Project Animorphs: Book #41 The Familiar

animorphs reread project

The Familiar (Animorphs, #41)

Book 41: The Familiar

Publishing Date: May 2000

Narrator: Jake

My rating:

2 of 5 hearts

In this book, Jake fucks up, gets sent into some weird alternate reality test/future/dream, weird shit happens, and nothing is relevant. The end.

I don’t even want to bother writing a review for this book, it’s of such little importance. Here are the things that make no sense:

  • Jake can’t morph then he can
  • Rachel is scarred and crippled, like she can’t morph anymore
  • Tobias is seen both in his red-tailed hawk body but then says he morphed Ax and nothlit-ed the hell out of that, and aged ten years as an Andalite.
  • Jake is told Marco is Visser Two but Marco says he’s Visser Three and simply smiles mysteriously when called out on it.
  • It’s winter then it’s summer
  • Jake is supposed to have been murdered as a kid by Tom, but in the future/dream everyone thinks he’s a Controller with a Yeerk name and everything. Why did Jake’s Yeerk Essak never reveal Jake was the leader of the Animorphs? How did Marco not know about this? Why does Cassie think he was murdered?
  • MORPH CAPABLE BODY DOING A DESK JOB. Like Jake’s brain is smart enough to help a Yeerk build a moon laser? Marco became Visser Two/Three. Jake got a desk job? Jake, who refers to himself a ‘the dumb jock’?
  • When other Controllers see Jake morphing they’re all like THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, clearly forgetting the fact that Marco/Visser Two/Three is MORPH CAPABLE AND HUMAN.
  • How does Cassie yell in thought-speak as a human? Even Jake thinks that’s weird!
  • The climax is unresolved.
  • The ending is not only not resolved within the book but also not resolved by the end of the series.


And the other weird thing is that this book’s opening mirrors the opening of the previous book, Megamorphs #4 Back to Before. So we’re basically being told twice in a row what happens when Jake fucks up. It’s a whole Jake Fucks Up Society with two books in a row detailing how Jake Fucked Up and Still Got Away With It.

Seriously, this book does not belong in this wonderful series. Who the hell was thinking what when they let this be published? What the hell was the ghost writer thinking? Did Applegate outline this? And the thing that really pisses me off? This is not the first book this ghost writer wrote in this series. Ellen Geroux also wrote the wonderful #33 The Illusion, and went on to write #43 The Test, #45 The Revelation, and #47 The Resistance, which were all fine novels, and in fact some of them were the best in the series. So where do(es) the writer(s) get off producing this sack of crap?

BUT THE WEIRD THING IS THAT ELLEN GEROUX SEEMS TO KNOW THIS BOOK IS CRAP. There’s a lot of self-reflection on Jake’s part, calling out coincidences, inconsistencies (though not Rachel being crippled. Crippling an Animorph is, like impossible, and Jake doesn’t even wonder why she doesn’t morph out of her injuries) and all the shit that makes no sense, and wondering if he’s dreaming or hallucinating or whatever.

I read this theory that it’s Jake’s worst nightmare, his biggest fears come real. Rachel crippled and out of the fight, Cassie loses her morality, Marco his best friend since childhood is now a powerful enemy, Ax completely gone, and Tobias is the leader of the anti-Yeerk movement. I like this theory the best, because at least then it kind of makes a weird sort of sense.

I also want to mention that this book is set in New York and World Trade Centres play a big part in it and the word ‘terrorist’ is used more than once (which one hundred percent more than it has ever been used before in this series so far *I think*) and a skyscraper collapses and this is all written in 2000, that’s more than a year before 9/11. So think about that.

Also, at this point in time, Jake and the Animorphs are all 15 years old because Jake keeps banging on about how he’s aged 10 years and is now 25.

Oh look, I guess I did have an opinion on this book after all.

Join me for a review of #42: The Journey next week!


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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