Project Animorphs: Book #53 The Answer

animorphs reread project

The Answer (Animorphs, #53)

Book 53: The Answer

Publishing Date: May 2001

Narrator: Jake

My rating:

5 of 5 hearts

The final stages of the war are at hand. With the Yeerk pool now a giant sinkhole taking up most of the downtown area, Jake and the Animorphs know the only food supply for the parasites is the Pool ship landing from orbit. That’ll be their target in the biggest fight the Animorphs have ever faced. But can new allies and old friends be trusted? And can they outsmart all of their enemies, including the Andalites who are planning to ‘quarantine’ the planet?

Well. This is it. The final book before everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

Actually it all goes to shit in this book.

The Yeerks are building a new Yeerk pool using Taxxons as diggers. While the Animorphs figure out how to destroy it and get the Pool ship on the ground so they can use its communications to blackmail the Andalite fleet into not vaporising the planet by exposing the plan to the Andalite people, who would not approve of the military tactic (complicated, hey?), Cassie suggests murdering the Taxxon workers. It’s not a huge leap for pacifist, moralistic Cassie to suggest wholesale slaughter: she is, after all, the one who came up with the plan to trap David in rat morph, the one who defeated the Helmacrons by morphing an anteater, the one who sacrificed herself over and over again morphing whales in mid-air. Cassie’s just as ruthless as the others when the time is right.

So the Animorphs slaughter some Taxxons and Jake falls down a hole and meets Arbron, Elfangor’s friend/rival/frenemy from the Andalite Chronicles, who leads the non-infested Taxxons. He proposes an alliance with the Animorphs if they will, in return, provide the morphing power to every Taxxon so they can escape their eternal, insatiable hunger by becoming nothlits. Evolution is a bitch, yo. The Taxxons would prefer to basically make their entire race extinct because evolution fucked them over.

Turns out Arbron is buddies with Tom, who also wants the morphing cube, but not to become a nothlit, because apparently being a two inch long intelligent blind slug is easier than being a hunger giant centipede. Who knew? Tom wants it to run off around the galaxy and probably fuck some shit up. What’s stopping Tom’s crew from reproducing hundreds of baby Yeerks and starting all over again? I don’t know. Oh wait, yes I do. Sob.

Then Jake thinks he knows how to outsmart his brother so be kicks his plan into motion and fucks up every Animorph fan for the rest of our lives by sending Rachel on a special Rachel-only mission. I completely understand why it has to be this way, and I accept it and wouldn’t change it for the world, but I’m still not happy about it. Rachel is my favourite.

Jake fucks over the Auxilary Animorphs who are already grieving because a friend of theirs was killed, the military, and even his new Taxxon friends when he tricks his way onto the Pool ship by expecting Tom to betray them in possibly my most favourite Batman-Gambit ever written into literature. Remember when Jake decided to fry the helpless Yeerks in the pool in Book #6? That was before we knew (before it was belted over our heads again and again) that not all Yeerks (or Andalites, or Hork-Bajir) are evil, that a lot of them are just doing what they’ve been raised to do. And really, you see that awful sense of entitlement in everyday life. So Jake decides to flush the helpless seventeen thousand unhosted Yeerks on the Pool ship in an act of genocide. Because it’s war and in a war you fuck people up. You fuck people up until one side can’t stand to be fucked up anymore and surrenders or dies.

Then the Animorphs take over the bridge and confront Visser One, and come to an arrangement that Visser One is allowed to shoot the Blade ship that Tom took and is planning on shooting the Pool ship with. Tom realises the Animorphs are still alive, but he doesn’t know Jake sent Rachel off to be with him. But Erek is fucking people over because he found a loophole in his non-violent programming and drained the Pool ship’s Dracon cannon so no one else would die.

And in doing so really fucked everything up. Thanks, Erek. Dick.

Join me for a review of the final book in the Animorphs series, #54: The Beginning!

Nemo
Nemo

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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2 thoughts on “Project Animorphs: Book #53 The Answer

  1. Eve

    It’s funny to me, because apparently the name “Erek King” was given tot he character after the kid who won some contest way back in the early days of the books.

    Bet the real Erek King was THRILLED about what his character ended up doing.

    I agree with you that I HATE what happened, because…RACHEL!! But at the same time, I understand. I wouldn’t change it. I think this series–this ending–really shaped me as a person, and as a writer.

    And my favourite thing about Applegate was that she never treated her readers like little kids. It was war. it was godawful. It had horrendous consequences. It was real.

    I respect the hell out of that.

    1. Nemo

      Yeah you’re right. I’m not sure if Erek was the winner of a competition or just the first person to ask to be put into the books. I know APplegate felt obligated to the first person who asked, and then said no to everyone else, but I do recall something about a competition. Who’d have known Erek would grow into such a major character?

      This series ending definitely affected my entire life. I do love how Applegate respected her readers, even though they were kids. That’s what brings me back to these books so many years later.

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