(The Animorphs series, Book 35)
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: As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Marco's mother died two years ago, drowned in a boating accident. But Marco and the Animorphs know better - enslaved by the Yeerk known as Visser One, she had merely completed her assignment, turning over direct control of the invasion to the Andalite-Controller Visser Three. Since then, he has met his mother in the field of combat, has seen her fall... but no body was ever found, meaning his mother still lives, a slave to an alien parasite.
But Marco's father still thinks she's dead. And that's become a problem, now that he's dating again. Not just casual dating, either; this is serious. Too serious for Marco.
The Animorphs have just learned that William Roger Tennant, a popular self-help guru, is actually a human-Controller, who plans to use his upcoming prime time network debut to lure millions of innocents to The Sharing, the Yeerk front organization. Discrediting his golden-boy image is the only way to stop the plot - but Marco's having trouble with his morphs. The stress of his home life causes him to warp into impossible hybrid beasts. If he can't get himself under control, it won't be Tennant who will be exposed. It'll be Marco and the Animorphs.
REVIEW: A rough redressing of Rachel's DNA allergy from Book 12, the story sputters along on fumes from previous adventures, throwing in some half-hearted efforts at levity with Marco's morph of Euclid, his would-be-stepmother's annoying toy poodle. Granted, I could believe Marco would have some issues dealing with his father's plans for remarriage, but I'd already seen this general story arc in The Reaction, which played more convincingly. Little originality and minimal new developments make it a largely forgettable installment... save the way it ends on a cliffhanger, segueing into the return of Marco's mom/Visser One in Visser (reviewed on my website here.)