Dec 29, 2020

The Beginning

Animorphs #54 
by K.A. Applegate

     Wow, hard to believe it's actually over. I finally finished this sixty-two book middle-grade sci-fi series (counting in the four Meagamorphs and four Chronicles. I didn't read the offshoots called Alternamorphs, which it sounds like are in Choose Your Own Adventure style). Warning for some SPOILERS.

Jumps right into the action showing how the battle ended- and yes Rachel ends up in a fight with Tom/Yeerk and his followers. They both die. The rest of the team manages to end the war against the alien Yeerks, the Visser is taken captive, Jake cleverly talks the Andalites into doing things their way (don't want the Andalites running Earth or taking credit for the victory) without much loss of face (amusingly, Earth becomes a tourist destination for Andalites who want to taste food). The Animorphs kinda go their separate ways and we see what happens to each of them- and I found all their paths fitting (although Tobias made me feel sad- he's distraught at loosing Rachel and basically leaves to just live as a hawk). After a year the Visser is brought to trial for war crimes. Jake has been suffering ever since it ended- most of the others found a purpose to their life, but Jake is depressed and directionless. The trial brings back all his memories as he has to testify and feels the mountain of guilt again for his role in killing innocents. The other Animorphs force him into morphing dolphin in the ocean so he can physically release some tension and feel a bit of joy again- and they all have a long serious talk about the war, its effect on them, where the guilt lies, etc. Very good stuff!

Then the story takes a sudden turn- I knew before that a lot of fans hate the ending of the series, but it really took me by surprise what it was. Jake receives a report that Ax had been scouting around in outer space (he's a Prince and captain of his own ship now) and encountered a suspicious, seeming-empty huge ship. He went aboard with part of his crew, something went wrong, there's only one survivor. Of course Jake gets together the few remaining Animorphs (addition of two new people who have been studying under Jake and minus  Cassie who stays behind) and they secretly take what used to be a Yeerk ship, out there to investigate. They find that Ax and his crew were subsumed by a huge new alien thing- and they get ready to face off to it, even though they have no chance. And that's it.

The book abruptly ends. You can only assume that they were all taken by this new alien. I nearly yelled aloud in frustration because- I wanted to know what happened! But after some thinking I kinda get what the author was aiming at. A lot of this book was showing what happened to the main characters in the aftermath of war, how they were able to adjust and go on with their lives, or not. (Strange that the families were hardly mentioned). But then this new threat comes up and they go face it- so the message I take from that is: there's always another battle. You think it's all over and you have peace but something else will eventually rear up and make you fight again. And sometimes- you just can't win.

It sure would be nice if someone wrote another series continuing where this one dropped off- do the Animorphs still retain a thread of consciousness or individuality in that alien thing? Could they be rescued? what happens if that alien finds Earth- where Cassie still is, with all the other humans, Hork-Bajir and visiting Andalites. Hm, maybe there's some fanfic out there on this one . . .

The book is on my e-reader.

Rating: 4/5               176 pages, 2001

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  1. Yay you read it! We had a similar reaction, after thinking about it a while, I understood what the authors were trying to do.

    There's so much good fanfic out there! I don't know of any about continuing the end of the series, though I bet there are lots of stories about it.

    1. I was so glad to finish! I don't think I have the energy to get into any fanfic just yet, tho it would be nice to see a solid retelling that solves all the plot holes and evens out some of the goofiness . . .


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