Book #30 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.
by K.A. Applegate
Marco finds out that his mom, who is the host to Visser One, is in disguise in some office building. He decides to investigate, but he has issues with the others trusting him because they think he will be emotional when it means his mom's life. With Ax and Tobias, he goes to the office and finds she's been surviving with a portable Kandrona, with his mom strapped into a neck harness while the Yeerk is feeding. They end up saving her life when Visser Three's forces attack her, and they find out she's been judged as committing treason because the Yeerk Empire believes Visser Three is correct in labeling her in league with the Andalites.
They strike a deal after saving her, offering to help her get to the free Hork-Bajir valley (which she will use to get back into the good graces of the Council of Thirteen). And Marco develops a plan that will ultimately force Visser Three and Visser One to fight each other, ultimately killing his mom. The others don't really trust him to do it, and he even has some flip-flop moments himself, but by using a hologrammatic decoy of the Hork-Bajir valley, some clever morphs, and the Vissers' hate of each other, most of the plan goes normally. Until Marco ends up witnessing Cassie and Jake getting trapped in a burning car. When the final showdown comes and Marco loses control, he's actually willing to toss his mother off a cliff to destroy what she represents, but he also reveals who he is to her. Jake and Cassie turn out to be alive, and Jake ends up taking the decision of whether to kill his mother out of his hands. It's unknown whether Visser One survives falling off the cliff--Rachel implies that it's possible--but Marco again has to adjust to the idea of what's going to happen if he has to face this again.
About this book:
New known controllers:
- Various folks at the mall who follow Visser One
New morphs acquired:
- Jake: None
- Cassie: None
- Marco: Human (Mr. Grant), goat (mountain)
- Rachel: Hork-Bajir (Maska Fettan)
- Ax: Goat (mountain), Hork-Bajir (Maska Fettan)
- Tobias: Goat (mountain)
- This book was ghostwritten by Elise Smith.
- Jake asserting his "rank" as leader doesn't happen very often, but it's handled well in this book because he recognized Marco has a weakness with regards to his mother being used as Visser One's host body. Marco having a sincere urge to say "yes, sir" to him--in a non-joking way--is a testament to the fact that Jake is unequivocally accepted as leader.
- In this book Marco and Tobias talk in thought-speak without reservation to Visser One. In the past, this was considered a huge no-no, and only Ax--the only true Andalite--was allowed to speak to Yeerks on the off chance that a human might "sound" like a human to anyone. Nobody seems to care about that in this book.
- A Yeerk death sentence or fatwa is called a gashad.
- Marco flies to and from The Gardens to get a goat morph. However, after having morphed to fly back home, Marco still describes having soreness and injuries from his encounters with the goats butting him and falling down the rocks. His injuries should have been healed.
- Rachel in Hork-Bajir morph is recognized by the ex-visser as "Maska Fettan," but it is not clear why Rachel acquired this morph (or whether perhaps the visser just made a mistake). Her Hork-Bajir morph was Jara Hamee before. Ax has also acquired this morph. The identity of Tobias's Hork-Bajir morph is not pointed out, but unless he also acquired a different one for use in this mission, he is likely playing Ket Halpak. It's possible Rachel simply chose a different morph so nothing would seem suspicious with two of the same Hork-Bajir being seen by Visser One.
- Since it's unclear in this book whether Visser One survived the fall she took, it only makes sense that the Animorphs should be panicked that she figured out who Marco was. If she still has loyal Yeerks on her side, it seems it'd be very very easy to just kill Marco since obviously she knows where he lives.
Marco: This is our most spectacular weapon. The others are cunning, courage, and secrecy. (And in my case irresistible cuteness.)
Marco: I've found that if you act like a moron, adults tend to leave you alone.
Marco: "Please don't shove your horns into my kidneys."
Marco: Kids would study us in school. Bored, probably. And then the teacher would tell the story of Marco. I'd be a part of history. What I was about to do. Some kid would laugh. Some kid would say, "Cold, man. That was really cold." I had to do it, kid. It was a war. It's the whole point, you stupid, smug, smirking little jerk! Don't you get it? It was the whole point. We hurt the innocent in order to stop the evil.
Jake: "Ax, do you think we can play the roles of arrogant Andalites?"
Ax: "It will certainly require good acting skills to imbue the fundamentally humble and dispassionate Andalite character with a taint of arrogance."
Rachel: "Yeah. Humble is the very first word that comes to mind when I think 'Andalite.'"
Tobias: "I think I should do as much of it as possible. I spend the most time with Ax. I can do a pretty good 'arrogant Andalite.'"
Ax: "I am very close to taking offense."
Marco: "What do you do when you have to make a decision, and each choice is horrible? What would you do, Rachel? If it was your mom or dad or sisters. What would you do, Xena?"
Rachel: "Me? I guess I'd hope that someone would come along and take that decision away from me."
Next book: The Conspiracy, Animorphs #31