Book 1: The Search for Senna
Publishing Date: July 1999
David, David’s girlfriend Senna, Senna’s ex-boyfriend Christopher, Senna’s half-sister April, and a random kid named Jalil are dragged by a giant wolf into EverWorld, a place where all mythologies across the globe mingle, and which may currently be under some sort of alien invasion.
OK, it’s a little messy. It’s establishing EverWorld for us, the patient viewers. The tricky concept is the idea that our four leads (minus Senna) are both present in parallel world EverWorld and the real world, and their real-world bodies get a mind-update every time the Everworld bodies fall asleep. So in this concept, we the viewers are following the EverWorld bodies through their adventure and occasionally slip back into the real world, where time passes at a faster rate.
Unlike the first Animorphs book, there’s not a lot to say about the first Everworld book. There’s a lot of set up – a painful lot. We’re introduced to the characters even before the jump occurs. We meet Loki (yes, that Loki, no, not the Marvel anti-hero/villain, but yes, that Loki!) who interrogates our four leads to find the whereabouts of Senna, because she’s vitally important to whatever nefarious plans he has.
The four escape through the ingenious use of ‘they went that-a-way’ against the poor, naïve, uncynicle and unsuspicious Loki’s army only to fall in with a bunch of Vikings who are sailing off to save Odin Allfather (yes, that Odin, NO NOT THE MARVEL GUY BUT YES THAT ODIN) and then the book ends rather abruptly as David picks up a sword to join a battle.
At this stage, I’m not sure whether I want to complete Project Everworld. For a start, I’m a good 15 or so years older than I was when it was first published. Since then there has been plenty of good media about Norse mythology overshadowing just about everything else. I’m no longer the primary demographic and while Animorphs clearly stood the test of time, and although Everworld is aimed at a slightly older audience (though not by much), it doesn’t quite have the same magic. I’m pretty pissed off at the ending of this book, which had no climax and serves to leave a cliffhanger to get into the second book. Also, they don’t actually do much ‘searching for Senna’, it’s more like ‘trying to stay alive’
We’ll see. But at this stage I promise nothing.