The Reaction

Animorphs #12
by K.A. Applegate

This one was better! (I\’m starting to wonder if the Animorph books that don\’t interest me as much are written mostly by one of the author team, and the ones I like, written by the other, hm.) Sorry for spoilers below, I can\’t help it with these books.

So, Rachel morphs a crocodile in order to rescue a kid who falls into the croc enclosure at a zoo- a reckless move she barely pulls off without being discovered. Later she finds herself suddenly out of control- her body morphs animals randomly, and she can\’t stop it. Her elephant morph destroys part of her house, luckily avoiding harming some of the family members who are home. It\’s something different to see Rachel feeling vulnerable, and talking about what it\’s like to live in constant fear, but not letting it take over your life. She hides her alarming problem from her friends for a while. Then the team discovers that the enemy have a new plan to convince a TV star who has a huge teen fan base to accept a Yeerk- so he can then bring in masses of young people to their side via the Sharing (most idiotic name ever for a youth group, ha). The kids are desperate to put a stop to this- the boys don\’t really get it until they see how Rachel and Cassie fall all over themselves in their eagerness to get close to the guy as part of the mission. Rachel uses the internet (first time I notice it mentioned in the series) to find out where he\’s going to be- coincidentally there\’s filming taking place near their town- and the team converge on a private yacht in the form of seagulls. Rachel\’s morphing goes out of control again, attracting the attention of the enemy leader, and they narrowly escape. Their next plan is to meet the star on a talk show- because Rachel got on the local news for \”falling into\” the crocodile pit- though what they actually intended to do is unclear. I don\’t think they knew themselves. Rachel fibbed to her teammates that her problem with morphing was over- but it wasn\’t, and they find themselves frantically trying to control a wild crocodile on live TV while Rachel is morphed as a bear, Marco as a llama and Cassie as a squirrel. It was pretty darn funny. Of course they just manage to get out of the situation without blowing their cover again.

I can see what made this book a good one for me. It had plenty of amusing moments and witty remarks by the kids. The descriptions of Rachel facing fear, feeling uneasy and baffled at her morphing condition, was pretty acute. Also how she momentarily lost her sense of human self while being a seagull. Marco as a llama really made me chuckle. (And I don\’t think I laughed once in the prior book). The concept of what caused Rachel\’s problem was pretty unique- again something I didn\’t see coming in the storyline which made me sit up and take interest. I also like how ridiculously infatuated the girls were with this teen idol, until they heard him talking on the back of the yacht and realized he really had an unpleasant personality. They ditched their admiration in an instant, but still wanted to save him from the fate of being enslaved by the Yeerks, just because it would endanger so many other people. Good, fun read.

Rating: 3/5             176 pages, 1997

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