(The Animorphs series, Book 28)
K. A. Applegate
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
NOTE: In honor of the re-release of the series, I'm finally posting individual reviews of the Animorphs books.
DESCRIPTION: Aximili has learned much about humans since becoming stranded on Earth, but much about their behavior and culture still confuses him. Even with the help of the wonderfully educational device known as a television, he cannot figure out how one species can be so contradictory, yet still dominate their world. Now, he's about to experience first-hand how hypocritical and brutal humans can be. The Yeerks have acquired an animal-testing facility and a meat-packing plant. Put them together, and it's hardly likely that Visser Three is simply going into the fast-food business. To investigate, Ax and the Animorphs must infiltrate the lab... and witness the horror that is a modern slaughterhouse.
REVIEW: I've said before that Ax's books tend to be weaker than the rest. This is a decent example. Despite his superior intelligence, he remains baffled at simple human concepts, though his commentary on our species makes for more than a few chuckles. This book takes on the subjects of animal testing and modern meat production, but with little of Applegate's usual depth. Add to that the fact that the entire mission is something of a shaggy-dog adventure, and this book settles nicely into the murk of the mid-series slump.
Incidentally, my copy contains "bonus" bookmarks, featuring the cover illustration: Aximili morphing to bovine form. If Ax were to ask just what the purpose was of reproducing such an unremarkable image, when many more dynamic pictures have graced the covers of Animorphs books, I have to admit I wouldn't be able to defend my species very effectively.