Book 29: The Sickness
Publishing Date: June 1999
Cassie and the Animorphs find out that their Yeerk ally Aftran has been captured and is going to be interrogated by Visser Three in a few days about the Yeerk peace movement. They decide to infiltrate the Yeerk pool and rescue her. Meanwhile, Ax falls ill with a deadly Andalite infection called yamphut, and it infects the other Animorphs as well. Cassie is left to infiltrate the Yeerk pool and rescue Aftran all by herself, and by the way also needs to perform brain surgery on Ax to save his life.
Out of the ghost written books, this is one of the better ones. As the Animorphs start dropping like the five little monkeys jumping on the bed, the leadership is handed from morpher to morpher. Cassie’s obviously not second or even third in command, and only takes charge when there is a medical reason. That being said, she manages to efficiently and dangerously rescue Aftran single-handedly and get them both out fo the Yeerk pool alive only to race home and perform brain surgery on a dying alien.
There is also some very neat and subtle foreshadowing that helps clue in to how the mystery of keeping Aftrain alive without access to Kandrona rays, and some moments of Cassie introspection when she admits she’s probably the only Animorphs that has wondered what it’s like to be a Yeerk, a blind, helpless worm.
Basically, Cassie is at her best in this book. She tends to do well when the leadership role is forced upon her. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s the best morpher and often complete these amazing feats under duress.
Even though Cassie was annoying in some of the earlier books with her moralising and navel-gazing, when she needs to take action she shines pretty brightly. Also, she makes the two biggest decisions in the entire series that pretty much change the whole game.
Although this book isn’t essential reading in the overall story arch, it is well worth the read to see Cassie kick a bunch of ass solo and see Aftran’s story arc concluded.
PS – the ghost writer for this book was the same author that wrote the Roswell books! (which I have not read.)
Join me for a review of Megamorphs #3 Elfangor’s Secret next week!