Well…that’s a relief.
And this? This is a book review.
Everworld: Brave the Betrayal
By K.A. Applegate
Everworld is a place that can’t possibly exist—an alternate universe where all the gods and legends and creatures of myth are still hurling lightning bolts, casting spells, and making life all but impossible for mere mortals like David, Christopher, April and Jalil.
Now that they know the Coo-Hatch have used April’s old chemistry textbook to create gunpowder, the best option the teens have is to follow the aliens’ demand to be transported back to their home world. This means leaving the cushy, relatively safe Mount Olympus, and striking out for the Egyptian gods’ territory. And that means crossing the African plains, teeming with lions, hyenas, and demons.
This one was 100% my least favourite of the Everworld books.
In part, I blame that on my lack of knowledge of African mythologies (even what I know about Egyptian myth is sketchy), but mostly because I felt like the turn in the book’s events did not match the seriousness of the idea Applegate was exploring.
The teens run into an old man called Eshu (I had no idea who that was, but after reading up I really wondered why she didn’t use the name Elegba for him from the start, since I have seen that name a lot and Eshu only in this story…but I’m sure she had her reasons), and Eshu demands that they make a sacrifice to the African gods. David, Christopher, and Senna have no issue with that, but April refuses because she’s a Christian and won’t sacrifice to other gods…and Jalil refuses because he’s atheist and won’t sacrifice to any god.
It’s an interesting dilemma, and somehow lands our heroes in a weird opposite-land where the sun is black, giraffes are short, and mountains are broad at the top and taper downward…
Again, my knowledge of African myth is almost nonexistent, but this cartoony place of wrong colours and sizes seemed like it was not the right way to take the story. It was…stupid. (There, I said it.) The novelty was there for a few pages, but as the book went on, I felt like the African myth wasn’t advancing the story, adding characters, or creating any plot points that would have lasting interest.
I suppose it could have been worse, but this little episode in the series was very disappointing.