Friday, September 23, 2011

The Reaction (K. A. Applegate)

The Reaction
(The Animorphs series, Book 12)
K. A. Applegate
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
***+ (Okay/Good)

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

DESCRIPTION: Rachel's never been one to hesitate when something needs doing. When she's on a class trip to The Gardens and sees the young boy fall into the crocodile exhibit, she jumps right in to save him. But when she acquires a crocodile's DNA as part of her impromptu rescue plan, something doesn't feel right. Nevertheless, she manages to make it out without being spotted, so even though Jake's angry, it's no big deal.
The Animorphs have just learned that the popular teen actor Jeremy Jason McCole is being recruited to promote The Sharing, the civic organization that's a front for the Yeerks. Rachel and Cassie, like most every girl between the ages of ten and twenty in the country, know from personal experience just how much influence he has - if he says jump, millions of potential hosts won't bother asking how high before throwing themselves into a Yeerk pool. As luck would have it, McCole's coming to town to kick off the promotion... but even as the Animorphs plan to crash the party, Rachel finds herself morphing out of control. The Andalite technology that gives her the power to morph seems to be going haywire - and the very ability that lets her fight just might get the entire group killed.

REVIEW: Applegate sure knows her target audience, the power of celebrity crushes, and fandom in general: PR tactics like this would've handed Earth to the Yeerks on a silver platter. The story itself just doesn't hold together as well as previous books, unfortunately, drifting close to goofiness at the climax. I almost wonder if this wasn't the effort of an early ghostwriter. But it's still readable.

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