This book is narrated by Rachel.
And it starts off with the classic 'I can't tell you who we are or where we live'. Maybe this book won't be so bad after all! And then she talks about what she saw at the Yeerk pool at the end of the previous book when she mentions that infestation is worse than death.
Rachel says she still feels normal but she can do things a normal kid can't and thinks about things a normal kid doesn't.
Rachel is in her bald eagle morph and riding the thermal. It's described as fun and then quickly turns dark as she thinks about the Yeerk mother ship. That it could be above their head in outer space. I guess Applegate decided not to try and fool her readers that this is going to be a happy book.
She goes back to happy thoughts of her and the rest of the Animorphs flying. Jake is in his falcon morph and so has to flap his wings more often than the others.
Oh, shit, it looks like Rachel is about to talk about how Tobias is stuck in morph. Excuse me as I need to prepare for this by drinking an entire bottle of absinthe.
Rachel gets a rush out of diving and then realizes she could die. It's not like her elephant morph where she could demorph and be fine. If she demorphs this far up she will die. And then she starts imagining this scenario.
Tobias tells Rachel to just let the eagle mind take over. Rachel then explains how when you morph an animal you get part of them in you. This means you have to deal with them. Sometimes you have to take control, sometimes you can't, and sometimes you have to work with it. I like this part of morphing meaning you really turn into the animal.
The fun is stopped by two guys shooting at them. So they don't just have to worry about Yeerks, they have to worry about actual people.
Rachel is pissed off because a bald eagle is an endangered species. She then comes up with a plan to not get shot down. She mentions, again, that there are times to let the animal mind take over and times to take control.
Rachel comes up with a plan and then dives. She mentions that a dive at a lower altitude is much scarier than taking a dive at a higher altitude. I am jealous of the bald eagle's eyesight as I am near sighted and have to wear glasses. I bet a near sighted bald eagle could still see better than me.
Rachel feels a thrill as she flies through the forest. She is very extreme!
Now I can see their plan: get right into the faces of the fuckers who were shooting at them!
Rachel goes for one of the guns and Tobias goes for the guy with the ponytail. Rachel flies off with the gun and Marco flies off with a beer can (he says something about the two people being too young to drink).
Rachel drops the gun a mile out at sea while Marco is a show off who throws the can into a trash can.
The Animorphs go to the run-down church where they had originally morphed from. I never noticed this before, but: ABANDONED construction site and RUN-DOWN church.
When Rachel starts to demorph she wishes that she could affect her hair by morphing. She looks over to Jake and thinks that morphing looks really creepy. That people would panic if they didn't know everything would be alright at the end of the process.
Rachel looks at Marco demorphing and thinks it's gross. Marco, ever the joker, tells her that she doesn't look so good herself while demorphing. Rachel believes Marco and is glad she doesn't have a mirror.
So the mind of the animal you morph doesn't stay with you until you return to your original form? I somehow thought that while demorphing you are stuck with the animal mind until you finish the process.
Turns out that between books #1 and #2 that they had all learned how to morph into clothing like Cassie did in #1. They can only morph skintight clothing like leotards. Doesn't help them with clothing to keep warm or walk around in, but makes it so they don't see each other naked every time they demorph.
Rachel describes Jake and it turns out he still hasn't gotten over eating a spider while in lizard morph (which makes me oddly happy). Right now, though, he is talking about how great being a falcon is. He talks about he felt like he was freed when he morphed into a falcon.
Cassie, who is talented at controlling the morphing and demorphing processes, makes it so that her wings are the last things to go away. She spreads her wings/arms and it makes her look like an angel. I'm sure Jake has plans of what he'd like to do with that angel.
Marco complains about how they all look horrible while morphing while Cassie gets to look like an angel.
Rachel talks about how her and Cassie have been friends for awhile. She goes into how Cassie doesn't care about what she wears. I connect with Cassie on a spiritual level with her views on clothing. I still don't give a shit about what I wear. I will reuse every piece of clothing, but underwear, before washing.
Rachel doesn't consider herself Ms, Fashion but she is fashionable enough to make others thinks she's stuck up. She considers it an accident that she looks good. She also says she puts the most importance on the head while Cassie puts the most importance on the heart. Why am I wanting to ship them?
Rachel says that Cassie is the peacemaker of the group.
Marco tells Jake that he's glad to have his weak human eyesight since sometimes girls look better from far away. I don't get why Rachel calls him for being sexiest as sometimes people do look better far away than close up. It's a sad but true fact. Though the use of skank does give Rachel a reason for getting annoyed (as I don't like the term 'slut' purely because it doesn't make sense, but that's a rant for a whole 'nother post).
Marco tries to save himself by pointing out that he looks taller from far away. He is embarrassed for being short. Rachel retorts that his height isn't the problem, it's the fact that people will eventually hear him talk.
Jake, Rachel, and Cassie complain about having to go back to their boring human lives after demorphing. Then they realize that what they said was careless, thoughtless, and mean sounding. Tobias is trapped in the form of a hawk and will never be able to become human again.
Rachel mentions that morphing takes a lot out of a person. So Elfangor not morphing to heal his wounds make sense. Morphing isn't just this ability you can use without tiring yourself out.
Remember in The Invasion where I talked about the rules of thought-speak being changed and me being confused the first time reading this book? Here is the scene that made me confused. Now humans can only thought-speak while in morph. This is shown as the reason for not talking to Tobias as he flies overhead.
Cassie, the moralist, said they'd be hot in horror movies. She is so true in that fact. She also can control her morphing ability, making it almost like an art form, that she could do wonders for a horror movie.
Jake brings up that they could also be stuntmen. They could jump off a high building and just morph into a bird so they wouldn't go SPLAT on the ground. Marco then gets really mad at the Yeerks for ruining his chance at showbiz and having supermodels all over him. Rachel jokes that the supermodels would only love Marco when he's morphed and then leave when he demorphs (as he'd have to do). Love their love/hate relationship!
Rachel notices Cassie crying and the moralist ends up talking about how she's having nightmares about the Yeerk pool. Cassie says that what's worse than the hosts screaming is when they stop because the Yeerk has re-entered them and taken control. Mind you these are thirteen year olds having to deal with the nightmares that would be hard for adults to handle.
Rachel tells the reader that they went to the Yeerk pool to rescue Tom and failed. They had tried to rescue Tom because he's Jake's brother. Tom is Jake's reason for fighting the Yeerks. Cassie tells Jake that someday they'll rescue Tom. Jake is embarrassed when he strokes Cassie's head and then backs away and Cassie knows it's because men don't like showing their true feelings. Er...okay?
Rachel comments that they need to get back at the Yeerks as her feelings for Tobias get to her. Marco points out they already tried getting at the Yeerks and lost. Lost horribly at that. Rachel says they didn't lose, they gave the Yeerks a reason to fear them. Marco believes that isn't true and that Visser Three isn't slightly phased by them.
Rachel says that the Yeerks don't know they're human children. Because they can morph, the Yeerks think that they are Andalites and so the invaders are nervous. Jake says that Rachel is right but they shouldn't go back down to the Yeerk pool. Besides the obvious, the door to the Animorphs' first taste of nightmare fuel is gone.
Rachel argues that they can still follow Tom when his Yeerk goes to feed. Jake says to leave Tom out of it since if attention is brought to Jake's brother the Yeerks might decide to kill him. This is such a hard and mature decision for Jake to make. To allow his brother to stay infested in the hopes that one day he'll be able to be rescued. Because to continue to try and rescue Tom would mean Tom would have a better likelihood of being killed.
Jake points out that they can find out more about the Yeerk invasion by going after Chapman, who is the Assistant Principal of the Animorphs' high school. Rachel knows the suggestion that Jake is going to make and says it for him. Jake wants to go after Melissa Chapman so they can go after Chapman.
Rachel says that Melissa used to be her friend but has been acting differently lately. Is she a Controller too?
Rachel says to the group that she doesn't like the idea of using a friend that way. Marco brings up the fact that Rachel suddenly is saying no and what about him? Rachel says he's not her friend but quickly says she was joking. Reminding Marco that he's a fellow Animorph and Melissa is just an innocent bystander.
Jake reminds Rachel that Melissa is Chapman's daughter which makes her involved whether she likes it or not. Rachel realizes Jake is correct. This doesn't make Rachel feel any better, though.
Rachel mentions the mall and, I admit, I started wanting to go to malls because of this series. Before you start to tell me how insane that sounds just remember I was around ten years old when this series started.
She talks about how her gymnastic class at the YMCA isn't for getting ready to go to the Olympics, though she used to dream of being a famous gymnast one day. Rachel, in present day, doesn't have the build of a gymnast but a model.
Rachel says that her, and her fellow classmates in the gymnast class, aren't serious but do it for fun and exercise. She says she feels clumsy and that's a reason she does the class. She also say it's cool being a gymnast and compares it to flying. Yes, flying does win.
They greet each other with common phrases, but Rachel wants to go forward on her mission. Melissa blushes when Rachel suggests going to the mall. Why do I have a sudden urge to ship these two? I swear I wasn't like this back in the good old days!
Rachel is about to let Melissa go but then remembers that hanging with her former friend isn't something she wants to do, but has to do. Chapman is one of the Animorphs' most deadly enemies.
Rachel starts to demand Melissa say what is wrong. Though Melissa says things are fine, her expression shows that something isn't right. Rachel mentally reprimands herself for not noticing that something was wrong with her former friend earlier. She is only now noticing something is wrong with Melissa because that's her job right now.
Because of the thoughts going on in Rachel's head she is hardly able to concentrate on the lesson at hand. Because of that she hurts herself and Melissa is her old self for a precious few seconds. When Melissa goes back to her new self Rachel wonders if her former friend is a Controller.
A guy calls to Rachel, trying to pick the Animorph up. As Rachel runs from the college guy she starts to morph. She doesn't morph all the way but stops when she thinks she looks creepy enough. I get that Rachel is young, scared, and so doesn't realize that morphing in front of someone is incredibly dangerous. The person might not be a Controller now but they might in the future and/or they'll give the information about a young person morphing to a Controller.
Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents