Book #42 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 #42
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

The Animorphs are photographed by a kid with a disposable camera, but while they're still trying to figure out how to get the camera back, they get a bigger problem--or, as the case may be, a smaller one. The Helmacrons, tiny but megalomaniacal aliens, have returned, demanding again their Escafil device as a source of power. Because they will not give in, the Helmacrons take Marco hostage--by running up his nose and threatening to stop his heart. Ax uses the shrink ray aboard the Helmacron ship to shrink everyone, and they all chase the Helmacrons up Marco's nose, embarking on a battle inside his body. But while they're trying to capture or defeat the Helmacrons while dealing with a mistake that rendered them a hundred times smaller than they meant to be, Marco is on his own trying to get that camera back, and he's been instructed not to morph while his friends are inside him. What happens when he has no choice affects the outcome of the battle, and he nearly gets trapped in roach morph, but soon enough they are able to get an uneasy deal with the Helmacrons as well as keeping their secret safe.

About this book:

Narrators: Rachel, Marco

New known controllers:

  • Employees of a Kandrona production factory (disguised as a Dunkin' Donuts)

New morphs acquired:

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


  • This book was ghostwritten by Emily Costello.

  • At one point a Controller shoots Rachel with a Dracon beam while she's in elephant morph. The lowest setting can knock out a human but probably wouldn't do anything but annoy the elephant, which is what happened. Question is, why didn't the Controller have the Dracon beam on a higher setting? They apparently go up high enough to actually vaporize any living thing, but even if the Controller didn't want to kill Rachel (so they could infest her and use her morphing ability), it seems he could have used a stronger setting and would know better than not to.

  • At one point the Helmacrons wish death on "the air-breathing alien," but no one seems to think this is significant. Then later everyone's mystified as to why they stepped into Marco's bloodstream if they wouldn't be able to breathe in there. Clearly it was a clue that they don't breathe air, but no one picked up on it.

  • An opening quotation mark was missing when someone was asking how they can go after a bunch of mushrooms.

  • After Marco has supposedly died in cockroach morph of a Helmacron blast, Rachel suggests tunneling into the lungs, and when they shoot through some air comes out and they acknowledge getting into the lungs. Roaches don't have lungs.

  • It seems odd that the Animorphs acknowledge the Helmacrons' possibility of aligning with the Yeerks or giving the Yeerks information about them, but then they let these blatantly untrustworthy creatures just charge up their ship and leave.

  • In a previous book, morphing did not rid any of the Animorphs of their illness, which was plot-relevant because the sickness they suffered from downed everyone on the team except Cassie, requiring her to do missions herself. But in this book, Marco morphing in and out of roach morph cured him of rabies. It could be that because the illness was some kind of alien illness they all caught from Ax, it behaves differently than human illnesses, or because rabies is viral and not bacterial, but this could be an inconsistency.

  • It's alarming that Marco could get rabies from a domesticated dog that was living as someone's pet.

  • No attempt was ever made to follow up on the kid who took the Animorphs' picture. Sure the camera was the evidence, but it would have made some sense to look into there being someone who had witnessed their human forms morphing.

Best lines:

Jake: "I'm just guessing--it's because they want to kill you."
Marco: "No way! That is so not okay with me!"

Ax: "I may be more useful up Marco's nose."
Marco: "That didn't sound too weird."

Jake: "If Helmacrons don't breathe, why do they have noses?"
Ax: "It is possible the organ has another use. Although it is hard to imagine what it would be."
Rachel: "This from a boy who eats with his feet."

Ax: "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe?"
Rachel: "You really have been on Earth too long. You'll never fit in on the Andalite home world now."
Ax: "I would miss Saturday morning cartoons."

Next book: The Test, Animorphs #43