(The Animorphs series, Book 34)
K. A. Applegate
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
NOTE: In honor of the re-release of the series, I'm finally posting reviews of the individual Animorphs books.
DESCRIPTION: When Cassie saw the free Hork-Bajir Jara Hamee lurking outside her barn, she knew there was trouble. Summoning the rest of the team, she heads to the hidden valley of the free Hork-Bajir, where a strange alien awaits him. Quafijinivon claims to be the last of the Arn, the highly intelligent race that created the Hork-Bajir... and whose apathy about that race's fate led to his own kind's extermination when the Yeerks and Andalites turned the planet into a war zone. He wants to use the DNA of the free Hork-Bajir to repopulate their home world and form a new resistance - but to do that, the cloned colonists will need weapons. The Andalite-turned-Hork-Bajir Aldrea was supposed to have stolen a large cache of weaponry just before she and her mate, Dak Hamee, were killed, but never relayed that information to anyone else. But all is not lost: the Arn has her "essence," her stored personality and memories, which needs only a host body to waken. If anyone could locate the cache, it would be Aldrea. But she has been dead for many years... when the mission is done, will she readily relinquish her host, or will she fight for this second life as hard as she did when she truly lived?
REVIEW: Mostly an excuse to follow up on The Hork-Bajir Chronicles (reviewed on my website here), the logic and premise - not to mention certain aspects of the mission's execution - twist Animorphs canon to the point of breaking. (If you haven't read the Hork-Bajir Chronicles and attempt this book, you'll definitely be thrown for a loop.) Aldrea works through some identity issues, learning to respect the "inferior" humans (and even come to terms with her Andalite origins), but beyond that the secondary layers that make so many Animorphs books so good just weren't there. Still, it's not as weak as Book 33, and the Animorphs kick some serious Yeerk hindquarters.