Via Scholastic

It’s Animorphin’ time! Book 3 of the sprawling saga puts us in Tobias’ wings and, boy howdy, is it a bummer. I liked Tobias before this, but now I just feel sorry for the guy, which I’ll get into later. I will say that this is a marked improvement from #2 which was super boring and nothing happened for sixty pages. Lots of stuff happens in this one. As always, I have my Twitter thread of live reactions while I read the book here.

The opening of this book is WILD. Tobias is trying to free a hawk from a car dealership so he swoops in and tries to open the cage. The guys who are filming a commercial featuring the hawk try to smack him around, but Tobias is like “NOT TODAY” because Rachel comes stomping in as a freaking ELEPHANT. WHAT. He frees the hawk, but senses something amiss in the air.

So, they go to meet the other Animorphs and Marco (Ugh) is mad at them for trying to rescue wildlife. I feel like that is implied in their mandate as ANImorphs, but whatever. After the meeting, Tobias goes in search of the thing that made him uncomfortable and, while flying, he thinks about how much it sucks not being human anymore. He’s lonely and sad and a freaking hawk. His pity party is broken up because he finds the unidentified flying object (UFO if you will) and this hysterical scene plays out.

I shouldn’t laugh, but I will.

The gang decides to go to the mountains to search for the Goose Annihilator. Marco (barf) is all pissy because he doesn’t think it should be their responsibility to save earth. Rachel isn’t having it and is like “Boy, bye”. This is enough to convince him to go with them. On their way to the mountains, they decide it would be better to travel by land instead of air since all of their bird morphs are different. And this may cause bird watchers to get suspicious.

Okay.

Marco (blech) is all pissy (again) because he has to be a girl wolf and Jake gets to be the alpha. Cassie explains that it’s to prevent their wolf instincts from kicking in and fighting each other. Solid reasoning. Meanwhile, Forever-Hawklone is like “At least y’all can morph”. As they travel, Tobias, again, talks about how lonely he is. It’s not the last time we get this either. This time, he is broken out of his… whatever the opposite of reverie is to the sound of trucks and helicopters. They supposedly belong to the “Park Service” which, in America, it’s easy to believe they would have an armada of trucks and helicopters. But then, a bunch of Hork-Bajir come out of the choppers and Tobias is like “Oh damn”.

He tells the group to check it out. The Yeerk ship sets down by a lake where it starts sucking up all the water. Unfortunately, Marco points out that it’s a weakness that they can exploit because it is something that they need (UGH). They start to head out, but Jake is confronted by another Alpha. There is a dead rabbit between them, which is the other Alpha’s kill. Tobias is like, “Y’all got two minutes” so he swoops down and toss the rabbit, making the other pack leave.

When starting this series, a bunch of my friends were like, “Those books are rad! Wait until you get to the body horror stuff!” and I’m like, “In a kid’s book? Nah!” Well…

I’m pretty sure I saw this in Full Metal Alchemist and it was terrifying then too.

So there’s that.

Thankfully, they are able to come out of the morph safe and sound. The kids go home. Jake has set up a little makeshift bed for Tobias in the attic (it’s as adorable as you think). However, the hawk within Tobias doesn’t want it. To stretch his wings, he flies out to Rachel’s house where she tries to buoy his spirits by assuming the Andalites can fix him which may or may not be true. Tobias leaves a little lighter.

The gang meets the next day to talk strats. They decide to go back to the lake and try to decloak the ship in order to expose the Yeerks to all of humanity. This will be accomplished by becoming fish and getting sucked up from the lake. Not a terrible plan, I guess. After the meeting, Tobias is alone again. His hawk instincts kick in and he kills a rat. He’s appalled at himself. His hawk-ness is beating out his human-ness. He flies to the mall where Rachel is putting on a *ahem* gymnastics routine. I don’t know if this is a real thing or not, but I find it hilarious. Of course people start freaking out because a goddamn hawk just flew into the building. Rachel is like “Bruh what doing” and he’s freaking out about the rat. Rachel calms him down and he flies out of a skylight.

A day or so later, Tobias is scoping out the lake and he sees some Hork-Bajir beating a human up for some reason. He swoops in and attacks them, saving the human in the process.

On the day of the mission, the group head to the lake to acquire the fish. However, Tobias sees the hawk he freed (and totally wants to bang). This causes him to not warn the group that the Yeerks are coming. They all hide out in a cave. From the ship comes Visser Three. He is pissed that the Horks let a human escape so he’s just going bananas. To appease Visser, they are just merking everything that moves. They decide now would be a great time to morph into fish. Since they can’t just flop over, Tobias has to fly them over to the lake.

Apparently, they didn’t do all of the books with this kind of cover which I am eternally grateful for / via Scholastic

While the others are in the ship, Tobias just hangs out in a tree. Somehow, the Yeerks find out that there is a morpher around that is a bird, so they just start blasting all the birds. Tobias, using his non-bird bird brain, decides to fly to the top of the ship to prevent them from blasting him. If they did, they would also hit the ship. A win-win. Then, he hears the rest of the gang in the ship saying they can’t get the grate open to the rest of the ship, so they are going to drown and die, later man. Tobias is PISSED.

He flies out and just ganks a Dracon beam from one of the Horks and starts attacking Visser Three. He swoops to the front of the ship and blasts the cockpit which (somehow) causes the ship to fail and fall to earth. The water rushes out of the back, along with the kids. They morph into birds and fly away. As they are leaving, a Dracon beam hits Tobias’ beloved hawk, killing her. A few days later, Rachel and Cassie want to go back and bury the hawk, but Tobias is like “Don’t bother, she probably got eaten.”

The end.

Really. That’s it.

I think this one has been my favorite so far. It’s a lot darker than the other two and shows the real implications of what the Animorphs are trying to do. They could ACTUALLY die. I’m really enjoying this series. Can’t wait for #4: The Message. There is a dolphin on the front and I AM STOKED.