Book 39: The Hidden
Publishing Date: March 2000
When the Yeerks find the Helmacron ship and learn how to pinpoint the morphing technology to go after the Escafil device/blue box, Cassie and the Animorphs have to play a dangerous game of keep-away.
To put it politely, this is one of the worst Animorphs books, if not the worst book, in the series. And that’s saying a lot because the Helmacrons don’t even show up in this novel, although they are an important plot point. I hate the Helmacrons, but who wouldn’t? All their novels suck.
The reason this novel sucks so much is two points. Point the first is that apparently animals can brush against the blue box, receive the morphing technology (without the tingly good feeling the Animorphs experienced when Elfangor gave it to them, also without an Andalite to somehow magically pass it on like in the very first novel) then randomly touch or brush against other animals and acquire them with absolutely no willpower, concentration, thought or intent.
The second reason why this book sucks is that once again the Animorphs rely on Cassie’s anvil trick, where she flies up super high, demorphs to human and morphs to whale while falling. This is the third freaking time she’s done it, and the second time she’s done it to attempt to destroy something Yeerkish. I mean come on, a little originality please? And in the end she fails and the helicopter she’s trying to smash out of existence by dropping a freaking humpback whale on it is blown up because a seagull got too close to its rotors and caused it to explode.
It hurts my brain to think how stupid it all is.
I also get the feeling that this book, despite being a Cassie book, isn’t actually all that into preserving nature and all that shit. First there’s a buffalo that morphs humans, which Cassie somehow means to think that the buffalo is part human because he can access a human brain (does that make Cassie part buffalo when she morphs a buffalo? I DIDN’T THINK SO!). The buffalo has no choice but to die because he’s seen Cassie in human form, morphing. If the Yeerks infest him either as a buffalo or as a human, he’s gone, and so are all the Animorphs. Then there’s the ant-Cassie she has absolutely no qualms about murdering the fuck out of. Then the day is saved by a rogue kamikaze seagull.
And sure, Cassie’ moralizing and protectiveness of the buffalo is heroic, but come on! There’s way too many innocent animal deaths in this. It’s worse than the time an innocent orca was sliced in half a few books ago.
Gah. Just don’t read this book. The best part is when the Animorphs are running for their lives, and Cassie drops the blue box to save Tobias, then Jake yells at her for dropping the box even though she saved Tobias’ life, then Rachel takes up a defensive position on Cassie’s flank and says something like “Jake trusts you to do the right thing, and he trusts me to do the necessary thing.” So the best part isn’t even a Cassie moment.
OK well there is another good part when Cassie is trapped by the Yeerks and she and the buffa-human jump over this cliff and almost kill themselves. That was pretty cool.
OK read it if you want. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Join me for a review of Book #40: The Other next week!