Friday, October 7, 2011

The Solution (K. A. Applegate)

The Solution
(The Animorphs series, Book 22)
K. A. Applegate
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
***** (Great)

NOTE: In honor of the re-release of the series, I'm finally posting individual reviews of the Animorphs books.

DESCRIPTION: They thought they were doing the right thing. They thought they were giving a scared, lost boy a chance to fight back. They took a leap of faith... and were betrayed. David, the newest Animorph, turned on the very hands that tried to help him. Now, with Tobias gone and Jake bleeding to death after a run-in with David's lion morph, Rachel snaps. She's already lost her normal life to the Yeerk war. If this snot-nosed, arrogant punk thinks he can take away her friends, her comrades-in-arms... he'll pay in blood. But there's one problem with her plans for vengeance. Visser Three, with powerful alien technology and hordes of Controllers at his disposal, has spent months hunting for the Animorphs without success. How are five kids going to stop someone with their own power to morph - someone who, unlike them, isn't afraid to kill?

REVIEW: The David trilogy wraps up with Rachel's tale. Even as the hate boils up inside her, she finds herself standing back and seeing just what the war has done to her, the girl whose greatest thrill in life used to be a perfect gymnastics routine or a weekend sale at The Gap... and what the war has done to her friends. None of them are the people they used to be, and it's unlikely they'll ever go back to their old selves. A subplot about a critically-injured relative throws these changes into stark relief, as the cousins Jake and Rachel find themselves surrounded by "normal" people reacting to tragedy in a normal way. In light of the series finale, there's some very strong foreshadowing here of the lives that await them when the battle's done. Despite her own horror at the thoughts she's capable of, Rachel has to make peace with herself. With David, however, no peace or compromise is possible. I've always considered the David trilogy to be the highlight of the series, and rereading it hasn't diminished my opinion.
After this book, in the original run, came The Hork-Bajir Chronicles (reviewed on my website here); again, while it's not necessary to do so, I'd strongly suggest reading the books in the order of their original release, for continuity reasons.

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