Megamorphs #2: In the Time of Dinosaurs
Publishing Date: June 1998
The Animorphs encounter their second Sario Rip – a rip in the space time continuum – that throws them millions of years into the past. Sixty five million years, to be slightly more precise, at the very end of the dinosaur’s reign. Here they meet Deinonychus, pteradons, tyrannosaurus Rex, and two different species of aliens fighting over the planet. The crab-like Mercora are peaceful herbivores who only want to tend to their broccoli, but the ant-like Nesk want to destroy any sentient species, the Animorphs included. Also, Tobias busts his wing and it won’t heal. The Animorphs need a massive explosion to get back home, but the Mercora can’t help them, although the evil Nesk can. Also, there’s a comet.
So in case you didn’t get where I was going with the kind of long introduction, the Animorphs are responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs. And for the destruction of an entire PEACEFUL alien species. But it’s OK, because apparently the dinosaurs and aliens aren’t as important as five kids and one alien getting back to their own timeline so that they can continue this losing war against the Yeerks!
Bad Animorphs! Did you ever figure that no dead dinosaurs means no mammals evolving into monkeys and therefore no humans for the Yeerks to enslave? It’s all your fault the Yeerks are enslaving humans!
But the problem is (and this time travel stuff can hurt your head because there’s lots of different theories) that they are in the past, which means they WERE in the past, sixty five million years ago. How’s that for a kicker! They didn’t actually change anything, and that’s why it’s OK to commit mass genocide on a global (deleted) scale!
In this second Megamorphs outing, Rachel and Tobias are separated from the others. You’d think this would lead to more snuggle times between our blonde Amazon and the Bird-Boy, but no. Rachel’s too tired and hungry and crabby to think romance and Tobias has a broken wing that for some reason no one has ever figured out morphing won’t heal. Because the morphing heals other injuries like burning stomach acid on skin and a triceratops horn to the tyrannosaurus-Marco’s belly. Tobias’ busted wing is a huge plot point but also a huge plot hole. And it’s stupid.
Other than that, the book is really good. It gives one of the best moral dilemmas I’ve ever read, and Tobias even takes charge because apparently he’s channelling Ross from Friend and is some kind of dinosaur expert. Cassie loses control of her tyrannosaurus morph and it absolutely horrifies her – but at the same time, she’s the fastest to adapt to the sudden drop in the food chain and calmly suggests the Animorphs eat a dead tyrannosaurus. I believe the tyrannosaurus episode has a lot to do with her decision in the next book, but we’ll get to that in the next review.
It’s also fun reading about dinosaurs because they’re freaking dinosaurs and they are the awesomest things ever. How can you write a kid’s book series with over 50 books and NOT have a dinosaur episode? A pity the Animorphs couldn’t keep their T-Rex morphs. They would have kicked ass all over the Yeerks.
Because this is a time travel book and the effects of the Sario Rip are undone to the extent that the adventure practically never happened (they don’t get to keep their morphs), this book unfortunately isn’t essential reading in the overall story arc. However it is relevant to the next book, and it’s also a whole lot of fun even if Tobias’ broken wing is possibly the biggest, stupidest plot hole ever.
Join me for a review of Book #19: The Departure soon!