Monday, September 26, 2011

The Change (K. A Applegate)

The Change
(The Animorphs series, Book 13)
K. A. Applegate
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
**** (Good)

NOTE: In honor of the re-release of the series, I'm finally posting individual reviews of the Animorphs books.

DESCRIPTION: Tobias has come to terms with his new life... mostly. Trapped in the body of a red-tailed hawk, he finds himself living in two worlds. In one, he is an Animorph like his friends, helping to fight the invading Yeerks, a human boy who happens to have wings and feathers and laser-sharp vision. In the other, however, he's a hunter, a bird of prey who feeds on mice and sleeps in a tree. In neither world does he feel entirely comfortable; a hawk's life is a hard one for the once-gentle boy he used to be, and he doesn't consider himself much of an Animorph anymore since he's stuck forever in an animal body. But he has no choice in the matter. It's not like he can ever be human again.
While spying on Controllers, Tobias suddenly finds himself watching the impossible: a pair of Hork-Bajir, free of Yeerk infestation, escaping into the woods. They are the only free members of their species in the galaxy, and the Yeerks are pulling out all the stops to recapture the refugees. Forces greater than he can understand seem to want Tobias to help the pair. If he succeeds, those forces might grant the wish he's been too afraid to voice, the wish that he thought had died when he passed the fateful two-hour limit in hawk morph: the wish to be human once more.

REVIEW: Another plot-pivotal episode in the series, it maintains the action-heavy pace while allowing for the occasional introspective break. Tobias has to admit that he hasn't reconciled himself to his strange new life as fully as he thought he had... just as he has to admit that, even if he regains his human form, he can never be the boy he used to be. By the end, a few new wrinkles have been added to the mytharc.
After this book, in the original release, came The Andalite Chronicles (reviewed on my website here - and, yes, I know I have the insertion point wrong... I'll fix it when I update next), the first of four extra books that delve into the backstory of the Animorphs universe. While not necessary, I'd recommend reading them in the order in which they were originally released; some elements in the Chronicles books constitute spoilers - or might not make sense - if you haven't "caught up" to where the series stood at the time of publication (or if you jump over them altogether.)

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