by K.A. Applegate
This was a good one. True to pattern, it opens with humorous moments- the Animorphs are hanging out at the mall, and they morph parrots in order to discourage a restaurant from using caged birds to attract customers. They take the birds\’ places and spout insults and slurs about the establishment. I had forgotten about the Chee from a previous book, but here they show up again to inform the Animorphs that something suspicious is going on out in the ocean. The team morphs seagulls and dolphins to get there and check it out- after an awkward scene at a local marine park where Toby has to essentially dive-bomb a dolphin in order to \’acquire\’ its form- he\’s a hawk, so it looks like a wild bird is attacking a dolphin on display. When the team makes it out to the spot in the ocean, they find lots of hammerhead sharks acting oddly, with unnaturally coordinated behavior. Of course they morph hammerheads to blend in so they can sneak closer- a frightening experience (and a negative portrayal of sharks here, which draws on nearly every popular misconception about them!) In particular, Marco, the narrator of this book, is struggling to keep his composure and deal with the possibility of battling the enemy- which of course they do in the closing chapters- because they find out that Visser One is involved in this undersea operation, and Marco\’s own mother is the human controlled by this Yeerk Visser. Except most of his friends on the team don\’t know that. This story had a nice amount of character-building: we see how Marco and Jake support each other (Jake diffuses a tense moment Marco has with some bullies) and manage to enjoy moments of pure thrill, even in the middle of all this stress due to secret alien warfare. Also a lot is revealed about how much Marco himself suffers under the surface, even though he puts on a comic attitude to lighten the mood with his friends.
Rating: 3/5 176 pages, 1998