Book #40 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.


Animorphs #40
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

Footage of an alien that is not Visser Three or Ax pops up on Marco's TV, and the Animorphs decide to investigate. They meet Andalite Gafinilan, a fighter pilot with a powerful physique who poses as a human by day. He is a bit hostile to them, but says he's protecting his friend Mertil, an Andalite with a crippled tail who is regarded as an outcast by Andalite society. Marco is suspicious of Gafinilan's inconsistent behavior, and they put pieces together figuring out that Gafinilan probably has a particular disease which may be his inspiration for looking for a new Andalite morph to acquire. But this isn't the case; turns out Mertil's missing and being held hostage by the Yeerks, and Visser Three had made Gafinilan a deal to release Mertil if he can serve up an Andalite bandit. Gafinilan and Mertil have a special bond, so Gafinilan is loyal to him above anything and anyone; he was willing to sell out his own people to protect Mertil. The Animorphs decide to help Gafinilan save his friend, and in so doing they make allies of the Andalite with a fatal disease and the Andalite with a terrible disability.

About this book:

Narrator: Marco

New known controllers:

  • None

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: None
  • Cassie: Honeybee
  • Marco: Honeybee
  • Rachel: Honeybee
  • Ax: Honeybee
  • Tobias: Honeybee


  • This book is ghostwritten by Gina Gascone.

  • Marco sucks at math if he thinks himself and his five friends are .1 percent of the planet's population.

  • An Andalite who's missing his tail blade is called a vecol in the Andalite language.

  • Two new Andalites show up in this book, and their names are Mertil-Iscar-Elmand and Gafinilan-Estrif-Valad.

  • The Animorphs always take great care to not be seen as a group too often, just in case Yeerks associate them with each other in a peculiar way. This seems a bit of a silly thing to worry about, but it seems especially silly if it's just taking caution to the greatest possible degree and then not continuing to be cautious once they get together. In this book, they make a big show of not having "planned" to meet there but then talking out in the open about Andalites and Yeerk vissers. It's not clear why they think they shouldn't be seen together but don't seem to take any precautions against being overheard.

  • Marco claims he "wouldn't have time" to try out his bee morph before his solitary mission, so instead he did Internet research on bees to find out what he could expect in the way of bee instincts. This makes no sense. They have a history in the more recent books of morphing very quickly when it's necessary--within a couple minutes--so it seems ridiculous to not try out a possibly disastrous morph because you "don't have time" if you have time to read about it.

  • This is the first time an Animorphs book has suggested that someone can be "allergic" to the morphing technology or be otherwise unable to accept it.

  • This is also the first time anyone's emotional closeness has been said to amplify their thought-speech. Mertil and Gafinilan can hear each other's thought-speak if they're on the same planet.

  • When Marco is in honeybee morph, there is a quote about how a color called "bee-purple" is "the color between yellow and ultraviolet on the spectrum." There are lots of colors between yellow and ultraviolet on the spectrum that humans can see just fine, though "bee-purple" is said in this book to be too intense for the human eye to see. In fact, the actual term "bee's purple" really is a mix between ultraviolet and yellow, but it is not "between the two on the spectrum." It is part of the ultraviolet section of the spectrum that humans can't see, while bees can't see red.

Best lines:

Marco: I guess Ax and Tobias were doing whatever red-tailed hawks and aliens do on an off night.

Marco: Time flies when you're scared peeless.

Tobias: "Okay, I'm getting a complex over here. I'm a nothlit. A freak. Whatever. My best friend is an alien with blue fur. My girlfriend is human--when she isn't in morph. How about we don't talk about 'normal' anymore. Or 'average' or 'natural.' Please."

Next book: Back to Before, Megamorphs #4