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Susan暑假作文读后感(7)--地狱边缘(科幻,最喜欢的作者)

 

地狱边缘

 

Susan 小哭译

 

我刚读完尼尔. 沙斯特曼的另一本书《地狱边缘》,这本书真好看!我一点也没有想到我会如此地喜欢这本书。我从来也没有喜欢过鬼故事,然而这本主人公是鬼的书,却好看极了!

 

我不喜欢鬼故事的原因有几个。一:他们都有着同样的故事情节。说真的,大多数鬼故事都有着这样的故事情节——某人死了,但是他们在地球上还有未完成的牵挂,所以他们设法去找一个活人来帮助他们,最后,他们成功了,然后他们高兴地走向隧道末端的光亮处。这些书都让人有着这种似曾相识的感觉。

 

二:我不觉得鬼故事非常地有趣儿。他们没有什么太多的情节。通常,我很快就可以把鬼故事读完。他们要么太简单了、故事情节没趣儿;要么就是有些有趣儿的情节、但却莫名其妙的。鬼故事不象平常的虚构类书,它们没有平常的那种虚构书才有的一类感觉。它们很枯燥。一旦我读过几本,那些故事就开始混为一体,变得很无聊。

 

然而,这套《地狱边缘》,却有着鬼故事书所不常见的独特结局。《地狱边缘》令人兴奋,读起来很有吸引力。它有着令人感兴趣的故事情节,比我读过的很多非鬼故事书都好看。事实上,它读起来更象是一个“平行世界”的故事,而不是一个鬼故事。因为它涉及了由鬼孩子、鬼事情、鬼场所等等构成的一个世界,而且他们还都和现实的、活着的世界相衔接。

 

《地狱边缘》是个三部曲,故事很独特。它主要是讲述两个人的故事,其中一个人十三岁,另一个人十四岁,他们死后,在还没有到达隧道末端的光亮处时,被扔进了“地狱边缘”。这是个和活着的世界平行的、由所有的鬼事情构成的世界。然后,书中提到尼克和阿莉(两个主人色的名字)在那个世界里跌宕起伏的旅程,以及他们所遇到的人和去过的地方,还有他们最后是如何发现了他们的目地的、他们在这个没有生命的世界里的境况等等,还有很多!它有着与通常的鬼故事所完全不同的情节、完全不同的声调。它和完成人们在地球上未了的牵挂或寻找活人之类的情节毫无关系,也许我根本就不应该管它叫做“鬼故事”。

 

《地狱边缘》系列有着令人激动的、引人入胜的独特的故事情节。我刚刚读完了第一本书,正在读第二本,现在我已经无法把书放下了!书中也悄悄地插入了一些爱情故事,里面的每一件事儿都有着一种神秘的气氛并令人期盼。我确实是迫不急待地把第一本给读完了后,马上就想去读下一本和最后一本。这套书和《解约》(哦,哈,他们是同一个作者的书)有一点点相似。我不是指故事情节,而是指它的写作风格和我对这本书的感觉,以及人物的声调(能叫做声调吗?)我可以明确地说,这是一本尼尔.沙斯特曼的书。这本书让我更加喜欢他的作品!

 

我猜我不得不介绍一下《地狱边缘》的一些基本信息了,因为我已经谈论了自己对其所有的感觉了。“地狱边缘”是一个地方,好似一个平行于现存的世界、并和现存的世界能够衔接起来的世界。死去的人们多数会走向他们应该去的那个隧道的末端。然而,一些人们,这些人多数是孩子和一些青少年,反正没有成年人,会在路途中因为受到撞击而掉进隧道的墙里,进入一个死去的世界。对于他们来讲,这已经不再是同一个世界了,这里是叫做“地狱边缘”的死去的世界。因为没有到达光亮处的人们被撞回的不是他们物理上的身体,而是灵魂。他们物理上的身体已经死了,但他们的灵魂在世界上游荡。如果灵魂在一个地方呆得太久了,就会被吸入地球的中心。

 

事实上,这个世界并非如听起来的那么凄凉吓人。当我第一次在封底读到“地狱边缘”时,我认为它是一个死的、毫无希望的地方,但事实上,它相当地激动人心。有一些叫做“死点”的地方,灵魂不会在那里沉没(走失的灵魂叫做“晚霞”,因为他们发光)。有时,死点和一个大楼或一座城市一样地大。象双子塔,那些建筑在活着的世界里不见了,但是它们在“地狱边缘”这个世界里是存在着的;或者说像庞培(译者注:意大利古都,公元79年火山爆发,全城淹没),那个城市在活着的世界里被火山灰所淹没,不复存在,但是在“地狱边缘”里是存在着的。这相当地酷,真的。可以想像,在“地狱边缘”里还有更多的人。它就像是一个新的世界,不像它的名字听起来那么凄凉。

 

在《地狱边缘》里有几个人物,我对他们憎恨无比。好了,可能不是恨,因为我不应该恨人。但是我对他们的不喜欢极为强烈。其中之一就是马丽.高塔,甚至这个名字都让我觉得恶心。

 

马丽管她自己叫做“地狱边缘”女王。嗯,她就是那么地看待她自己。她对每一个人都很友好。她对孩子们很好,她喜欢把他们想象成“她的孩子”,让他们生活于她的照顾之下并且过得很快乐。她为人非常宽容,甚至对她的那些敌人也是如此。只要他们愿意忏悔并宣布放弃他们的罪行,她就会很高兴地饶恕他们。我绝未撒谎,她的亲切友好确实表里如一。然而,“捕捉”这事儿毁了她所有的美好。

 

她的想法很偏执。她性格非常好,但是当她的信仰不正确时,那就算不得什么了。她的内心是一个非常好的人,她运用她所有的能力、魅力和友善去实现她的目标——她以为的将会帮助整个“地狱边缘”的目标;她以为的纯真善良的目标;她以为的实质上最善良的目标。她为了这些目标投入了无与伦比的耐心和亲切的态度。事实上,她诠释了什么叫做“慈母般的”这个词。她对每一个人都跟对待她自己的孩子一样、她的态度令人有种似乎她什么都知道的感觉。但是因为她确实知道几乎所有的事情,并且因为她的态度是如此地令人讨厌般地好,因此憎恨她确实相当地不容易。但是我还是忍不住地憎恨她。

 

马丽很友好,马丽很亲切,马丽是个“好人”,她信仰很坚定。如果她的信仰是正确的并且是真的好,那就好极了;如果她的信仰是正确的,那她就是一个绝对完美的人了。但是,如果她的信仰是对上帝的亵渎呢?

 

马丽认为进入“地狱边缘”里的孩子应该被保护起来;她认为他们应该和她呆在一起过着永远安全幸福的生活;她认为他们不应该单独外出;她认为他们都应该听她的话,服从她,因为只有她知道什么是最好的。如果不是“晚霞”(像马丽和其它的半死的孩子)总是有陷入某种固定的生活模式的风险之外,那几乎就是一件好事儿。不久之后,如果他们所有能做的就是在马丽的塔里闲逛以及玩纸牌这类的话,实际上他们就开始了日复一日地做着相同的事情、说着相同的话的生活。他们的每一天都是马丽塔里前一日的重播。除非这个世界结束,否则日复一日地,每个人就有可能永远地这般重复下去。如果有人打破常规,比如来了个新人,他们就会调整每日固定的生活模式以适应新人的加入,直到这个新人也和他们一起融入一种新的固定的生活模式为止。这就像是地狱的边缘一样,而最糟糕的是,马丽竟然想要这样。

 

马丽是塔中唯一不按固定模式生活的人,她是唯一真正知道外面正在发生着什么事儿的人。但是她从来不把这些告诉给她的孩子们。她只是让他们做着他们想要的事情,让他们进入一种固定的生活模式里,因为“她相信那是正确的事情”。马丽认为还没有找到他们固定的生活模式的“晚霞”们丢失了灵魂,很不幸,应该对他们给予同情。她真的相信她的做为是正确的,是最好的。然而,我实在不同意她的看法,但是我不能强迫她按照我的想法行事。我认为每一个人都有权力去选择他们来世想做的事情。可是,马丽不这样想。

 

马丽认为她必须得确认每一个人、每一个走失的灵魂都按照她说的去做。那到不是因为她想要拥有权力,而是因为她真的相信她知道什么是最好的。这就是为什么我是如此地憎恨她的原因。她的信仰是偏执的,她强迫别人听她的。如果她没有那么多的能力就好了,可是她有。她有很大的能力和影响力,结果怎么样呢?数以百计的可怜的孩子,被剥夺了进行创造性工作的权力,陷入了一种没完没了的固定的生活模式中,好像……将“地狱边缘”变成了一个更好的世界,或者什么象那样的东西。

 

好吧,我说错了,那还不是最糟糕的。最最糟糕的、绝顶糟糕的是:所有的“晚霞”都能到达隧道末端的光亮处。是的,实际上“晚霞”根本不应陷入“地狱边缘”里。用简单得就像一枚硬币一样的东西,他们就能买到到达隧道末端的光亮处的旅程。尼克发现了这件事儿。现在,他正在尽力解救尽可能多的孩子们,给他们每个人一枚硬币。显然这是一件正确的事情,因为每次当一个孩子最后到达那个光亮处之后,就在那一瞬间,就在他们从“地狱边缘”中消失前,他们的脸上都充满了喜乐。那就很显然,那个白光是他们应去的地方。马丽知道这一点。马丽知道!!那就是为什么她拿走了每一个在她的照顾之下的孩子的硬币的原因。不,那不是因为她很恶毒,而是因为她的信仰很偏执。

 

马丽认为隧道末端的光代表着地狱之火。她认为那是未知的(正确的),因此就是危险的(不正确的);她认为那是邪恶的;她认为所有的孩子应该被保护起来不去那里。因此,她认为从隧道里掉出来进入“地狱边缘”是发生在所有“晚霞”身上的最好的事情。她的偏执让她走得太远:她去杀害无辜的孩子,然后阻止他们到达隧道末端的光亮处,将他们永远地困于“地狱边缘”之内。她一直在做这件事儿。她寻找孩子,杀死他们,故意阻止他们到达光亮处。那是多么地可怕啊?马丽爱着吉尔(那是用能力杀死孩子并将他们困于“地狱边缘”里的一个人,她为马丽工作)。她认为吉尔太棒了;她认为吉尔正在做的事情棒极了。她相信吉尔正在拯救生命,防止孩子们到达那个好可怕好可怕的光亮处。

 

再说一遍,我不介意她自己相信那些,但因此就可以将信仰强加于人吗?就可以对他们撒谎,说他们永远也不可能去“地狱边缘”以外的任何地方吗?就可以故意不告诉他们怎么去使用他们的硬币去完成他们的旅程吗?就可以把人们的选择权拿走吗?不!那显然是错误的!是的,马丽做这些事情的时候心里面装着的是这些走失的孩子们的最大利益,甚至她对光亮的理解也可能是正确的。但是她不应该阻止人们做自己的选择!马丽最可怕的敌人是尼克,他来世的目标是去帮助人们到达隧道末端。马丽散布有关尼克的谣言,让人们远离尼克。所以,简言之,马丽并不是她自以为的那个清白无辜的、心地善良的、完美慈母般的“地狱边缘”女王。她简直就是一个无知的、愚蠢的、自私自利的、没有头脑的、假冒无所不知的人,不幸的是她能强烈地影响着“地狱边缘”里面的那些灵魂。

 

当在《地狱边缘》的结尾发现晚霞们竟然有可能到达光亮处时,我欣喜若狂。我曾以为所有我喜欢的人物都将被永远地困在地狱边缘里面,他们的来生将毫无意义。不想他们不仅找到了存在的意义,还找到了一个离开地狱边缘的办法!太精彩了。《地狱边缘》系列的第一本书的结局这么地令人欣喜和充满希望,我已经毫不不介意是否还有续集了!它和《安威德.戴斯托勒居》系列的第一本《解约》一样。尼尔.沙斯特曼写的这两本书都以希望和意义结束。他们都有着非常深刻的结局。如果我事先不知道这个系列还有另外的书,我会认为那就是故事的结局。我个人对这个结尾还算是相当地满意,虽然什么也没有解决。

 

这就是我如此地喜欢沙斯特曼的一个原因。当系列里的第一本书有着一个几乎完美的结局时,当我认为这个结局之下没可能再有第二本和第三本了的时候,我却彻彻底底地错了!后一本(这两个系列都是如此)和前一本相比毫不逊色!之间的过度轻松顺利。第一本书自身已经很棒了,而两本书合在一起就更棒了,第三本书我只能想像它将会多么地令人喜爱了!

 

我真是迫不急待地想读完第二本书、好去开始第三本。我从来也没有想像过我会喜欢鬼故事,或说喜欢一个主角儿是鬼的故事。但是现在看起来我已经爱上《地狱边缘》了!我不知道《解约》和《地狱边缘》哪个更好。他们都让我感受到了尼尔.沙斯特曼所特有气息,这相当地不错,我很喜欢。而这更加证明了尼尔.沙斯特曼绝对是我最喜欢的作者。

 

 

【小哭介绍背景】我一直在犹豫着这个读后感的部分还要不要继续翻译下去。余下的两篇都是她最喜欢的尼尔.沙斯特曼两本书的读后感,也是他们八年级开学前的暑假阅读作业(自愿,但开学后必读并且还有小组讨论)。我觉得一个是从整个暑假写作集的完整性来讲,前面介绍了这个作者,后面有一篇读后感会相对有个呼应、结构上更为完整一些;另一个是写作集里已经有一篇七年级期末去游乐场的文章,如果再跟进一篇八年级的开学前的阅读作业,会让读者对她的学校生活有一个更为具体的了解,所以,决定保留下来。但是这两篇读后感很长,一篇有二千多字,一篇有三千多字,我实在是有点翻译不动了。而且,我觉得篇幅那么长是因为Susan写得实在太罗嗦了,罗嗦的原因是没有规划好她的写作题纲。我就这么纠结着,一边翻译着这篇文章的头和尾,一边被她文中的内容左右着,忍不住去网上搜索着她所喜爱的这个作者的简介和这本书的简介,最后等我看了一个小时左右的相关信息后,便下决心把这篇文章给翻译完,因为我已经开始对作者肃然起敬了。

 

 

其实,她读的这本书在分类上属于科幻类,并非她文中开头所称的什么鬼故,当然文中她也意识到了这一点。这个作者也正如她之前的文章中所介绍的,一点也不吝啬于介绍他自己、他的家庭和他写作的过程,甚至还会在录像中大谈灵感是怎么来的。也许这和作者的合作伙伴有关系吧,他们的宣传确实是搞得非常地好!他们愿意人们对作者有更多的了解,他们愿意介绍书的内容以外的东西。当我看到作者在其中一个视频中说:有青少年跟他讲,直到读了他的某一本书之后,才开始喜欢上阅读。于是他就找到了自己每天写作的一个原因、一个动力,他说他因此明白了他每天正在做着的事情到底有什么意义。我为这句话而感动!因为我知道我多么地愿意看到孩子们喜欢阅读!即使Susan已经早就有阅读的习惯了,可是我还觉得那远远地不够,我愿意看到更多的孩子们喜欢阅读。

 

 

Susan文中提到的鬼故事的情节容易混为一体,确实是个问题。我记得从小我也读过一本本的神话传说之类的书,单独看都挺好玩儿,可是看完一整本后,反而说不清楚到底记住了哪个故事的情节了似的。我从来也没有认真地思考过原因,现在想大概就跟Susan文中所说的鬼故事情节太类似了有关。比如说《聊斋》,我就觉得看完没多久,情节就全都搅在一起了似的。一直以为是自己记性不好,从来没有站在Susan这种角度想过——把过错归给故事本身:)

 

 

我很想翻译完这篇读后感,还和Susan在这篇文章里花了大把笔墨谈信仰有关!她在前面的文章中提过,不过在这里又说了少。她能接受别人的信仰和她的不同,但是不能接受将信仰强加于人的行为!!!我喜欢!!!我超级喜欢这一点。我也喜欢她能够将玛丽日常表现和信仰区别开来,知道如何从本质上去评价玛丽这个人。因为近来中文媒体上大谈特谈几个重大案件的审判,众说纷芸,我就想:错了就是错了,罪了就是罪了,怎么能因为还保有一些“人性”就将问题引向非错或非罪呢?这完全是两码事儿嘛!!就好比渎职罪就是犯罪了,不能因为罪犯是个好儿子、好老公或老父亲就认定罪人应该是个好人、没犯罪啊?将它们往一起搅完全是混淆视听啊!

 

 

Susan还在文章中强调,一成不变的生活,即使没有任何担忧和病痛之类的,也是非常可怜的。这和她前面提到的“创新”观也是一脉相承的。在她眼里,生活是应该有变化的、要存在着冒险和探索之类的,对于未知的世界,不能用好与不好来定义,因为未知的世界是用来探险的,不是用来回避的,人们应该有权力选择去冒险。她这么年青,我当然觉得她这样想很好啊!人生就是一个过程,丰富点总是更好,当然,人生要拥有智慧才更好。

 

 

尼尔.沙斯特曼有FACEBOOK账号,YOUTUBE上也可以查到他宣传新书的几段录像。我看了,那是一个长相平平的中年男人,说话挺快,吐字不是非常清晰,可是,他的书中充满了想像力!他说有的时候他也是边写边想,写之前都不知道会写到哪里似的。关于他对自己的生活、家庭和写作灵感方面的介绍,确实对Susan这类爱好写作的小孩会产生一定的影响。我喜欢作者这种开放的态度,相信他的书也会因此卖得更好!愿更多这样的作者出现!愿孩子们有更多的好书去看!!

 

 

注:这部分内容总算是可以告一段落了。为自己加油!明天可以开始最后一部分了,再翻译一点点Susan创作了半年、还在过程中的一部爱情小说的节选,就将大功告成了。这事儿对别人还真不算什么,倒是对自己更重要。主要是考验自己能不能坚持完成一些小小的目标似的。

 

 

英文原文: 

Everlost

 

I just finished another one of Neal Shusterman’s books, Everlost, and it was really good! Me liking the book so much was completely unexpected. I’ve never liked ghost stories, and yet this book, whose main characters were ghosts, was amazing!

 

There’s a few reasons I don’t like ghost stories. One: They all have the same storyline. Seriously, most ghost stories have the same storyline: someone dies, but they have unfinished business on earth, so they tries to get a living person to help them, and in the end, they suceed, and goes happily ever after to the light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, most stories elaborate on that basic storyline, but in the end, they’re all the same. They all have the same feeling to it.

 

Two: I don’t find ghost stories very interesting. They just don’t have a lot of action in them. Usually, ghost stories are very quick reads for me. They’re either too basic and don’t have an interesting enough plot, or the plot’s way to interesting that it becomes confusing. Ghost story just aren’t like regular fiction, they don’t have that same feeling regular fiction does. They’re boring. Once I read a few of them, the stories start blending into eachother, and they become boring.

 

However, this book, Everlost, was on a totally different end of the spectrum of ghost stories. The book Everlost was exciting. It was fun to read. It had an intriguing storyline, and it was better than a lot of not-ghost stories I’ve read. Actually, it seems to be more of a “parrallel world” story than a ghost story, because it involved a whole other world made up of ghost children, ghost things, ghost places, etc., and they all overlap the existing, living world.

 

This book, Everlost, has it’s own storyline. It has a storyline focused on two people, thirteen and fourteen years old, who died but didn’t quite reach the light at the end of the tunnle, and got thrown into the realm of Everlost, which is a parrallel world to the world of the living, made entire of ghost things. Then, it talked about Nick and Allie’s (that’s the two main characters) journey in that land, it’s ups and downs, the people and places they met, how they eventually finally found their goals and their ranks in the world of the non-living, and a lot more! It has a completely different storyline than the usual ghost stories, and a completely different tone of voice. It has nothing to do with finishing their unfinished business on earth or haunting living people. I wouldn’t call it a “ghost story” at all.

 

Everlost had its own unique storyline that’s exciting and captivating. I just finished the first book, now I’m reading the second, and I can’t put it down! There’s also some romance beginning to creep in, and an air of mystery and anticipation over everything. I really can’t wait until I have time to finish the book, and move on to the next and last one. This book was a little similar to Unwind (well, duh, since they’re both written by the same author). I’m not talking about the story, more about the style of the writing and the feel of the book. And also the characters’ tone of voice (or should it be tones of voices?). I can definitely tell it’s a Neal Shusterman book. This just makes me like his writing even more!

 

I guess I’ll have to give some basic info about Everlost, since I’ve already talked about all my feelings for it. Everlost is this place, kind of like a parrallel world, that overlaps the existing world. People that die mostly go to the end of the tunnel, where they’re suppose to go to. However, some people, mostly children, some teens, and never any adults, gets bumped on the way, and fall into the walls of that tunnel, into the living world. But to them, it’s not really the same world anymore, it’s another world, a dead world, of Everlost. That’s because people that didn’t make it to the light and get bumped back doesn’t get bumped back with their physical bodies. Their physical bodies die. Their souls wander around in the world, and if they stay in one place too long, they sink to the center of the earth.

 

Actually, it’s not as desolated as it sounds. When I first read about Everlost on the back cover of the book, I thought it was a dead, hopeless land, but actually, it’s quite exciting. There are places, “dead spots”, where the spirits don’t sink (the lost spirits are called Afterlights, because they glow). Sometimes, the dead spots are as big as buildings and cities. Like the twin towers. Those towers crumbled in the living world, but they remained alive in Everlost. Or like Pompei. That city got covered with ashes in the living world and ceased to exist, but in Everlost, it exists. It’s pretty cool, really. And there’s more people in Everlost that’s imaginable. It’s like a whole new world, not as desolated as it sounds.

 

There are a few characters in the Everlost that I hate with all my guts. Okay, maybe not hate, because I’m not supposed to hate people. But I strongly dislike them. One is Miss Mary Hightowers. Even the name disgusts me.

 

Mary call herself the queen of Everlost. Well, she thinks herself that way. She is kind towards everyone. She is kind toward the children, and she likes to think of them as “her children”. They stay under her care and exist in happiness. She has a very forgiving attitude. Even those that are her enemies, she would forgive gladly if they repent and renounce their sins. And it’s not a lie either. She’s as nice and kind on the inside as well as out. However, there’s a catch.

 

Her views are demented. She has a very good character, but all that accounts to nothing when her beliefs are untrue. She is a wonderful person at heart, and she uses all her power and charms and kindness to acheiver her goals. Goals that she believe would help the entire world of Everlost. Goals that she believes to be pure and kind. Goals that she believe is the very esence of goodness. She work towards those goals with a patience and kind attitude that can’t be compared to. In fact, she is the very meaning of the word “motherly”. She treats everyone as if they were her children. That makes her attitude sort of a know-it-all, but since she does know almost everything, and since her attitude is so sikeningly nice, it’s really hard to hate her. But I do anyway.

 

Mary is nice. Mary is kind. Mary is good. She stands firm in her beliefs. It’s all wonderful if her beliefs are true and actually good. If her beliefs were right, then she would be a perfectly wonderful person. But what happens when her beliefs turns out to be the blasphemy?

 

Mary thinks children that make it into Everlost should be protected. She thinks they ought to stay with her and live a safe and happy life for eternity. She thinks they shouldn’t venture out on their own. She thinks that they should all listen to her, and obey her, because she knows best. That’s almost a good thing, except for the fact that Afterlights (half-dead kids like Mary and others) are always at risk of sinking into a routine. After a while, if all they can do is just wander around in Mary’s tower and play board games and such, they start doing the same thing day after day. They start saying the same things day after day. Every day started becoming like a replay of the previous day in Mary’s tower. Everybody does the exact same things, day after day, and probably would for all of eternity, or until the world ends. If someone disturbs their routine, like a newcomer, they’ll just adjust the routine to fit that newcomer in, until the newcomer falls into a routine too. It’s like limbo. And the worst thing is, Mary supports it.

 

Mary is the only one that’s not in a routine in her tower. She’s the only one that truly knows what’s going on. But she never tells her children about it. She just let them do what they want, she lets them fall into routines, because she believes it’s the right thing. Mary thinks that Afterlights who haven’t found their rountines yet are poor, lost souls. She thinks that they are to be pitied. She truly believes what she is doing is right, that it’s for the best. Well, I don’t really agree with her, but I wouldn't force her to do everything my way, because I think everyone has rights to choose what they want to do with their afterlife. However, Mary doesn’t think that way.

 

Mary thinks that she have to make sure everyone, every single lost soul, does what she says. Not because she wants power, but because she truly believes that she knows best. That’s what I hate so much about her. Her beliefs are demented, yet she forces others to listen to her. It would all be alright if she doesn’t have so much power, but she does. She has lots of power and influence, and the result? Hundreds of poor children, stuck in an endless routine, while they could all have been doing something productive, like… making Everlost a better world, or something like that.

 

Okay, I lied, that wasn’t the worst thing. The worst, worst, absolute worst thing is: all Afterlight can reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Yup. Afterlights actually aren’t stuck in Everlost after all. With something as simple as a coin, they can buy their journey to the light at the end of the tunnel. Nick discovered that. Now, he’s trying his best to save as many children as he can, giving each of them a coin. And it’s obviously the right thing, because every time as child finally reaches that light, in that instant right before they dissapear from Everlost, their faces are filled with joy. That makes it obvious that the white light is the right place for them to be. Mary knew this. MARY KNEW!! That was the reason why she took the coin of ever single child that come into her care. No, not because she’s evil, but because her beliefs were demented.

 

Mary thinks that the light at the end of the tunnel can represent the fires of hell. She thinks it’s unknown (true) and therefore dangerous (untrue). She thinks that it is evil. She thinks that all children should be protected from going there. And therefore, she thinks that falling out of the tunnel and into Everlost is the best thing that’s happened to all afterlights. Her dementia goes as far as this: she would kill innocent children, and then prevent them from reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, forever trapping them in Everlost. She does it all the time. She seeks out children, kill them, and prevents them from reaching the light on purpose. How horrible is that? And Mary loves Jill (that’s the person with the power to kill children and trap them in Everlost. She works for Mary). She thinks Jill is amazing. She thinks that what Jill is doing is amazing. She believes that Jill is saving lives, preventing children from reaching that horrible, horrible glow.

 

Again, I’m fine with her believing that herself, but pushing that belief on other people? Lying to them and saying that they are never going be able to get anywhere other than Everlost? Purposely not telling them about how they can use their coins to finish their journey? Taking away people choices? NO! That’s plain wrong! Yes, Mary might be doing that with the lost children’s best interests at heart. Mary might even be right about the light. But she shouldn’t prevent people from making their own choices! Mary’s worst enemy is Nick, who’s goal in afterlife is to help people reach the end of the tunnel. Mary spread lies about Nick to get people to stay away from him. So, in short, Mary isn’t the pristine, good, and perfect motherly queen of Everlost that she thinks she is. She’s just a naive, stupid, too-pretty-for-her-own-good, empty-headed fake know-it-all that unfortunately happens to be a tremendous influence in the lives of those in Everlost.

 

When I found out in the end of the book Everlost that it was possible to reach the light, I was overjoyed. I had thought all my favorite characters were going to be forever stuck in limbo, with no purpose to their afterlife, until no only did they find a purpose in their existence, they found a way out of limbo! It was wonderful. The first book, Everlost, ended on such a joyful and hopeful note that I wouldn’t’ve minded if there was no sequel at all! It was the same with Unwind, the first book of the Unwind Dystology. Both of these books by Neal Shusterman ended with a hope, with purpose. They both had a very strong ending. If I hadn’t known beforehand that there were more books to the series, I would’ve thought that was the ending to the story. And I would’ve been perfectly satisfied with the ending, even though nothing’s really been resolved.

 

This is one of the resons I like Shusterman so much. When the first book in the series had an almost-perfect ending, I thought there was no possible way the second and third book would be able to connect to that ending. However, it turned out that I was totally wrong! The second book (in both of the serieses) were as good as the first one! The transition was smooth and effortless. The first book was great on its own. The two books together were amazing. I can only imagine what the third book woud be like!

 

I really can’t wait to finish the second book and start on the third. I’ve never imagined I’d like ghost stories, least of all a story where the main character is a ghost, but it seems that I’ve fallen in love with Everlost! I don’t which one’s better, Unwind, or Everlost. They certainly have that same feeling all of Shusterman’s books have. A good feeling. I like it. This just proves even more that Shusterman is definitely my favorite author.

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