Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Secret (K. A. Applegate)

The Secret
(The Animorphs series, Book 9)
K. A. Applegate
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
****+ (Good/Great)

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

DESCRIPTION: The Animorphs hurt the Yeerks bad when they destroyed the Earth-based Kandrona - a vital source of nutrients for the parasitic alien slugs in their native state - but the war isn't over yet. Visser Three still thinks he's fighting Andalite bandits, and he knows Andalites need a place to feed and hide while in their native form. A place like the national forest... where Aximili, the only Andalite of the group, lives. Under the guise of a logging company, the Yeerks mean to hunt down the bandits or destroy their sanctuary trying.
As the Animorphs scramble to stop the plan, Cassie finds herself facing a crisis. For years, she's been an animal lover, a defender of the environment. Being up close and personal with the world as seen through animal eyes has given her a whole new perspective in Mother Nature, where the primary rule of survival isn't love thy neighbor. It's kill or be killed.

REVIEW: Once more, the series turns its eye on the natural world as a source of conflict, rather than just the alien invaders. Cassie has to come to terms with the harsh reality of Nature and her place as both human being and soldier. Applegate doesn't foist off easy answers on her, because there are none. In some ways, this is the tale of a girl growing up, forced to leave behind the simple ideals of childhood as she discovers just how complicated the world really is. One of the stronger books thus far, in part because it doesn't shy away from thorny morality issues.

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