Book #44 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 UNEXPECTED

Animorphs #44
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

Cassie gets separated from the rest of the group when Marines and Controllers exchange fire in a big hoopla resulting from a wrecked Bug fighter being discovered. Forced to hide in the hold of a plane, Cassie finds herself traveling in the luggage compartment to an unknown destination. At one point the Yeerks somehow track her and "freeze" the plane, boarding to look for her. She barely avoids them, but a Taxxon pilot gets away and goes for reinforcements.

Cassie recuperates and comes up with a plan, and then when she gets attacked again she's ready. Her plan doesn't go very well, but she does get away alive . . . unfortunately, she's forced to kill some Hork-Bajir and Taxxons during this whole debacle, and feels incredibly guilty about that.

She ends up on the Australian continent in the outback, and after jumping from a moving plane and hiding, she is discovered by an Aboriginal teen named Yami. He and his grandfather believe her to be a representative of the spirits from their legends. Their family tries to help Cassie and the grandfather even gives her a special boomerang, and she continues to feel guilty for inviting so much trouble upon the family. But when the grandfather gets an infection from being scraped with Yeerk metal that fell from their battle, Cassie ends up having to perform surgery on the guy's leg. She then finds she's led Visser Three right to the family's dwelling, and she has to face the Yeerks all on her own to stop the unthinkable from happening. She'll need the Chee's help to get home, but getting home is the least of her worries once the battle begins.

About this book:

Narrator: Cassie

New known controllers:

  • CIA employees
  • A gym teacher

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: None
  • Cassie: Hork-Bajir, kangaroo
  • Marco: None
  • Rachel: None
  • Ax: None
  • Tobias: None

Notable:

  • This book was ghostwritten by Lisa Harkrader.

  • Jake calls Ax "Axman" at one point, when previously that's always been hyphenated to "Ax-man."

  • Cassie's plan to acquire the Hork-Bajir who was shooting people on the plane wouldn't have worked if they hadn't leaned across her to shoot an old man before shooting her. It's sure lucky they didn't decide to shoot people in a different order.

  • Cassie mentions her leotard being in shreds when she gets back to her human self. It's strange that a morph can reconstitute bodies but not fabric if said fabric can be incorporated into their morphs. Yet another thing about morphing clothes that makes no sense.

  • This is the third time an Animorphs book has had a morph-capable character meet "exotic natives" who believe the morphing is something spiritual or religious based on their folk beliefs. The Australian stereotypes are pretty boorish throughout the book.

  • The surgery Cassie performs on Yami's grandfather seems unrealistic--too simplistic for two kids who aren't surgeons, and Cassie only has very basic experience doing animal amputations.

  • Visser Three voluntarily waits for Cassie to give herself up, then uncharacteristically cleans up the area and aborts his mission when there might be a chance that "evidence of the battle" will be spotted by planes above. Seems more likely that Visser Three would have attacked the planes or not really cared about the evidence, seeing as how killing an Andalite bandit or capturing one seems a bit more important.

  • Cassie tucks her boomerang in her pouch when she's a kangaroo, but it's never mentioned whether she uses it or whether she gets to take it back home. Seems like an odd detail to include if it has no resolution.

Best lines:

Yami's grandfather: "The spring of our ancestors. You chose it as your safe shelter. It is a sign."
Cassie: Yeah. It was a sign all right. A sign that I shouldn't be set loose in the world unsupervised.

Cassie: "They're here because of me."
Yami's grandfather: "No. They're here because they're evil."

Rachel: "Can you imagine my elation, my total euphoria, when Cassie, OUR Cassie, said she wanted to go shopping?"

Cassie: "I was wondering--does anybody know, I mean, did anybody see--"
Jake: "What happened to the Marines?"
Cassie: "Yeah. How did you--?"
Jake: "You're you, Cassie."



Next book: The Revelation, Animorphs #45

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