Book #21 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 #21 (a.k.a. the second book in the "David Trilogy")
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

After a narrow escape from their investigative mission on the Yeerk Blade ship, the Animorphs hatch a plan to infiltrate and save the world leaders from being infested by Yeerks. They're also still getting used to their new member, David, and have some disturbing conversations and revelations about him. He seems insubordinate, confused, and possibly dangerous. When they sneak in to scope out the place where the world leaders' banquet is going to occur, they uncover some tricky Yeerk holograms and force fields, and though their mission has some hiccups (spiderwebs, nearly getting stuck in flea morphs, David acting strange), they manage to hatch a plan. However, nothing happens how it should when they get into position, and it turns out it was a trap set up by Visser Three. During the battle that ensues, David announces that he is going to surrender to Visser Three, and only started fighting with the Animorphs again when it seemed like they would be the winners. Jake doesn't believe afterwards that David was only kidding, and so they watch him that night and witness him leaving Cassie's barn as an eagle. He reveals that he does not intend to get bossed around by Jake the rest of his life and plans to strike out on his own, and he also appears to have killed Tobias. A battle between Jake's tiger and David's lion ensues, ending with Jake falling while losing consciousness in another cliffhanger ending.

About this book:

Narrator: Jake

New known controllers:

  • Some of the security officers at the hotel

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: Dragonfly, human (security guard)
  • Cassie: None
  • Marco: Flea
  • Rachel: Flea
  • Ax: Human (security guard)
  • Tobias: Seagull
  • David: Seagull, flea, human (security guard)


  • It's a nice touch that people who got knocked unconscious by a blow to the head didn't stay out long. Normally, the amount of time a person can be unconscious after a head injury is not very long unless it's a very serious injury, and these books are written in such a way that the Animorphs don't irrevocably injure people if they don't have to. So after initially being knocked out and only staying out for a couple minutes, one Controller has to be bitten with poison to stay unconscious. That's refreshing.

  • At one point the Animorphs have a plan that involves three of the guys--Ax, Jake, and David--acquiring and morphing the human-Controllers. They planned to explain to each temporarily abducted world leader that there's an alien invasion going on, and have Ax demorph to show them. Why would they do that when a) there were other ways to prove it with other people's morphs and b) they'd bothered to put Ax in a tuxedo and tie his tie?

  • When David does his lion morph and Jake has to restrain him, Jake realizes a second too late that David has never done the lion morph before and so he stands a very good chance of losing control of it. The problem is that earlier in the book Jake tracked him down while sniffing as a dog, and determined that he changed into a lion to cover some distance. It might have been the first time Jake had been around David while he was a lion, but it wasn't David's first time in lion morph.

Best lines:

Jake: Stale dog poop was only slightly more interesting than cat poop. And let's face it: No one cares about cat poop.

Jake: This wasn't as fun as chasing a stick. But it was some kind of game, at least. And I liked Cassie. If only she had a stick.

Ax: "I have to ask: What is a hat?"
Rachel: "A hat is something people wear on their heads. A type of clothing."
Ax: "Ah, yes, clothing. Head clothing. Of course. Is there any part of a human that cannot be clothed?"
Rachel: "Yeah, the face, which is too bad when you consider Marco's face."
Marco: "Hey, you know I'm the cutest flea you've ever seen. No one has prettier bloodsucking mouthparts than me."

Jake: Some decisions are smart. Some are dumb. Some manage to be a little of both. This was one of those.

Ax: "Yes. Obviously in that one area, the technology the Chee possess is somewhat superior even to Andalite technology."
Marco: "Way superior. Way, way superior. I mean, just so I have this straight, you're saying the Chee technology would be to Andalite technology like human technology is to . . . oh, say, chimpanzees?"
Ax: "Actually, the gap would have to be even wider, since there really isn't all that much of a difference between human technology and chimpanzee technology."

Next book: The Solution, Animorphs #22

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