Book #14 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
Cassie discovers horses acting weird during one of her animal doctor trips with her dad. She and the other Animorphs check out these horses and realize they're controlled by Yeerks who are using their bodies to get close to the mysterious Zone 91, which guards a possibly alien secret. The Yeerks are trying to find out what the conspiracy is, and the Animorphs figure they need to know too if the Yeerks think it's important. After escaping suspiciously when they get caught by security, they endure a horse-racing adventure to acquire horse DNA, and then the group goes back out to Zone 91 and morphs horses, following the Yeerks around until they infiltrate the facility and find that it guards not a weapon or a spaceship but an old Andalite toilet. The Yeerks don't know what it is, though, and worry that it's important and that it will cause humans to be more wary of alien invasions, so they work on a plan to make the Zone 91 head of security a Controller. The Animorphs must try to stop them, though they seem to have made an enemy of the same guy they're trying to save by escaping Zone 91 in the first place. . . .
About this book:
New known controllers:
New morphs acquired:
- Jake: Horse
- Cassie: Horse (golden stallion)
- Marco: Horse
- Rachel: Horse
- Ax: Horse
- Tobias: Horse
- A typo happened fairly early in the book: "shrivel way" was written instead of "shrivel away."
- Zone 91 is an obvious reference to Area 51.
- When Cassie is injured in a bomb blast that is thought to be just a "lost" bomb from the nearby military base, the theory that it's just an accident is accepted readily by Cassie's dad. I think most fathers would be so shaken and freaked out about their daughters being almost caught by a BOMB in an area deemed safe for civilians that he would at least start up an investigation of some kind. A military base causing bombs to go off outside the base which could kill civilians would be a massive scandal and news story.
- During a conversation between Cassie's parents, Cassie overhears her dad joking that they can embarrass her by dragging her in to talk to "Father Banion" about her relationship with Jake. This suggests that there is some involvement with religion in their family. In a previous book, Ax noticed that Cassie's family does not do a prayer ritual of any kind before eating dinner, while Jake's family does. So apparently Cassie's family is churchgoing but does not say prayers at mealtimes.
- The Zone 91 group attends The Gardens under a fake company name. The name they choose is "Gondor Industries." K.A. Applegate likes Tolkien references and this is just one of many.
- It wasn't made clear why the Zone 91 company's outing to The Gardens was known to the Yeerks. Cassie found out about it because she was there to infiltrate, but up to that point no Yeerks had gotten inside, and the horse-Controllers who did never saw anything but the Andalite toilet. Why did they know about the outing if they didn't already have people on the inside?
Marco: "I think I like you better as a chicken, Tobias."
Tobias: "Red-tailed hawk."
Marco: "Chicken, pigeon, hawk, whatever."
Rachel: "Hah-hah! Oh, man, I love this! I love this, I love this, I love this! Yeeeee-haaah!"
Marco: "So, you're saying you love this?"
Cassie: I realized my life had gotten weird. I was flying a mile up, listening to a thought-speak debate between a bald eagle and an osprey over the existence of aliens. Good grief.
Rachel: "Are you okay?"
Cassie: "Considering I was run over by a tank, yes, I'm okay."
Jake: "We acquire some horse DNA, then we fly out to the Dry Lands and spy on the modest horses."
Marco: "Again? That's what we do every Saturday. When are we going to get to do something original?"
Cigar-chewing man: "Your horse is blue. Never seen a blue horse."
Cassie: "We like blue horses."
Jake: "Some day, all horses will be blue."
Ax: "It's an Andalite Dome ship's modular waste disposal system."
Marco: "You're telling me the Most Secret Place on Earth, the fabled Zone Ninety-one, the Holy Grail of conspiracy nuts, is hiding the secret of an Andalite toilet?"
Cassie: "And in the meantime, we have to avoid getting arrested by an Air Force captain who is frantically trying to protect the Most Secret Place on Earth, where they are hiding an old Andalite toilet."
Marco: "Does anyone else ever think maybe we've all just lost our minds? You know, like maybe none of this is real and we're escaped lunatics from the local hospital for the hopelessly wacko?"
Cassie: "Hey, we're saving the world here, Marco."
Marco: "That's what all lunatics say."
Jake: "Come along, my wacko friends."
Marco: "Could this get any faker?"
Crew-cut man: "Why are you kids so cynical?"
Marco: "We watch too much TV."
Next book: The Escape, Animorphs #15