Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Decision (K. A. Applegate)

The Decision
(The Animorphs series, Book 18)
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: Aximili's been stranded on Earth for months, but though he has a fight and a purpose, he doesn't have a home. Even among his friends, the Animorphs, he is an outsider, an alien, on a world where he doesn't belong. But he must force himself to accept the truth: until the Yeerks are gone, or until another Andalite warship comes, he'll never be among his own people. Or so he thinks.
While in mosquito morph, Ax and the Animorphs find themselves suddenly in Zero-Space, the nondimension where extra mass goes during small morphs... and where faster-than-light travel is possible. They've been caught in the wake of an Andalite warship, a million-to-one odds accident. Taken aboard by the surprised crew, Ax is thrilled to be back among his own species. But the ship is on its way to Leeran, to fight the Yeerks. It cannot detour to Earth to return the human Animorphs. And something is about to go very wrong with his own homecoming... something that makes Aximili decide once and for all who his people truly are.

REVIEW: Ax's books tend to be weaker than the rest. This one earned extra marks for moving the battle beyond Earth, a reminder that, even as the Animorphs fight Visser Three, an entire galaxy is at war, pitting species against species and Controller against free being. That war, as Ax learns the hard way, isn't going well for the Andalites, in no small part due to his people's ongoing refusal to work closely with its alien allies... not to mention a growing number of traitors in their own ranks. In his previous book (The Alien), Ax claimed to put his faith in "Prince" Jake above the Andalite superiors whom he temporarily contacted, but coming face-to-face with his own kind puts that loyalty to the test. On top of his inner struggles, he and the Animorphs find themselves pitched headlong into a war on alien soil - a real, open war, with carnage on a level that their guerrilla strikes against the secret Yeerk invasion on Earth have never reached. A high-action romp across Z-space, continuing a good streak in the series.

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