Book #47 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 #47
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

A free Hork-Bajir has been captured, enabling the Yeerks to find the hidden valley where they live. Jake and the Animorphs are asked to help fight the doomed battle against what is sure to be an overwhelming Yeerk force. They form a plan to drive the Yeerks away with water harnessed from damming, but they also have to deal with a group of campers that are caught in the crossfire and face the fact that they may not win this battle. Interspersed with the story of the fight for the Hork-Bajir colony is the story of Jake's ancestor Isaiah Fitzhenry, who was very young when he died in the Civil War fighting for the Union. In his military career he had to face daunting odds similar to those Jake is facing in the present, and he made an unpopular decision to let recently freed slaves fight with white men for their shared cause. Jake has access to Isaiah's thoughts through a journal he left, and the parallels line up all through the story.

About this book:

Narrator: Jake

New known controllers:

  • None

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: Beaver
  • Cassie: Beaver
  • Marco: Beaver
  • Rachel: Beaver
  • Ax: Beaver
  • Tobias: Beaver


  • This book was ghostwritten by Ellen Geroux.

  • This is the first book that doesn't give a whole first chapter of exposition, and then some, to explain the Yeerk invasion, the morphing process and its origins, and the group's motivation. Seems that at #47 in the series, the publishers assumed people who are reading it probably know the story by now. However, since it goes back to the pattern of giving a summary/introduction in the very next book, this appears to be an anomaly.

  • The narration makes a point of claiming that they'd learned to morph "decent clothes," and how they looked a lot saner than they would have if they'd been standing around in spandex. That doesn't appear to be the case in any of the later books, since even in the last book morphing outfits are still in use.

  • At one point Ax has two lines of spoken dialogue rendered in quotation marks instead of thought-speak. But there is no reason explained for why he would be standing around in human morph at that point, especially since no mention of his demorphing is mentioned and he is speaking in thought-speak very shortly after the spoken conversation. (It happens when Ax is discussing his experience in fluid mechanics, in chapter thirteen.)

  • The word "its" is used once when "it's" was supposed to be used ("Its a long story"), and on four occasions "Negroes" is misspelled "Negros." "Calloused" is used when it really should be "callused."

  • It's not really clear why some of Isaiah's chapters have quite a lot of present tense in them, but also switch into past tense often.

  • Obviously capture of a once-free Hork-Bajir would endanger the valley, but nothing is said about whether the "Andalite bandits" would have their identities revealed. If that's not a piece of information the Yeerks now know, then the captured Hork-Bajir must not have known that they were humans. Do the Hork-Bajir generally not know?

  • Tobias is asked to go spy on the advancing Yeerks at one time and claims he may not have seen particularly well because his hawk eyes are not great at night. Considering most of the others have owl morphs, it seems very curious that none of them did this job, though at least in this situation it didn't end up mattering.

Best lines:

Jake: Exhaustion can make you act like a jerk.

Jake: I was the leader of a group of resistance fighters, Earth's only hope for freedom, and I had to clean the basement to earn a lousy twenty bucks. Talk about irony.

Rebel soldier: "So the Union has a kid in charge. Yankees got a boy commander."
Isaiah: "And yet, my men have managed to shoot and capture you. That's not bad for child's play."

Tobias: "I'm thinking the morph should be a little more, I don't know, glamorous. I mean, going beaver to save an entire colony of aliens is like putting James Bond behind the wheel of a minivan. With a bumper sticker that says, 'World's Greatest Mom.' No offense."

Ax: "Three to four thousand cubic meters. I believe that is what it will take to inundate the valley."
Marco: "Ax, you just make me all tingly when you talk all smart-like."

Ax: "Fluid mechanics was one of my specialties as an aristh."
Marco: "What haven't you done?"
Ax: "I have never constructed an organic cellulose hydrological attack assemblage."
Marco: "We speak English, dude."

Next book: The Return, Animorphs #48

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