Book #25 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
Erek the Chee informs Marco and his friends that the Yeerks are building a base somewhere which might enable them to get Kandrona rays transmitted by satellite. They have to embark on a mission to find and destroy this base. As a way of finding it, they hitch a ride aboard Visser Three's Blade ship, hiding in morph, but some unexpected issues crop up and a fight ensues. The Animorphs escape the Blade ship, but in addition to dealing with being dropped in the Arctic, they have to fight alien creatures called Venber, which are a sub-zero-living species thought until then to be extinct (according to Ax). Programmed to hunt the Animorphs, they pursue, but various morphs help them stay alive, until finally--with the help of an Inuit who initially thinks they're animal spirits--they get polar bear morphs and find the Yeerk base. After destroying it and also escaping Visser Three one more time, the Animorphs make their way back home, another mission successfully completed.
About this book:
New known controllers:
- Workers at the Arctic base
New morphs acquired:
- Jake: Seal (baby), polar bear
- Cassie: Seal (baby), polar bear
- Marco: Seal (baby), polar bear
- Rachel: Seal (baby), polar bear
- Ax: Seal (baby), polar bear
- Tobias: Seal (baby), polar bear
- This book was ghostwritten by Jeffrey Zeuhlke.
- A couple of early language mistakes: this book capitalizes "Android" once for no reason, and accidentally writes "Visser's Three" instead of "Visser Three's."
- The Venber race is introduced here: An alien species that lived in sub-zero temperatures. Being that they melt above zero, the liquid they melt into is a good superconducter and another ancient race called The Five used them in their computers, as a harvest animal even though they were sentient. Their planet is called Venbea. The Venber that show up in this book are probably hybrids with humans, created and bred by the Yeerks.
- Ax and Tobias satisfying their hunger by drinking blood in flea morph brings up an interesting question. If they morphed to flea to eat and then morphed back to their natural forms, would it mean they wouldn't be hungry for a while? If they morph back, does "hunger" grow or shrink based on what state they left their morphs in, or would it be dangerous for one of them to expect a satisfactory amount of food for a flea to carry them through once they go back to normal?
- The Five don't seem to get mentioned in any other books even though Ax suggests they had an important altercation with Andalites in the ancient past. The Andalites are insinuated to have assisted in their complete demise.
- The character Derek is not as disturbed or as determined to question the Animorphs as most people would be if they saw people turning into animals. The explanation here is that he is an indigenous person and their tribe believes in animal spirits. This is the second time the Animorphs books have done something like this--relegated a witness to non-dangerous status because of some ideal Native naïveté. Most of the time if someone witnesses them morphing or gets in on their secrets, they become a security risk. But people who are rural natives of some kind--in this case, Derek is Inuit--always seem to be ignored as a security risk and assigned an unrealistic, stereotypical local tradition that covers this base. It's read as offensive by some since several times the Animorphs show up in remote lands and meet natives who act like this, and it's especially odd in this case since Derek otherwise seems aware of pop culture references.
Marco: Every class has a Marco. You know, the one who's the smartest, wittiest, most charming, coolest, and the best-looking.
Marco: "I'm not allowed to hitchhike. Especially not with evil alien parasites. My dad is very definite about that."
Marco: I was fly-size now, but my body was still more human than insect. I was not an attractive creature right then. Marian would not have asked me out.
Ax: "He's welcoming the Visser back aboard the Blade ship. Or he may be telling him his brother is a meteor fragment. I understand Galard, but this morph's hearing is very uncertain."
Jake: "What do polar bears eat?"
Marco: "Dumb kids playing hero."
Marco: It was not a good night. It did not pass easily. I was cold, scared, hungry, cold, hungry, and also cold.
Cassie: "Don't kill a sentient creature except in absolute self-defense, try not to wipe out endangered species, and if you're going to raise animals for food, treat them as well as you possibly can. But when you're a wolf, a starving wolf wandering around the frozen Arctic, and you see a meal, eat it."
Derek: "So what are you, then? Aliens?"
Marco: "He's an alien. The rest of us are just idiots."
Next book: The Attack, Animorphs #26