Book #16 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.
by K.A. Applegate
Jake discovers a website about Yeerks and spies with his friends on a chat room. He wants to find out who these people are so he can figure out if they're Controllers or people who need help, so the Animorphs take a plane trip to the headquarters of the ISP and hack their database to find customers' identities. Jake is almost mortally injured during the plane trip in fly morph, but has to learn to be a good leader and get past his fear of doing the morph again on the way home. They review their findings, and what's puzzling is that one of the names seen in the chat room was the CEO of the ISP himself. Cassie wants to help a little kid from the chat room who is pondering confronting his dad about being a Controller, but Jake wants to go for the bigger mission and decides to pilot an investigation of the CEO's mansion. But something goes wrong early in their infiltration, and Rachel is stunned by a security system and knocked unconscious. Ax is captured as well. Jake has to think fast to save his friends, and during the rescue mission finds out that the CEO is a Controller who has been cut off from the Yeerks because Visser Three likes keeping his twin brother down. But the Yeerk in the CEO's head has information Visser Three wants, which is the only reason he's still alive. He's figured out how to live without Kandrona rays, but the process involves cannibalizing other Yeerks. Cassie flies into a rage when she finds out that the human hosts are casualties of his feedings, and Jake has to restrain her. They strike an uneasy truce with the Yeerk and let him live for releasing Ax and Rachel, and later when Cassie communicates with the child from the chat room, she and Jake both have learned that good people sometimes have to do bad things.
About this book:
New known controllers:
New morphs acquired:
- Jake: Rhinoceros
- Cassie: None
- Marco: None
- Rachel: None
- Ax: None
- Tobias: Fly
- From this book's description of Jake signing onto the Internet (especially the "you've got mail!" notification sound), it sounds like he has America Online with a screenname of Bball24. They're calling it "Web Access America" instead. The modem "dialing" helps date the book. Especially since it even includes his modem speed: 38,400 bps, which he suggests is not all that fast but at least it's better than his 14,400 bps one from before. Marco's modem, the "fastest one around," is 56,000 bps.
- Jake mentions searching the Internet for the term "Yeerk." One wonders how exactly they decided it'd be spelled that way. . . .
- The Skrit Na (first mentioned in a previous book) are mentioned amongst the Animorphs for the first time, confirming that the Na form looks like our popular portayal of the Greys.
- Jake points out (not for the first time) that his ability to understand other people's motivations is not the best, and that he relies on Cassie's instincts to guide him on that sort of thing. In this book, he notes that he doesn't know whether Rachel and Marco can't stand each other or whether they razz each other because they respect each other.
- While the group is trying to figure out who they can visit or help from the chat room, they point out who lives in town and who lives far away. One of the chatters, named Chazz, is pointed out as both living nearby and living out of town.
- There's a proofreading error in the sentence "The crowds may not able to see them all that well."
Jake (in an e-mail): Cassie, you know I like you, too. But I have vowed not to get involved with any girl until my best friend, Marco, gets at least one girl to like him. And since we know that's never going to happen, I guess we'll never get together. Signed, Jake.
Ax: "Not millions, at least? Mill-yuns. Millie-yuns. I like that word. It makes nice sounds in my human mouth."
Rachel: "Yeah. It's a swell sound. Sometimes I just lie in bed for six or seven hours doing nothing but saying 'million.'"
Rachel: "A 'mix of truth and lies' is like the definition of the Internet. Equal parts reality and delusion."
Marco: "You really think someday we can all go back to being regular kids? You think after being the leader of the Animorphs you can go back to being Joe Average Student?"
Jake: "Yes, I do."
Tobias: "Okay, this is cool. Once you get past the fact that your own body makes you want to throw up."
Rachel: "Marco feels that way in his human body."
Rachel: "Be sure and leave your brain to science when you die, Marco. After all, they're the ones with the microscopes it'd take to find it."
Cassie: "You're scared. And you have good reason to be scared. So what's the big deal?"
Jake: "The big deal is I'm supposedly the leader of this little army."
Cassie: "So? So you're not supposed to be human?"
Jake: "That's absolutely right. I'm not supposed to be human."
Jake: You never really get past the fear. Fear eats a little hole in you, like rust in the fender of a car. You fill the hole up with putty and sand it smooth and paint it over so no one else can see it. But it's never really as good as new.
Rachel: "Was the guy a Controller or not? Was he a good guy or a bad guy?"
Jake: "Rachel, I don't even know which I am anymore."
Next book: The Underground, Animorphs #17