Senna's whole reason for being so cruel to April seems to just be that April is a nice, normal girl whose parents actually love her (unlike Senna's) and that makes her (Senna) jealous.
  • Heal It with Booze: April tries to treat Galahad's wounds and start a blood transfusion with limited 20th-century knowledge. She orders someone to get wine instead of water, as the water being germ-free is dubious at best.
  • The Heart: Senna states that she brought April along to be the team's emotional center, and Christopher to be the anti-Heart.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Loki in Entertain the End, now that escape is no longer an option.
  • Hell: Hel, both a place, and the Norse goddess who rules it. Boy is it a horror show.
  • The Hero: David certainly tries, although the others often view him as little more than Senna's protector.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: There's a reason David gets to carry Galahad's sword anywhere outside of Hel.
  • Heroic Wannabe: David starts out as this and develops into more of a hero before being gradually deconstructed back into this. And then starts reconstructing himself in the last book. He's all over the place.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Christopher and Jalil unwillingly drift in this direction.
  • Honor Before Reason/Horrible Judge of Character: David in his protection of Senna. Senna herself inverts both tropes.
  • Hot Witch: Senna. Her magic can amplify people's attraction to her, resulting in More than Mind Control.
  • A House Divided: Most of the series. It's rare to actually find the four agreeing on any course of action.
  • Immortal Popsicle: Thor and Balder are frozen in Hel.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Jalil tries very hard not to look at, "Senna in profile" during Understand the Unknown.
  • I'm A Humanitarian: Ka Anor eats other gods. They aren't happy about this.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Pretty much ALL of the immortals, save the Celtic ones.
    • Athena tries to avert this, with varying degrees of success.
  • Informed Ability: We're told that Etain, Christopher's crush, is very competent with a sword. She's never actually shown going into combat though.
  • Informed Judaism: David, only brought up when Christopher feels like being a Jerkass.
  • Insulted Awake: Subverted. April attempts to insult David's masculinity to "make him mad, wake him up" only to be rudely disabused in a rather creepy scene.
    April: Where are Jalil and Christopher? Maybe they're still both men.
    Senna: Don't try to provoke him.
    David: Don't try to provoke me.
  • In the Blood: It becomes apparent in Inside the Illusion that quite a few of Senna's traits were inherited from the maternal side.
    • As an immortal example, Loki and Hel are notably smarter than most of the other gods, much to the dismay of the main characters.
  • It's All About Me/Moral Myopia: Senna and her mother. Lampshaded in Understand the Unknown by David, when he notes that when Senna hurts someone, it's business as usual. When someone hurts Senna, it's unforgiveable.
  • I Want to Be a Real Man: David's early motivation, thanks to his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Done in a mild way to April, as she didn't break, but she definitely became more cynical.
  • Jerkass:
    • Senna, increasingly with each book.
    • Keith is even worse, and Senna decides that he's a natural choice for her chief minion as a result.
    • Christopher. He comes across as a straight up jerk, but it is revealed to be an act, which he admits at one point. Sadly, he only starts really letting down that facade toward the very end of the series.
  • Jerkass Gods: A major theme of the series. An amputee could count on one hand the number of gods the kids meet who aren't Jerkasses.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After taking multiple levels in jerkass, Senna goes all the way in Mystify the Magician.
  • Karmic Trickster: Eshu in Brave the Betrayal.
  • Kick the Dog: Senna constantly does this.(Though she claims she's actually shooting it.) Christopher and of course, Keith also do it on occasion.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Jalil to Senna on a number of occasions.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ganymede, Senna, Galahad, Finn MacCool, Fenrir.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: Galahad. Finn McCool thinks he's one, but comes off as more of a Jerkass Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While the series is Darker and Edgier, whenever the Hetwans show up things tend to go From Bad to Worse.
  • Lack of Empathy: All the gods to one degree or another, with Hel being the very worst. Keith and Senna suffer from it as well.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Catchphrase "Welcome to Everworld" serves as a general-purpose lampshade.
  • Large Ham: Pretty much every single one of the gods, who's personalities range from Psychopathic Manchild to Boisterous Bruiser. Even Athena has shades of this. Thorolf, one of the Vikings, is also a decent example, as are many of his crewmates, and Senna does it as an act for Keith and his psychos.
    • Senna has a special, illusion-modified voice that she uses especially for maximum hamminess.
  • Left Hanging: The ending of Entertain the End, definitely. Unfortunately, it's also the last book in the series.
  • Living Statue: The fate of the Egyptian pantheon, who after centuries upon centuries of static worship have disengaged entirely from the world around them. As Amazon leader Pretty Little Flower puts it, "If you want your ass kissed from sunrise to sunrise, then you have to hold your ass very still."
  • Love Makes You Dumb: David loving Senna.
  • MacGuffin: The Great Scroll of the Gods was presumably meant to be this had the series gone on longer. Unfortunately, as it is the Scroll is mentioned in all of one book and is never actually found, either by the people who want it or by anyone else.
  • Magic Cauldron: There's a take on the Undry of Irish myth (mentioned in passing), with the elf queen saying that sure, it produced food, but food that was barely above being fit for pigs (the main characters suspect it was corned beef and cabbage)... and the king adds it needed salt.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: Deliberately set off and exploited by Senna.
  • Make Them Rot: All witches—including Senna—have poisonous blood that kills plants, though apparently not animals or people. It can even render land infertile, which is why (in Everworld at least) witches are always killed in ways that won't shed blood, like drowning or burning.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Anica, and her daughter even more so. Merlin, and even Jalil can also do this on occasion.
  • Master of Disguise: Senna, and Merlin, the latter having been everything from a sailor to "an extra from a Mad Max movie." Being a Shapeshifter and Master of Illusion helps.
  • Master of Illusion: Senna and Merlin.
  • Meaningful Name: Senna's real name (Senda) means "Pathway" in Spanish. Her mother was a translator of languages, and apparently guessed that her daughter had inherited the ability to travel between universes.
  • Medieval Stasis: An interesting example as the Stasis of Everworld is both technological and psychological, with most of the gods being too bound by their traditional roles and domains to do anything about the god-eating threat in their midst. The few gods who can bring themselves to do something only want to flee, because they know trying to convince the rest is a fool's errand.
  • Messiah Creep: Ironically, atheist/agnostic Jalil, who evolves from a guy trying to rationalize the situation to the one with the most power to stop Ka Anor and genuinely cares about morality and such. Might also be "Leader Creep", since by that time, David has lost some of the others' trust, while Jalil's been building his.
  • Mighty Whitey: Subverted. Early leader David is Jewish, while later, leadership shifts to African-American Jalil.
  • Mind Rape: Senna has the ability to do this. Poor David and Jalil learn the hard way not to tick her off, in Discover the Destroyer and Inside the Illusion respectively.
  • Miserable Massage: During their stay on Olympus, the cast learns that guests can opt for a massage (along with other... services...), one of which is implied to be this by David.
    "Your choice of nymph or satyr. Or nymph and satyr. Or nymph, satyr, and a helot they call the Harsh Spartan. Don't ask. I did, and trust me, You Don't Want to Know."
    Christopher spread his hands wide, encompassing the marble and alabaster perfection of the room. "I am home. I mean, this place? Do you have any idea of the profit potential if we could book people from the real world in here? I mean, this is what, a five-thousand-dollar-a-night experience?"
    "Extra for the Harsh Spartan," Jalil said.
  • Mommy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You: Subverted in Inside the Illusion, much to Senna's disappointment.
  • Mordor: The Hetwans' territory could be considered a Downplayed version of this—aside from their own presence it's not much more dangerous than the rest of Everworld, just weirder.
  • More Dakka: The favoured fighting style of Keith and the rest of the Neo-Nazi Sennites. Justified by their lack of training, and effective due to their facing people who have never seen a gun in their lives.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: April is by far the nicest of the main four, her only real flaw being she comes across as kind of self-righteous at times.
  • Muggles Do It Better: The kids spend the first ten books fighting and fleeing (mostly fleeing) from various gods, monsters, and other legendary creatures before Senna gets it in her head to try just throwing regular modern-day Muggles with guns at them. And wouldn't you know, it turns out gunfire can kill quite a few "immortal" things...
  • Mysterious Waif: Senna was cast this way in the first few books, before her personality really began asserting itself.
  • Nay-Theist: Senna's official view towards the various gods of Everworld. She openly acknowledges their existence and often even scolds the others for not treating them as such, but also quite clearly states that they are not omnipotent, are too weak to use power correctly, and she even plans to kill or reduce every god to a slave when she rules Everworld. It is unknown what her attitude towards the idea of a monotheistic God is, as the only things she's said about that sort of religion is that she enjoyed going to church and that she can't stand April's self-righteous religiosity.
    • Jalil as well. He can accept that these beings have tremendous powers, etc, etc. But none of them are gods, and as a straight-up atheist, he will not bow to them. In fact, most of the kids express these sorts of sentiments on one occasion or another; he and Senna are just the most obvious about it.
  • New Life in Another World Bonus: Subverted. The cast is just as lost and powerless as you'd expect average high-schoolers to be when dragged into Another Dimension where All Myths Are True. The only things they have going for them are the ability to not go in blind (whenever they go to sleep in Everworld, their conscious mind snaps back to the original world, so they can look up whatever gods and culture they've run into) and because they were dragged in with all the possessions they had at the time, they're eventually able to make use of them (by trading the recipe for gunpowder in a chemistry book or by using a CD player as a marketing gimmick to convince merchants to invest in a telegraph). Senna also takes heed that modern technology still works, and drags a bunch of white supremacists with guns to Everworld as her personal army for the finale.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: The similarities between Senna and April, and more frighteningly, Senna and Hel, are repeatedly pointed out.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Senna takes a liking to some . . . rather odd things. The two best examples are in Brave the Betrayal and Inside the Illusion. In the former, the characters are sent into a mirror world where the sky is down and the ground is up. The core four find this extremely disturbing and disorienting, while Senna is cheerfully intrigued, compliments the African deities on creating such an awesome place, and compares the whole thing to fine art. A more disturbing example comes in the next book when Senna states that she likes watching crazy people, and it is implied that she has a thing for Jalil because she enjoys watching him struggle with his obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Hel does this of course, loosing The Undead on intruders into her realm.
  • Noble Demon: Arguably Nidhoggr. He's a True Neutral dragon in sort-of service to Hel, but he's not malicious, and always keeps his word.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Merlin claims that no man can kill Senna. As is usual with this trope, that provides no protection against women. And since her sister really doesn't like her...
  • Omniglot: Anica. According to the narrative, she can understand anything anyone says, regardless of language. In Inside the Illusion, she recites the exact etymology of Senna's name.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Both the Greek and Roman pantheons exist in Everworld, and they can't stand each other. Especially Neptune and Poseidon who are engaged in an eternal turf war for control of the oceans.
  • Our Dragons Are Different; Even from each other. Merlin's is normal sized (for a dragon anyway) and serves as his Dragon in a literary sense as well as a physical one. Nidhoggr, on the other hand, is the size of Godzilla, and serves no one. Kind of a cool guy though.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Greedy miners with beards, axes, and a limited ability at taking crap? Check please.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: A nymph named Idalia appears after being rescued from gangrape by satyrs. She's four feet tall, green, unable to leave the woods, has Super-Speed and is a thousand years old. She's willing to sleep with Jalil, but he comes to realize she's closer to sentient furniture than a real woman, whose role is essentially to fall in love with mortals, and she can't remember how many other lovers she'd had or why it might be important, and is even unable to count two plus two.
  • Out-Gambitted: Senna outgambits Merlin and Anica in Inside the Illusion. Merlin gets his own back in Mystify the Magician with assists from Christopher and Jalil. These are just some of the more notable examples; throughout the series, Merlin, Jalil, David, Senna, Loki, Hel, Ka Anor and the other gods run countless overlapping gambits that inevitably end up tripping one another up.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: David's description of being sucked into Everworld is that he's floating naked in a dark void, with some unknown entity watching him. The fact that it looks into his memories of being molested gives the nudity a darker edge.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: This was the only fantasy work that Applegate ever did; everything else she's written has been either sci-fi or realistic fiction, with the later exceptions of The One and Only Ivan and Endling.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Ka-Anor is this to the rest of Everworld's divine inhabitants. Oh, sure, they could cope with another god in their midst, but a god who eats gods? That's a curveball none of them saw coming and none of them have any idea what to do about. Uniting to kill the threat is the obvious play, but the curious nature of Everworld's Medieval Stasis prevents most gods from even considering this plan, let alone going along with it.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Senna is a powerful witch in her own right, but her powers don't look that impressive next to Merlin, Loki, Hel, Ka Anor or any of the other people who are out to get her. Her recruitment of Keith and company is an attempt at rectifying the situation. Merlin himself suffers from this in comparison to the gods, as do heroic humans like Galahad and Finn McCool. As for the core four (who are competent enough by early in the series to be much more than innocent bystanders, they suffer from it when compared to just about everyone.
  • Parental Abandonment: Senna's Freudian Excuse.
  • Patchwork World: The various mythological gods keep their domains in a seemingly random pattern, so that it's about a two-day sail from Viking country to an Aztec city, from which it's a short hike to Arthurian Britain. At one point the characters actually notice the environment transition between the Greek gods' Mediterranean climate and that of sub-Saharan Africa within a few feet. (While traveling to the Egyptian area, which should logically be between them.) This annoys Jalil.
  • People Puppets: Senna not only has the ability to screw with minds, but to take a person's body over, provided they are either Weak-Willed or insane.
  • Performer Guise: The first group of people the heroes meet are Vikings, and tell them they're minstrels. They keep that act up by singing "My eyes have seen the glory of the mighty Viking lords", and it works perfectly.
  • Pet the Dog: Senna's reaction when she sees the people imprisoned in Hel.
  • Power High: Senna claims using magic "...filled me up, rushed through me, the sensation of power more erotic than any fantasy, more exciting. The power, I loved it so, it filled me and fulfilled me. It was mind, it was body, it was sex and money and power and revenge and triumph all rolled into one."
  • Power Trio/Token Trio: Superego April, Id Christopher, and Ego Jalil, during the time that David was bewitched away from the group.
  • Pride: Senna, David, and almost every god.
    • Pride Before a Fall: Senna's ego is what ultimately derails most of her plans and eventually gets her killed.
    • Too Clever by Half: Jalil isn't above ambition or self-satisfaction, and sometimes lets one or both get the better of him, particularly in his interactions with Senna and Eshu.
  • Rape as Backstory: David, whose wish to be a "capital-M Man" stems largely from shame due to being molested as a kid at a summer camp.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Deconstructed initially, as Senna personally chose each of them for their respective dysfunctions and intended the group to throw a monkey wrench into the workings of Everworld. However, they eventually do come together as True Companions do exactly the opposite of what she intended - unite Everworld against her, the Sennites, and Ka Anor.
  • Raising the Steaks: Done by various gods.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Senna seems to like doing this. She talks down all four of the other main characters in Discover the Destroyer, then again in Brave the Betrayal. During Inside the Illusion, she also lets Anica have it pretty bad.
    • Jalil recognizes this, hangs a lampshade on it, and at one point (Discover The Destroyer) even deconstructs one of Senna's speeches point for point. He and Merlin give Senna and her troops a joint "The Reason You Suck" Speech in Mystify the Magician.
  • Redshirt Army: Everyone that is allied with the core four; played straightest with the Vikings.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: David and Christopher (red) to Jalil and April (blue).
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The Sennites.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: While being kind of self-righteous is April's main flaw, she's often completely right in her judgments, particularly in saying they shouldn't trust Senna.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: The books treat Nifhel and Nastrond as this same place, as Hel and Niddhoggr both live there, and it's portrayed as a hellish realm of torment. In the original myths, Nifhel was the default afterlife where most people went, whereas Nastrond was a place of punishment for really bad people.
  • Sad Clown: Christopher, although his humour tends to be of the incredibly bad and/or racist variety.
  • Savage Wolves: Fenrir is an enforcer for Loki.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Merlin's plan for dealing with Senna, seemingly. He keeps trying to take her with him, and while he tells her she'll have all she wants, Senna explicitly regards it as a prison sentence and tries to avoid it and him at all costs.
  • Shapeshifter: Merlin and Senna create the impression of doing this, but it's all illusion. Eshu plays it straight, transforming into a lion during his battle with Thorolf.
  • The Smart Guy: Jalil, so much. It's why Senna brought him along. Though he proved to be a bit of a disappointment when he wouldn't obey her, as Senna herself admits. Merlin is The Smart Guy for all of Everworld, and Athena is The Smart Guy for the Olympian Pantheon.
  • Smug Snake: Anica is the straightest example. Senna can also be interpreted as this.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: She may be a Physical God, but Hel runs her Mordorish realm as though she were a stereotypical Evil Overlord.
  • Spanner in the Works: The core four themselves. Senna brought them over to Everworld for this very purpose originally, but they ended up causing problems for not only the gods, but her as well.
  • Split Personality: Kinda. The four live in both Everworld and our world. When one of them sleeps in Everworld, they reunite until they wake up there. They call this "CNN: Breaking News", where the memories of the Old World and Everworld collide. It gets to the point where they basically think of each life they live as separate people.
  • Square-Cube Law: Lampshaded when a character points out that an elephant-sized wolf shouldn't be able to move, let alone dragons being able to fly.
  • Stumbling Upon the Lost Wizard: Merlin follows the characters around, trying to capture Senna; and when he is encountered, it is often this trope. He means no harm to the characters other than Senna; and even with Senna, he wishes she would understand that his attempts to capture her are for the greater good of both Everworld and Senna's own safety (she doesn't ever see it this way).
  • Switching P.O.V.: Between the April, Jalil, David, and Christopher. Senna gets her own Villain Episode.
  • Take Over the World: The master plan of Senna, of course. Or rather, Universal domination.
  • Talking Animal: The horses Athena supplies the kids with in Brave the Betrayal, and the pig who mugs them in Realm of the Reaper.
  • Technologically Advanced Foe: From the people of Everworld, the Sennites were this. They were just starting to get a handle on the concept of technology, of electricity, and all of a sudden, they're fighting against people with assault rifles.
  • Technology Uplift: Jalil and David show various groups in Everworld how to make things like guns, electrical grids, and telegraph networks. Some of it gets used against them.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Senna to the core four.
  • Token Good Teammate: Athena to the Psychopathic Manchildren that are the Olympian gods; Merlin and Ireland to Everworld in general.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The party and Dionysus are traveling incognito in Hetwan territory, trying to keep the fact that they have a god in tow quiet since, you know, the Hetwan's god eats gods. Dionysus gets bored, so he summons a party out of thin air. To his credit, he realizes his mistake and distracts the Hetwan by creating their insectoid equivalent of "party girls"note , resulting in a horrific alien orgy that allows the group to escape.
  • Took a Level in Badass: April, Jalil, and Christopher move from hopelessly lost kids who just want to go home, to major players in Everworld. Even David does this, following his rebound in the final two books, shaking his dependence on Senna, and becoming a leading figure in Everworld's army, thus undoing some of the aforementioned Badass Decay. And then there's Senna in Brave the Betrayal when her powers as a witch increase dramatically and she becomes able to extend her Compelling Voice at distances and even manipulate energies to move the course of an entire river.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Senna gradually becomes colder and more antagonistic each time she appears, which can be attributed to her revealing more of her true personality. Her actions in Mystify the Magician are perhaps the most extreme example. This is lampshaded by the main cast, and in particular April, who notes that while she's never liked Senna, the arrogance is new.
  • Trapped in Another World: The main four thanks to Senna. Senna's status herself is unclear, as she is snatched by Fenrir in the first book and her body is a kind of living gateway between the two worlds, but it is unclear if she can truly cross through it herself.
  • Troubled Teen: There's David (molested by a male camp counselor as a child and dealing with his feelings of masculine inadequacy), Chris (a racist jerkass dealing with alcoholism), Jalil (suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder and trying to hide it from everyone else), and then there's Senna who takes the cake as she was abandoned by her mother as a child, but is also a raging narcissist. April is least troubled; she's just mainly judgemental and self-righteous.
  • True Companions: Takes a long time to develop, but it's very fulfilling to follow its development. The core four may not like each other all that much, but by the end are very close, and are willing to give up their normal lives in order to help one another save Everworld.
  • The Undead: Hel is half-undead anyway. Only her living side can be injured, while the other side a) is nigh-invulnerable and b) continues to rot.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Senna and April, especially towards each other. It's hard for their relationship to improve when each time one saves the other's life, the other immediately acts like a bitch about it.
  • Unicorns Prefer Virgins: At one point, the characters see a unicorn in the distance, and Christopher jokingly suggests that April wouldn't be able to attract it if she tried. April (who's very religious and, as is later stated, explicitly waiting for marriage) tells him not to believe every rumor going around their school.
  • Unnamed Parent: Nobody's parents are named, with the exception of Tom O'Brien, the father of April and Senna. Doubly Subverted in the ninth book with Senna's mother; her actual name is mentioned in one of Senna's memories, but in the present, she is still consistently referred to only as Senna's mother.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Senna is normally an Emotionless Girl, but when she gets really angry, she doesn't hold back. Pushing her Berserk Button, or putting Honor Before Reason, tends to provoke this from her.
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: The protagonists continually refer to their world as "the real world". Others point out that this doesn't really make sense.
  • The Vamp: Senna to a degree, who uses David's crush on her to control him. And then there's Hel.
  • Verbal Tic: Senna has a tendency to say the name of the person she's talking to several times in a single conversation, usually at the end of her sentences. In one occasion in Inside the Illusion, she says Jalil's name seven times in one page. Interestingly, David (the one from Animorphs) exhibits a similar tic.
  • Villain Ball: Senna grabs ahold of it in Mystify the Magician to an extreme degree (see that trope's page for more details). This is one reason the fans don't like the last three books very much.
  • Villain Episode: Inside the Illusion, the book which Senna narrates.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Jalil (strait-laced Black and Nerdy and The Smart Guy) and Christopher (formerly racist white guy Sad Clown and Cowardly Lion) head this way as the series progresses.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Although not nearly as powerful as the gods, human magic-users (Merlin, Senna and Anica) can be quite influential if they use their powers wisely. The latter two, of course, also have the power of moving between worlds, which is difficult even for gods.
    • The main four can also appear this way compared to the average Badass Normal of Everworld based solely on their modern knowledge of technology. Even in the very first book, their everyday sneakers allow them to move faster and quieter than the viking soldiers chasing them.
  • Weapons Breaking Weapons: David mentions this on seeing the (steel-weapon-using) Amazons amid the (copper weapon-using) Egyptians as to why it was so easy for the Amazons to take over.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Super?: Senna, being the only member of the group with real magical power, often looks down at the others. From her point of view, they're mostly tools to an end. The irony? That's how the gods and the other players (esp. Loki and Merlin) see her.
  • World of Jerkass: Compared to Animorphs the main characters are a lot more flawed. For some readers, that makes them more human. For others, that makes them harder to root for or take interest in. The rest of the cast doesn't fare any better, being mostly made up of various Jerkass Gods and their servants. Even the more likable characters, like the Vikings and Merlin, have qualities that can make them alienating.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Senna prides herself on her ability to adjust her plans on the fly. In fact, this talent is one of her strongest assets, as she is able to escape virtually every dangerous situation she's put in and quickly recover from any setback or defeat, at least until Mystify the Magician. Merlin's pretty competent at it to, and Jalil's learning.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: The time difference between Everworld and "the Old World" is incredibly wonky. Even if all four of them are asleep in Everworld, that's not a guarantee that they'll be back in the Old World at the same time.
  • Your Worst Memory: David finds himself tormented by the memory of watching a child being raped at summer camp. It's not until he relives the incident in greater detail — thanks to Senna — that he realizes the truth: he was the one being molested.
  • Zerg Rush: How The Hetwan make war — they are not terribly effective fighters, but there are so goddamned many of them (and they are capable of spawning half a dozen at a time) that traditional tactics just don't work.