Book 8: The Alien
Publishing Date: July 1997
This book was a BIG DEAL when I was a kid because it was the first time a representation of an Andalite would appear on the cover. And trust me, the Andalite illustrations get A LOT better than this.
Ax’s first turn at narration replaces what should have been Tobias’ second go, but that’s OK, because Ax is awesome. In this book Ax makes a huge mistake in accidentally giving humans advanced technology, so he decides to contact his home world before removing it. Meanwhile, the Animorphs are trying to gain his trust by showing him their world: movies, school etc. Ax learns that maybe, when the rest of your species is a gazillion miles away, your home is where you are and your people are the guys looking out for you.
As I read this book I was overcome with an intense feeling of loneliness. Like I said, Ax is a gazillion miles away from his home planet and it will be years before the mighty Andalites can come rescue the humans from the evil Yeerk parasites (sic). Ax lives by himself in the woods behind Cassie’s barn. He’s by himself an awful lot, and even when the humans try to get him to open up, there are reasons why he can’t. It’s against the law, and Ax takes that law very seriously. After all, he’s part of the Andalite military. And as such, when he is given the opportunity to assassinate his brother’s murderer, we discover why it’s so hard for Ax to face his greatest enemy and also to let him live.
However, Ax is just a kid, and is able to learn and grow and think for himself. He’s the only Andalite on Earth and while he can’t do things such as give the humans interstellar spaceflight, he can learn to trust his friends, and trust that his friends won’t abandon him when he reveals the biggest secret: how the Andalites are responsible for the Yeerk’s domination and elimination of so many species through the galaxy.
While it was sad reading this book, it was also hilariously funny. There’s a small section where Ax has to go to Marco’s house in human morph. Marco tells him to only say ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ to Marco’s dad. The resulting conversation is hilariously funny. There’s also a poignant moment with his own father when Ax finally does make contact with his home world. And finally, a lot of questions are answered. How did the Yeerks get so powerful, why are the Andalites the only ones with the power to stop them, and how how HOW does Ax eat without a mouth?
Join me for a review of Book #9: The Secret next week!