Book 42: The Journey
Publishing Date: June 2000
Narrator: Rachel and Marco
It’s Animorphs meets The Magic School Bus as Rachel and her pals shrink themselves to journey into Marco’s nose and stop the annoyingly overinflated egos of the Helmacrons from killing him. Meanwhile Marco needs to find the camera of some punk kid who took a photo of them mid-morph because they let him get away.
Yes, I’m serious. This is actually a book.
Whilst not totally badly written it sure does lack the trademark humour found in most Animorphs books. It also seems to be aimed at an even younger audience than most and seems a little like an excursion or field trip, in that Cassie – who’s the resident animal nut, not a biologist – knows a lot about the human body and basically teaches the other Animorphs about all the wonders of red blood cells and white blood cells and plasma and stuff.
So the punk kid with the camera? Yeah, instead of going all Rachel on his ass they stalk him and follow him home and do nothing. Thankfully this is set in the 90s before camera phones were a big thing. And who in their right mind would see four animals turning into humans and an alien – AN ALIEN – and take a photo instead of wetting their pants and running home jabbering like an idiot? Come on, Animorphs! You break into Yeerk pools all the time, you can’t infiltrate some punk kid’s house and steal his camera you can see sitting on his desk?
And somehow the Helacrons know a human’s biology and can find their way to his heart pretty easily. It’s a good thing Marco isn’t a Hork-Bajir with two hearts or an Andalite with three.
OK, here’s a tangent: Ax says most animals with lungs have mucus, that even Andalites have mucus up their nose. Do they blow their noses? When they get sick, and their noses clog up, how do they breathe? One of the benefits of having both a nose and a mouth is that if one of them is engaged in non-breathing activities the other can take over for a while. Andalites only have noses, no mouths. So if their noses become compromised, they stop breathing and die.
I think about this way too much.
Marco also sneezes out one of the Helmacrons, which I find really sad, because that poor Helmacron is going to be wandering the earth until they die and their mind is assimilated by the other Helmacrons, but that poor little itty bitty alien, she’s probably going to get trodden on or eaten by a bird or something. It’s like those space movie where they lose an astronaut. I can’t think of a worse fate.
The frustrating thing about this book is that the Animorphs are shrunk to one hundredth the size of the Helmacrons, so it’s not even a fair fight. In fact, there’s barely any fighting. In fact, the climax is the Helmacrons ‘killing’ Marco and then surrendering as the Animorphs seize their Dracon beams. They spend the entire novel running around after the Helmacrons only to not stop them.
Oh yeah, and Marco doesn’t actually die because he morphs a cockroach and they can survive even when drowned, with their heads cut off and their hearts stopped. Anyone else freaked out by this?
Join me for a review of #43: The Test next week!