by K.A. Applegate
This was one of the better Animorphs books for me. I really liked all the ethical and morality questions it raised. It starts with a dash of humor- Cassie and Rachel using animal morphs to sneak into a teacher\’s house and retrieve a piece of homework that had \”Cassie loves Jake\” doodled on it, haha. Then a Hork-Bajir shows up: the free Hork-Bajir in the hidden valley have been approached by the last surviving Arn, that species that invented the Hork-Bajir so long ago. He wants their help to use DNA samples from the Hork-Bajir to create more of them to fight the Yeerks, and also to find a cache of weapons on the Hork-Bajir home planet. The Animorphs are brought in as consultants because the Hork-Bajir with their lesser intelligence don\’t understand all the implications. Winds up that they all travel back to that planet to find the weapons, but first they have to get the spirit of Aldrea- whose memory and personality was \”backed up\” or saved in some kind of device- because only she knows where the cache might be. This is weird and corny, but after Aldrea enters someone\’s mind- happens she chooses Cassie- it gets really interesting. Some other reviewers refer to this as the book where Cassie is possessed by an alien ghost, but I didn\’t see it that way at all. Once Aldrea was sharing Cassie\’s body, it was far more reminiscent of how the Yeerks take over their hosts- a fact which the Animorphs did not miss. Cassie actually struggles as Aldrea tries to wrest some control from her- because she has her own ideas, of course. There\’s some really interesting interactions between Aldrea and Ax- both being Andalites after all- Ax can\’t help looking down on Aldrea for her choices, they both have a huge helping of arrogance about everything, and Ax scorns Aldrea for her connections to Seerow (who first gave the Yeerks superior knowledge they weren\’t ready to handle) but Aldrea points out that Elfangor did the exact same thing to the human teenagers, so who\’s judging? Aside from all that, there\’s this impossible mission they have to pull off because the weapons cache is under a Yeerk pool, Aldrea is horrified to see how her home planet has been ravaged by the Yeerks, and Toby (the Horjk-Bajir who came to get help) sees her ancestral home planet for the first time, then doesn\’t want to return to Earth. The morphing scenes were crazy. Cassie\’s ability with this really shines, and Aldrea\’s admiration for it (and moment of shock at how the Animorphs are actually utilizing the morphing technology to thwart the Yeerks) is really something, coming from the race that invented it. Lots of heavy stuff. I liked it.
This one seems to be a continuation of The Hork-Bajir Chronicles. Had a copy of this on my e-reader.
Rating: 4/5 141 pages, 1999
the Library Ladies