Book 40: The Other
Publishing Date: April 2000
When a video of an Andalite shows up on TV, Marco and the Animorphs know they have to investigate. Is it Ax accidentally caught on tape, have the Andalites finally arrived, or is it a trap set by Visser Three to flush out the ‘Andalite bandits’?
This book is one of those that is both tragically sad and extraordinarily beautiful. The Andalite caught on tape is none of the above – he is, in fact, a crippled survivor of Ax’s Dome ship attack, one who has neither tail blade nor morphing ability. He is taken care of by another impressively huge specimen built like a wrestler crossed with a Clydesdale (as opposed to the weak human/deer the Andalites are normally described as), but who has a genetic disease morphing won’t heal and will kill him in a matter of months. They live peacefully in suburbia with Gafinilon (the big guy) posing as a human at the local university. He, for some reason, manages to eat a doughnut without freaking the fuck out because of this amazing sense of taste.
The books is quite well written and althought tragically none of the Animorphs experience any growth (especially Ax who hates the disabled by the end of the book still hates the disable) details homoerotic subtext between the two ‘other’ Andalites. A lot of focus is on maintaining Gafinilon’s character and the rescue the Animorphs stage to rescue his gay BFF. I say gay because it’s obvious the Andalites are more than just friends, best friends forever, shorms, or even brothers. No matter where they are, so long as they are on the same planet, they can hear each other’s thought speak. Now, I don’t know exactly how homosexuality works in the Andalite world but I guarantee you the interpretation is there for you to read.
I swear, this romance rivals Dak and Aldrea’s. It rivals Rachel and Tobias. It’s the third best romance in the series. Jake and Cassie don’t come near.
While nothing else really happens besides scoping out Gafinilon and trying to figure out whether he’s laying a trap for the Animorphs, and then his buddy’s rescue, the book does give us our first taste of the Marco-Tobias-Ax dream team that will star in many future books. In closing, I would like to raise some questions this book made me think in an obvious attempt to make my brian explode: apparently the Yeerks hate the disabled as much as Andalites do, and would rather not infest Gafinilon nor his tail-less buddy. Now, this makes no sense to me because Yeerks are blind, deaf, mute, and helpless in their natural state. Consider the following:
- ANY Yeerk would prefer a crippled Andalite to no host at all. Remember the whole four eyes thing? FOUR EYES? VERSUS NONE.
- Just because an Andalite can’t morph doesn’t mean they’re useless. They still have super smart brains and all the military secrets. And hands. And can move on land.
- Why am I comparing Andalites to Yeerks?
- Gafinilon’s Yeerk could acquire Mertil, become a nothlit, and BOOM – healthy adult host.
- Hork-Bajir aren’t set free when they’re crippled. Although they might be fed to Taxxons, we met a guy with one eye once. It’s not like they’ve got any military secrets.
- Maybe Visser Three would forbid any other Yeerk from becoming a morphing Andalite-Controller, but I can’t imagine him denying a regular healthy non-morphing Andalite body. Imagine the shenanigans. “Le’ts have a tail fight.” “Let’s have a morphing battle.”
- Are we forgetting the fact that Esplin was promoted super high not because he could morph but because he learned all the Andalite military secrets?
- WHY THE FUCK AREN’T PEOPLE INFESTED RIGHT AWAY? The Yeerks have this habit of NOT infesting people, akin to the big bad villain’s monologuing in a crappy telemovie.
- I MEAN COME ON, IF THE NON-MOPRHING ANDALITE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE ANDALITE MILITARY SURELY HE’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR A YEERK?
Join me for a review of Megamorphs #4: Back To Before next week!