Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Exposed (K. A. Applegate)

The Exposed
(The Animorphs series, Book 27)
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: Becoming an Animorph meant sacrificing normality, risking life and limb in a fight against nearly-impossible odds, knowing that talking to anyone - a cop, a friend, even her own mother or father - about what she did would land her in a loony bin or - worse - in the Yeerk pool, with an alien slug wrapped around her brain. But, terrible as war is, Rachel still feels a thrill of excitement when she rips into an enemy with the claws of a grizzly bear, or tramples them under an elephant's feet. Sometimes, she's so into the battle that she scares her fellow Animorphs.
She scares herself, too.
Much as Rachel tries to fight it, something deep within her longs for blood and danger. But even that part of her quails at the latest challenge. Something has gone wrong with their allies, the Chee. The holograms that enable the alien androids to pass as human are on the blink, as is their ability to move. Soon, they'll be immobile and utterly exposed... and if the Yeerks got their hands on the advanced Pemalite technology within the Chee, there would be no stopping them, on Earth or elsewhere in the galaxy. But the Pemalite ship that regulates the Chee lies hidden three miles beneath the ocean, down where the water pressure would destroy every animal in the Animorphs' DNA arsenal. And one thing that Rachel has always feared is crushing, smothering darkness...

REVIEW: Had this not come right on the heels of the previous book, it probably would've earned an extra half-star. The series returns to its strong suits, as Rachel wrestles with her changing life and the black monster within. But they just worked with Erek the Chee in the previous installment; that, plus another plot twist (which might constitute a spoiler, so I won't go into specifics here) feel like too much of a similar note struck too close together. That problem aside, it's a fairly good entry in a series that, more often than not, rose well above average.

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