Publication: May 2011
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it!
Sometimes weird things happen to people. Ask Jake. He could tell you about the night he and his friends saw a strange light in the sky that seemed to be heading right for them. That was the night five normal kids learned that humanity is under a silent attack – and were given the power to fight back.
Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco can transform into some of the most dangerous creatures on Earth. And they must use that power to outsmart an evil greater than anything the world has ever seen….
What a blast to the past! The Animorphs books were first published when I was in elementary school (grade four, to be exact), and they were everywhere. The libraries had tons of copies, my friends read them, there was a tv show, everything. Surprisingly, I never read them. I find it quite hilarious that I’m only reading now a series that was a big part of my childhood.
Alright, so long story short, Jake and his friends are cutting through this abandoned construction site one night as a shortcut home from the mall when they have an alien encounter. They are gifted the power to morph into any animal (as long as they have acquired the form through touch, first) and are set on a mission to stop the Earth from being any more invaded than it already is.
The book is an easier read, with length and language being perfect for upper elementary school. This first book sets up everything nicely, with good introductions to the characters (I really like Jake) and background information about the alien races and the powers the five Animorphs now have. K. A. Applegate’s writing is very expressive, and she doesn’t shy away from describing the more intense and gritty details of the evil aliens in this series.
Jake and his friends have a lot on their plates, and every decision isn’t always an easy one. At times they’re torn about whether or not they should actually try and use these new powers and stop the aliens (the Yeerks) invading Earth, or just pretend it never happened and leave it to play out as it would. When they change to animals, they almost lose bits of themselves to the animal mind – it kind of makes you stop and think about what it is to be human, and if animal life is better, or easier. Jake is the de facto leader of the group, and most directly effected by the Yeerk threat. He faces a lot throughout the course of this first book, and manages to remain strong despite it.
The end scenes in this book were intense, and really leave you wanting to read the next one right away to find out what happens. Animorphs is a wonderful middle grade series, I can’t believe it took me this long to read it!
Review copy provided by Scholastic Canada in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!