An unnumbered special "Chronicles" book 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 HORK-BAJIR CHRONICLES

Summarized Plot:

In a flashback-style story told by the free Hork-Bajir Jara Hamee, we learn about the history of the Yeerk invasion on the Hork-Bajir planet, and how it involved one Hork-Bajir, one Andalite, and one Yeerk in particular. Aldrea is the daughter of the disgraced Prince Seerow, who gave technology to the Yeerks only to be thanked by having them use it against Andalites to begin taking over the galaxy. While investigating the Hork-Bajir world, Aldrea meets Dak Hamee, a Hork-Bajir who is different from his people in that he has intelligence and foresight beyond that of his peers. When the Yeerks find out that Andalites are on the planet they intend to infest--using Hork-Bajir as their shock troops--they kill Aldrea's family while she watches, and she joins forces with Dak to fight them. The Yeerk Esplin 9466 is an ambitious fellow who learns about the Andalites and hopes to take one as his host body, and he spearheads discoveries and ideas to move against them. Dak and Aldrea make strange discoveries about the Hork-Bajir world, finding out that it is also the home of the Arn, a race that created the Hork-Bajir and some odd monsters. Eventually they are able to signal to other Andalites that they are needed to fight the Yeerks, but help does not come as fast as they needed it, and Dak and his people are forced to become killers. By the time more Andalite forces move in to help, the situation has become somewhat hopeless, and one of the commanding officers develops a terrible plan for claiming victory. Aldrea must choose between her people, who have done despicable things, and the innocent Hork-Bajir--one of whom she has fallen in love with. After Jara Hamee has finished telling their story to Tobias, he has more hope for the future of the war, because like her great-grandfather, Jara's daughter Toby is a Hork-Bajir seer, ready to show their people the way.

About this book:

Narrators: Tobias, Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan, Dak Hamee, Esplin 9466

New known controllers:

  • Hork-Bajir acquired from Dak's planet

New morphs acquired:

  • Aldrea: Chadoo, Jubba-Jubba monster, Andalite (Alloran), Hork-Bajir (Delf Hajool)

Notable:

  • Female Andalites are said to have smaller tail blades in this book, which is why they are not usually allowed to be involved in military operations.

  • Strange that the beginning of the war with the Yeerks is suggested to have begun in the Earth year 1966. These books were written in the very late 1990s, which suggests the wars started only thirty years ago. The narration usually makes it seem like the Andalites and the Yeerks have been fighting each other for generations, especially since the Andalites and Yeerks are described to have a nearly instinctive disgust reaction to each other. This space war that's spanned many planets sure didn't waste any time developing.

  • Aldrea is suggested to be at somewhat empathic, unlike most of the rest of her species. She has no context to explain it, but she describes feeling and understanding what's going on in other people's emotions even when she's very young. Her narration doesn't read like other characters' narration; she explains that other people are angry instead of just "seeming" angry, etc. It's a subtle difference, but it's interesting.

  • In this book it's revealed that Hork-Bajir have "seers," which seem to be Hork-Bajir with human-level intelligence. They can philosophize, make symbolic markings, and strategize.

  • Aliens are mentioned in the course of this book in the context of Yeerk invasions. We've already encountered the Skrit Na, but in this book we hear about the Hawjabrans and the Ongachic.

  • Aldrea describes the height of a tree in feet. Human measurements.

  • A Yeerk named Akdor 1154 is credited with leading the Yeerks' uprising against the Andalites.

  • A species called the Arn also live on the Hork-Bajir world. They are small creatures with wings and they are very intelligent.

  • The Lerdethak is mentioned in this book, which is a morph Visser Three used in a previous book.

  • Sofor, an Andalite mentioned in a previous book, shows up in this book welcoming Aldrea back to the Andalites after having received her communication. He is later a tail-fighting instructor for Elfangor. Alloran is also mentioned here when he was introduced in a previous book, and he is later the host for Visser Three.

  • Aldrea's narration explains that Andalite males don't have as good a sense of balance as females.

  • If the quantum virus mentioned in this book could be calibrated to kill all of a certain species, why was it not leveled at the Yeerks rather than the Hork-Bajir?

  • This book reveals that Hork-Bajir kiss by putting their horns against each other, while Andalites kiss by stroking each other's faces with their hands.

Best lines:

Tobias: Somehow they had escaped. Don't ask me how. Ask the guy who doesn't interfere in the lives of other species.

Aldrea: It was too late for Dak: He knew that the stars were not flowers.

Esplin: "The Andalites did not become the dominant species in this part of the galaxy by being weak or stupid or cowardly."

Dak: "I am beginning to learn ruthlessness. I have had a very good example to follow."

Esplin: She seemed beautiful to me. Is that strange? I suppose it is. But there is a compelling beauty in the sight of someone seemingly so small and yet so dangerous.

Dak: "These are my people who will die today. Be quiet, Andalite. Be quiet."

Dak: We had been created by one brilliant species, invaded and enslaved by another. And now a third was using us.

Dak: The monsters in our valley were destroyed that day. Only a very few survived. But that was all right, because we didn't need monsters anymore. We had become them.



Next book: The Pretender, Animorphs #23

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