Book #54 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
Rachel, Jake's insurance plan, cashes in her chips at the beginning of the book, turning into a grizzly and attacking Jake's brother. After a horrible battle in which she had to bite off Tom's head, she ends up defenseless in her human body, and is killed by a Yeerk morphed as a polar bear. Jake is in shock about having sent his cousin to kill his brother, and Tobias's heart is broken, but Marco and Cassie get him through the rest of the war. Because Erek drained the Pool ship's power, they can't stop the Blade ship from getting away into space, but then when the Andalites show up Jake is able to make an alliance with them, with Ax's help. They reluctantly let Jake have morphing cubes so he can keep his promise to the Taxxons and the Yeerks who have surrendered.
The war is officially over and Ax is named a prince among the Andalites. During the aftermath, Marco enjoys movie deals and riches, Jake broods and gnaws on his guilt, Cassie pursues Hork-Bajir welfare and a veterinary education, Ax gets command of his own ship, and Tobias is missing. They have a funeral for Rachel which involves Tobias taking the ashes away, but nobody sees him after that. The remaining three meet for Visser One's trial, where he's convicted of war crimes.
After, they try to go on with their lives but then Ax is captured and taken to an area of space where Andalites are not allowed to follow. A surviving Andalite brings this news to Jake, and Jake organizes a team to go rescue Ax. Cassie is excluded because caring for the Hork-Bajir is now her purpose--and she has a significant other who's not Jake. Tobias remains mad at Jake for how he handled getting Rachel killed, but he agrees to join the rescue and so does Marco. Together with two secret military volunteers from classes Jake teaches and the Andalite who brought the message, they steal a ship and name it Rachel, and off they go to fight a horror even more overwhelming than the Yeerks.
About this book:
Narrators: Rachel, Jake, Cassie, Marco, Ax, Tobias
New known controllers:
New morphs acquired:
- Jake: None
- Cassie: None
- Marco: None
- Rachel: None
- Ax: None
- Tobias: None
- Jake's morph at the beginning of the book is stated to be a Bengal tiger. The tiger he actually acquired was Siberian; this is a continuity glitch since there was no other tiger acquisition adventure.
- A line stating that Tom's Yeerk screamed with Tom's mouth is inaccurate because he does it in thought-speak.
- Marco discusses having released a book about his life with the assistance of a ghostwriter. It's notable that Applegate acknowledges ghostwriters here since many of the Animorphs books were written by them.
- This book uses thought-speak quoting within thought-speak--as in, a thought-speaking Andalite quotes what another Andalite said in thought-speak, and the same symbols are used--but one of the thought-speak quotes was never closed.
- No big reunion drama or really any notes at all were made about the fact that Jake's parents were alive. They have to have been because Jake mentions buying them a house and then moving out. Mostly none of the parents are followed up on. Marco seemed to be very stuck on his parents being back together before the war ended, but he doesn't mention them at all in the post-war story and it's never mentioned what became of his dad's marriage to another woman. It's never mentioned whether Rachel's dad was found or whether he'd been taken during the phase of the war when the Yeerks were trying to seize the Animorphs' families. Her mother cried at her funeral but her dad wasn't mentioned. Cassie's parents aren't discussed. And Tobias, who fought for the chance to get to know his mother, doesn't appear to associate with her at all.
- Interesting that Jake calls the male recruit by his last name but the female recruit by her first name.
Rachel: I did what I do better than anyone. What Jake counted on me to do. I attacked.
Rachel: "Did I . . . did I make a difference? My life, and my . . . my death . . . was I worth it? Did my life really matter?"
Ellimist: "Yes. You were brave. You were strong. You were good. You mattered."
Jake: I had ordered my cousin to execute my brother. How would I ever explain that?
Erek: "A diversion? You're going to tell me you needed a diversion so Jake massacred seventeen thousand sentient creatures? A diversion?"
Marco: I don't want to say I'm ruthless, I'm not. But I have the ability. I can see the ruthless way clearly. I have to sort of add the morality back into the equation after the fact.
Jake: "At this point we have to set aside the necessary ruthlessness of war, the suspicion and hostility, and turn instead to the more satisfying duties of making peace."
Asculan: "Who exactly are you?"
Marco: "This is Jake. Jake Berenson. President of Earth."
Marco: Humans weren't freaked by aliens--they'd been expecting them for years and were just relieved they weren't The Borg.
Cassie: In the public imagination, Jake was still some melding of George Washington and Patton and Batman.
Marco: "You have to trust your instincts, not your doubts."
Marco: "So what do we call her?"
Tobias: "She's beautiful. She's beautiful and dangerous and exciting."
Marco: "She would love it. A scary, deadly, cool-looking Yeerk ship on a doomed, suicidal, crazy mission that no one can ever know about? She would love it."
Jake: So it was that we went aboard the Rachel.
Next book: The Ellimist Chronicles