Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Arrival (K. A. Applegate)

The Arrival
(The Animorphs series, Book 38)
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: Ever since Aximili's brother Prince Elfangor gave five human children the power to morph, they pinned their hopes on the eventual arrival of more Andalites. As much as the Animorphs have harrassed the Yeerks, as much of a thorn in the side as they've been to Visser Three, they simply could not win the war to liberate Earth from the invading alien parasites. While rescuing an ally Chee from human-Controllers, Ax suddenly finds himself side-by-side with a female aristh. Andalites - here at last! His hearts rejoice! But Estrid and her companions have their own agenda... and Ax has learned the hard way that his own people can be as cruel and amoral as the Yeerks. Just what has brought this ship to Earth - and why are they taking such pains not to reveal their mission to Ax?

REVIEW: As usual, Ax's story tends to be weaker than the other Animorphs' books. He spends less time wrestling with his loyalty to humans and more time watching his fellow Andalites with a mistrustful eye... a fact that surprises even him. The female Estrid momentarily blurs his thoughts - he is, after all, an adolescent Andalite - but fails to keep him from figuring out the visitors' true mission. The book almost lost half a star towards the end, revealing that key information was deliberately left out of the narrative. In the end, while the Andalite relief fleets are no nearer to Earth, the Animorphs - and Ax - nevertheless prove themselves more than capable of soldiering on. If it wasn't the best in the series, well, I've slogged through worse.

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