Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Resistance (K. A. Applegate)

The Resistance
(The Animorphs series, Book 47)
K. A. Applegate
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
**** (Good)

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

DESCRIPTION: Everything's falling apart. Visser Three is now Visser One. The secret invasion moves toward open warfare. The Andalite relief ships aren't coming, now or - most likely - ever. Already Marco and his family are officially "dead," hiding with the free Hork-Bajir in the mountains beyond the national forest. How much longer before Rachel has to join them? Or Cassie? Jake, leader of the Animorphs, doesn't know how much more he can stand, how much longer he can hold out against impossible odds.
While cleaning out the basement for his mother, Jake finds an old family heirloom: the uniform and diary of Lieutenant Isaiah Fitzhenry, Civil War soldier. The tale of Fitzhenry's battle, a battle with too few troops and unreliable orders and an undefeated Rebel general whose forces vastly outnumber and outgun his own, eerily mimics Jake's fight... especially when Cassie calls with grim news. One of the free Hork-Bajir has been captured and re-infested. With a guide to lead them, the Yeerk troops are heading straight toward the hidden valley sanctuary. It's a death trap, with no way out - but the Hork-Bajir refuse to flee. And Jake has no choice but to lead them in a fight that cannot be won.

REVIEW: Drawn in shades of blood red, hopeless white, and black smears of despair and foreshadowing, The Resistance brings the battle to the sheltered Hork-Bajir. Like the previous book, innocent bystanders find themselves in the line of fire, forced by cruel circumstance to take up arms against an enemy they didn't know existed and fight - or die - in a war they do not understand. The alternate-chapter cuts to Isaiah Fitzhenry's diary, describing his doomed efforts to protect a town from Rebel soldiers, drove home parallels about racism (or speciesism), freedom, and the dark reality of war with concussive force. Further hints are dropped that, during the "holding pattern" stories, plenty has been happening that the readers were left unaware of - for instance, Jake and his friends finally learned how to morph clothing other than Spandex. It makes me wish that the publishing schedule hadn't been so brutal, so Applegate herself could've had more time to develop those stories (or at least more time to properly oversee the efforts of the ghostwriters.)

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