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review 2020-01-02 21:22
The Beginning, Animorphs #54
The Beginning (Animorphs, #54) - Katherine Applegate

I did not know what to expect when I picked up this series at a flea market back in October. My memories were vague at best and I had only read a dozen or so of the books back when they were first produced.


This series stands apart from the other youth-market cash-grab book series in its scope and risks, but I don't see this ever catching on again except in isolated pockets where millennial parents put it in their children's way. The books physically are not aging well, either. The set I picked up, even the ones that superficially looked clean and uncreased, were visibly the worse for wear after my reading - and I've always been careful about spines.


Is this series worth the investment as an adult reader with many, many more arguably better options out there? If you're a lover of middle grade and ya fiction, particularly dystopian, it probably is. The series is made up of ridiculous moments, absurd lapses in logic, and continuity errors abound, however, Applegate didn't flinch when writing about the trauma of war and in the end, the characters rang true.


'The Beginning' covers the end of the war against the Yeerks and goes several years into the future covering the careers and the paths the surviving Animorphs took. The end...is a little frustrating, but after thinking and thinking and thinking about it, I like it. Wars don't end, and neither now will these characters.




Previous: 'The Answer'

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review 2020-01-01 20:28
The Answer, Animorphs #53
The Answer (Animorphs, #53) - Katherine Applegate

This was amazing. Finally, readers have Applegate's undivided attention and everything important that's gone down in the last few DOZEN books falls into place.


The abilities and firepower of the Animorphs and their few allies is nothing compared with the full force of the Yeerk Empire. A surprising development, well, surprising to all except Cassie, offers an interesting opportunity, but only Jake has the vision to bring the war to its conclusion.


Jake's plan is chilling and I do not know what I would have made of it if I had read this as a child. It works, of course it does, but...wow.


This is the penultimate book to the series, and I'm finding I don't want it to end.




Next: 'The Beginning'


Previous: 'The Sacrifice'

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review 2019-12-31 20:30
The Sacrifice, Animorphs #52
The Sacrifice (Animorphs, #52) - Katherine Applegate

Ax has long been torn about his loyalty to Prince Jake and the other Animorphs and his own people, the Andalites. It's revealed Ax has been in communication with the Andalite military High Command, and its official: the Andalites are not coming.


This information would be devastating to the other Animorphs and to the other members of the resistance. At the same time Yeerk tactics have come out into the open with Yeerk-controlled members of the military herding people from their homes and vehicles to the Yeerk pool via the subway in broad daylight.


Is it time for the Animorphs to target the pool itself and actually follow through on it, despite the moral implications? Guerrilla tactics must give way to high strategy and Jake realizes they must take a chance and get in touch with government and military forces and work together on their offense. The governor, having broadcast her warning to the public, has not been seen since and can no longer be counted on as an ally.


This book was really good, though Rachel has devolved into a violent cartoon, because new options appear for the Animorphs as violence and casualties escalate.




Next: 'The Answer'


Previous: 'The Absolute'

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review 2019-12-30 20:25
The Absolute, Animorphs #51
The Absolute - Katherine Applegate

The last Marco book is a riot and features my favorite one-off character of the series: the governor of California. Though I found it hard to believe that, no matter how distracted, a group of five teens - one at least a former honor student - didn't know who the governor was, or even their gender?


Anyway, this is the best heist book in a while, there's a single, focused goal for this book and a minimum of distractions to the plot. The pay off to the characterization and fracturing of the team adds to the tension.


There is little hope now of outside help from the Andalites, the Animorph's best hope is to get more help and firepower from those in the government still free of Yeerk control. How high up do they have to go?




Next: 'The Sacrifice'


Previous: 'The Ultimate'

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review 2019-12-29 21:23
The Ultimate, Animorphs #50
The Ultimate - Katherine Applegate

The war is expanding far beyond the scope the six Animorphs are able to cope with. The answer is recruitment, but who can they trust, especially after their failure with David?


The answer is to go after other kids like themselves, but those who the prejudiced Yeerks would never suspect. The Animorphs approach children in a ward for the permanently disabled. Cassie raises good objections to this plan, but ultimately the group goes forward.


Two big problems: the morphing technology will heal anyone who has a condition that isn't genetic in origin so some of the children are no longer disabled, which is great, however, they become the lieutenants of the auxiliary Animorphs? Woof. The other problem has to do with how, down the line, these characters just get tossed aside. We never get to know them beyond this volume. They are a part of the war moving forward, but the scope gets larger so fast these 17 new Animorphs get lost.


And then Cassie does something...stupid. Still, the plot moves forward to the end, finally.




Next: 'The Absolute'


Previous: 'The Diversion'

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