Book #52 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 #52
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

During a battle, Ax meets a Yeerk that begs for its life so it can stay in bird morph and become trapped that way--it wants to be "free." After the battle, they have to discuss war plans and they decide it'd be a good idea to bomb the Yeerk pool even though there are innocent people there, and Cassie doesn't want to do it because she doesn't think the ends justify the means. During this discussion she ends up admitting to being the person who lost them the morphing cube, and Ax begins to hate her and question his loyalty to the humans. He ends up discussing this secretly with Andalite high command, who plans to quarantine Earth (which is really code for blowing it up). Ax isn't so sure that's a bad idea considering what he's learned about humans, and how people like Cassie are dangerous.

Eventually the two of them have a talk so he can figure out what her motivation is. He understands a bit better when he realizes he's been in her position--making decisions the others don't approve of for the good of others, and pitying the enemy--and she understands that they do have to fight the Yeerks as well as they can without becoming them. With that, the group infiltrates a military base, gets some explosives, and talks the uninfested military into helping them instead of stopping them. Ax, Marco, and Cassie board a train and ride it into the Yeerk tunnels all the way to the pool, arming the bomb and giving the hosts inside enough time to run before the bomb goes off. With that, they destroy the Yeerk pool and achieve their greatest victory, but sacrifices were made, and it remains to be seen what Visser One will do next.

About this book:

Narrator: Ax

New known controllers:

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: None
  • Cassie: None
  • Marco: None
  • Rachel: None
  • Ax: Raccoon (possibly not acquired during this book)
  • Tobias: None


  • This book was ghostwritten by Kim Morris.

  • The ages of the Animorphs are pretty vague throughout the series, but Ax's narration in this one says the original human Animorphs are "now of the age to be attending what humans call 'high school.'" This shows they're definitely somewhere in their early teens, though when Marco created the term "Animorphs" in the beginning of the series he joked that it was another word for "idiot teenagers with a death wish."

  • At one point Rachel uses the phrase "big 'ole bomb." What is the apostrophe representing as missing? If you're going to abbreviate "old," it'd make more sense to write "ol'," or if you're going to do it phonetically "ole" will work, but there's no reason for an apostrophe before the O.

  • Chapter 8 has multiple glitches with thought-speak versus mouth-speak. People who are not morphed talk in thought-speak several times with regular quoted passages being used the next time they speak. Also, Ax narrates that he shifts his weight from one leg "to the other," suggesting there are only two, and possibly suggesting he is in morph but probably isn't since he has no reason to be.

  • Ax refers to the Yeerks being a plague on "the galaxy," which contradicts Marco's joke about the Yeerks being from a different galaxy in a previous book.

Best lines:

Ax: We have the ability to speak without using our mouths. This is very fortunate considering Andalites have no mouths.

Ax: A lawyer seems to be an odd type of human. Intelligent but in a way that is not terribly useful.

Ax: Marco was correct in stating that nuclear weapons, fairly primitive explosives by Andalite standards, are very difficult for the average citizen to procure. This is a good thing.

Cassie: "Okay. Then it's wrong. But let's do it anyway. I'll learn to live with my conscience. We all will. I don't have a better plan. I guess this is as close as we'll get to defeating the Yeerks without being the Yeerks."

Cassie: "You think I'm a traitor, don't you?"
Ax: "Yes."
Cassie: "But did I do the wrong thing?"
Ax: "I do not know."

Ax: Seerow had let loose a plague of Yeerks upon the galaxy. The rest is history. A sad, violent, destructive history of conquest and war. Planets ravaged and ruined. One species after another enslaved. Countless dead. All triggered by an act of kindness. Yes. The Cassies of the world were infinitely more dangerous than the Rachels.

Soldier: "I've never seen anything like this. Hey there, fella. Hey!"
Ax: "Hay is for horses. I am not a horse, though in some aspects I closely resemble one."

Cassie: "Coin toss."
Ax: "What?"
Marco: "It's the way we make most major decisions."

Marco: "The saddest thing is that this is our greatest victory. And I've never felt more depressed in my entire life."

Next book: The Answer, Animorphs #53