Book 12: The Reaction
Publishing Date: November 1997
Rachel jumps into a crocodile pit to save a little boy, and upon acquiring the crocodile finds she’s allergic and now can’t control her morphing until she ‘burps’ the crocodile DNA from her system. Then she accidentally morphs into an elephant and her house falls in on her making her an instant celebrity. Meanwhile, the Yeerks are going after the 90s equivalent of Justin Bieber (Jonathon Taylor Thomas, hidden in a very subtle name change of Jeremy Jason McCole) to join the Sharing and therefore have all of his tween fangirls sign up as well. So the Animorphs have to stop the Yeerks while Rachel is getting famous for being a ditzy disaster victim.
The thing I hated most about this novel was that poor Rachel, she’s so friggin brave and awesome, but the public thinks she’s this dickhead who ‘fell’ into the crocodile pit and then had a house fall on her as well. Gah! Of course, they can’t know the truth or she and the other Animorphs will be murdered by the Yeerks.
Also, Rachel decides not to tell the others that she can’t control her morphing because she is a dickhead after all. It’s because she has the mother of all crushes on the Justin Bieber stand in and is desperate to get close to him, as any other thirteen year old would be as well. After some close calls and a trip to a TV studio for Rachel to appear on a chat show Justin Bieber is on, the Animorphs nearly get killed, as usual, and manage to come out on top, also as usual.
I’m just going to take a little tangent here to talk about the abysmal failed TV show, where, for some reason, the script writers thought it would be better if Cassie morphed and was allergic to the crocodile. A crocodile which, by all means, was about four feet long, not the twenty foot long behemoth Rachel fights.
Also, in the TV show, Jake’s brother, Yeerk-controlled Tom wants Cassie to join The Sharing. It makes me wonder if there’s a pyramid scheme in the Yeerk military, by which the more people you get to join and the more people they join and so on, the higher your rank is pushed. That would make sense, because pyramid schemes are
clever and too many dumbasses fall for them evil and outlawed in many countries.
Also, Jake is a dumbass that doesn’t know the difference between a crocodile and an alligator.
When I was a kid, I figured that it wasn’t that Rachel was allergic to crocodiles (because seriously? That’s just a weird allergy) but that it was her morphing power that was allergic to the specific croc’s DNA. It made more sense in my head. Because who the fuck has an allergy to crocodiles? Is it the leather? Cat allergies come from cat’s saliva, for example, in their fur. It didn’t make sense to me for someone to be allergic to motherfucking crocodiles. As in, if she didn’t acquire the crocodile she could have still touched it without breaking into hives or whatever happens when someone’s allergy kicks in.
The solution itself is pretty genius, though. ‘Burping’ the croc DNA (as Andalites don’t have mouths and therefore have no words for ‘spitting up’, they use the term hereth illint, which Cassie and I both think sounds quite poetic. Rachel has to create the crocodile out of excess mass from Zero-Space, and kind of morph it at the same time but also not morphing it as it gets expelled from her body in a full-grown, very alive and dangerous case of the Hunchback of friggin Notre Dame meets, I dunno, Frankenstein or something. The croc comes out of her own body – but luckily she’s morphing a grizzly bear, as a croc may be one of the most ancient and perfect predators in the world, but it would take a while to take down a grizzly. So while the croc gets busy chomping Rachel’s leg, Ax saves the day – because apparently the only thing tougher than a crocodile is an Andalite.
And Marco morphs a llama. Best moment in the entire book, and possibly the series.
<Who else would be this cute? Check out this fur. Check out this little llama smile on my little llama face.>
Join me for a review of Book #13: The Change next week!