Book #46 in the series Animorphs by K.A. Applegate.

Disclaimer: If you've heard of Animorphs and you're thinking "Aww, how cute," maybe you should read my introduction to the first book to see how wrong you are.

THE DECEPTION

Animorphs #46
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

After a communication with the Andalite homeworld is inconclusive about whether they'll come to help, Ax and Marco's dad figure out how to interpret the Yeerks' plans by decoding their communications, and they find out where a big mission is about to take place--in the ocean. Visser Three has become Visser One, and Visser Two will be landing on the planet soon to help start whatever this plan is. The Animorphs, realizing they're going to have to start doing whatever it takes to win, steal a plane and morph fighter pilots. When they get to the aircraft carrier whose coordinates they stole from the Yeerk communications, they investigate and find out that the ship's captain is slated for infestation, and that an admiral is Visser Two. Chapman is also on board.

The Animorphs try to interrupt the infestation but they're too late; however, they attack and then try to infiltrate. They find out that the plan is to start World War III--making the Americans and the Chinese engage in nuclear war under the mistaken belief that each other started it. Ax is able to reverse some missiles by posing as Visser Two, but then the Yeerk reinforcements arrive and start attacking the crew. Knowing that the visser has already deployed a sub filled with nuclear weapons to attack China, Ax tries to find out which sub so they can stop it, but Visser Two won't talk. Then he escapes during another battle, and Ax thinks up a terrible plan to make him call off the nuclear sub. Unfortunately, it will involve a bluff that he may have to call, to the tune of tens of thousands of human lives. And since that is a plan whose enormity Jake cannot swallow, Ax has to put Jake temporarily out of commission so it can go forward, knowing this is his duty as an alien. The bluff works out for the best, but will his friends ever trust him again?

About this book:

Narrator: Ax

New known controllers:

  • Michele Leary, a pilot at the Air National Guard
  • Admiral Carrington (Visser Two)
  • Some naval officers on the aircraft carrier

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: None
  • Cassie: None
  • Marco: None
  • Rachel: Human (Air National Guard pilot Michele Leary)
  • Ax: Human (Air National Guard pilot Captain Felitti), human (young navy lieutenant), human (Admiral Carrington), human (a young soldier)
  • Tobias: Human (catapult-and-arresting-gear officer)

Notable:

  • This book was ghostwritten by Elise Smith.

  • Ax points out how "humans are an odd species" because they can change their minds on a moral issue very quickly. It's odd he suggests this is a human quality, because he and other Andalites have done the same thing. Surely he can't be unaware that Andalites also display hypocrisy?

  • Ax mentions having a vague hope of returning to the Andalite home world after the war on Earth, and entertains notions of starting a family with Estrid. Problem here is that in a previous book he was pretty clear about "not liking" her after some of the things she said about humans, even if he found her attractive. This might not be completely contradictory since people do fall in love with and marry people they don't much like, but it doesn't seem like Ax would want to start a family and raise children with someone who thought it was okay to screw over another species because "they're not us."

  • It's odd that Rachel would be chosen to be Ax's backup pilot on account of her "nerves of steel" when both Marco and Jake have more experience with flight simulation. Rachel might be brave but she doesn't have experience.

  • This book mentions again that Andalites have two hearts, further establishing that an earlier book made a mistake when suggesting that Andalites have three.

  • Rachel uses thought-speak while in her human morph, which is something all of them should be able to do anyway, but earlier books suggest that they cannot. This retcon makes more sense.

  • It seems ridiculous that Chapman is able to disable Ax and render him unconscious, but then only locks him in a room. Seems much more likely that Chapman should have infested him immediately as that would have given him a morph-capable body and all the "bandits'" knowledge. Instead he leaves him in a room by himself where his natural form can easily escape. That is some poor decision-making.

Best lines:

Ax: Humans are an odd species. They will proclaim a particular ethical and moral stance one day. And the next, they will proclaim an opposite stance with equal passion.

Rachel: "Well, that was lucky."
Ax: "Too lucky. I am afraid the rest of the mission will not go as smoothly."
Rachel: "Pessimist."
Ax: "No. Realist."

Marco: "What with being officially dead and all now, I'm actually in an F-16D. And I can't feel a thing. My life is great. Isn't my life great?"

Jake: "It's a Nimitz class. Biggest warships in the world. Built by Newport News Shipbuilding Company, out of Virginia."
Rachel: "Jake? Do you have a life?"

Marco: "What do we get for risking our butts? Nothing. Nada."
Cassie: "What about the satisfaction of knowing you're protecting the freedom of all human beings?"
Marco: "Huh. Well, there is that."

Ax: "The Yeerks must have seen Jake, Cassie, and Tobias. Take great care."
Marco: "Actually, I was thinking of painting a big red bull's-eye on my butt. . . ."



Next book: The Resistance, Animorphs #47

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