Book 27: The Exposed
Publishing Date: March 1998
Rachel and the Animorphs are in a race against time to save the malfunctioning Chee from being discovered by the Yeerks when their Pemalite ship hidden three miles deep in the ocean randomly stops working for no reason whatsoever.
Seriously, this book isn’t explained very well. I get all of the short-term, immediate goals like ‘get Erek out of the mall’ and ‘rescue the homeless Chee during a drugs bust’ and ‘morph a giant squid to break into the Pemalite ship’ but the bigger overarching problem is never addressed. How did the malfunction occur, and especially: if the Drode is allowed to set the self-destruct sequence, why didn’t he to being with?
What exactly is it that causes the Pemalite ship’s malfunction in the first place? That’s never solved. The Chee just need someone to enter the ship and push a button. At the end of the book, Erek moves the ship to a deeper location, somewhere that can only be reached by an indestructible android. Well, that’s great. What’s going to happen next time the ship malfunctions and the Chee need the technologically challenged Animorphs to save their ass? They’re gonna be stuck forever while the Animorphs wait until human technology catches up to Pemalite technology in a couple million years and they can travel that deep.
I mean sure, you could just blame the Drode, but I don’t see the point in that. The Drode wouldn’t have been allowed to attempt to wipe out the Chee, because the fight the Ellimist and Crayak are in is about Earth and besides SPOILER the Ellimist loves the Chee. So what is it? That the Drode is allowed to nearly destroy the Chee but give the Animorphs impossible loopholes all the time only to set the self-destruct signal in the end anyway?
BOOK WHY U NO MAKE SENSE?
So in Rachel’s second last book #17 we read a lot about how Rachel struggles with bravery and volunteering to do insanely brave/stupid things, like volunteering to morph the mole first and start digging, and that leads to her struggling with claustrophobia and all kinds of mental distress. And in this book Rachel insists on being the one to morph a sperm whale and hunt down a giant squid despite being afraid of the deepest, darkest water. She is clearly not as fearless as everyone thinks, but her courage is bottomless. She will be fearful, pee-your-pants-scared and still be the first one to step forward because the girl has ovaries of freaking steel I swear to god.
I love Rachel books because everyone, even Cassie, has this notion that Rachel is built one way and one way only, and Rachel will take her books around and surprise you (most of the time) with all that depth no one guessed was there before. Rachel is dark, yes, but she is also freaking awesome.
Also, Rachel is super protective of Cassie in this novel, and I think it’s sweet. I don’t really recall ever seeing the same sort of concern for her best friend from Cassie in an actual Cassie book. Sure, there was that time Cassie thought Rachel has been eaten as a dinosaur but that wasn’t from her point of view.
Anyway. If you want to see Rachel bashing heads and walls and being fearless and unstoppable, then read this book. It’s ridiculously good, even if it makes no sense.
Join me for a review of Book #28: The Experiment next week!