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Animorphs #8: The Alien by K. A. Applegate

Animorphs #8: The Alien (edition 2012)

by K. A. Applegate (Author)

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598524,758 (3.51)3
Title:Animorphs #8: The Alien
Authors:K. A. Applegate (Author)
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2012), 176 pages
Collections:Your library, Sequels Bookshelf

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The Alien by K. A. Applegate



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Showing 5 of 5
Hmmm…Having watched the entire television show (which I know takes us past this particular volume) I was pleasantly surprised by the events. It was great getting to see more of Ax’s culture and people and learning more about the Andalite’s history and failures. ( )
  benuathanasia | Jan 5, 2017 |
This book was actually far better than I remembered. It's the first book in the series to be exclusively narrated by Ax and therefore the first real glimpse into the belief and attitude of an Andalite.

While his desire for revenge against Visser Three is touched upon in the first Megamorphs book, this novel shows how deeply ingrained this sense of honour is, down to the Andalite morning ritual in which he places his tail blade against his own throat. Prior to this novel, the Andalites have been shown as being wise and honourable. The Alien is the first point where we start to see another side to them, one which proves their actions to be drawn from guilt rather than altruism.

Beyond this, the novel had a good balance between the light and the dark. The scenes where Ax "studies" what it is are as amusing as ever, ranging from his discovery of chocolate to his awkward first meeting with Marco's Dad. On the other side, we see Ax struggling to find his place in the world as he is torn between honouring Andalite customs and being open with his human allies. His final encounter with Visser Three is surprisingly dark and I'm interested to see where Applegate will take Ax's perceived need for revenge from here.

All in all, this is up there with The Capture as one of the strongest novels so far. I can't wait to see what happens next. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jul 13, 2016 |
A short comment for every book of the series until I get a chance to re-read them. All three of my sons and I loved this series and read every single book - I even bought every single book (most, but not all, used; some through school book sales). I'm excited to re-read them to see how the five main characters develop and to watch all the different transformations again.

The best books appeal to *readers* universally - not children versus adults. These may not be quite worthy of the adjective 'best' but they do have that crossover appeal. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Animorphs was a good series that kept me reading. Enjoyed these as a kid. ( )
  odinblindeye | Apr 2, 2013 |
I was looking forward to this book *so* much - finally a story told from Ax's perspective! - but I'm sorry to say that I was largely disappointed. Sure, the "Ax doesn't understand everyday things" episodes where amusing enough and actually made me laugh a few times (and the scene with Cassie's mum and dad was one of my favourites from the book), but I can't help but be disappointed that Ax is so... alien in a very superficial way, if that makes sense. Sure, he's overwhelmed by taste and Doesn't Understand Normal Human Things but overall he's just like a slightly weird human. But okay, that I can forgive.

The Human Supremacy thing, not so much. Human supremacy, you ask? But nobody said humans were superior to other species! Not in these words, no. But this touches on the same problem I had with the previous book and the Elimist's view of Earth: Humans are just so special! They are braver than other species, fighting against impossible odds! They are so much more inventive than other species! They develop so much quicker, make inventions much more quickly than other species! Their sense of justice is just so amazing and the Andalites can learn so much from them!

I am certainly not against a "let's learn from each other" narrative, but when do humans ever learn something from Andalites? No, instead Andalites as a whole, with the exception of very few decent individuals like Elfangor or Ax, are set up to be wrong. That's really what a good part of this book is about: How Andalites and their honour-based society are Wrong. How Ax needs to accept the humans as his new people and learn from the humans and understand that the way his new human friends do stuff is much more reasonable than what Silly Impractical Andalite Tradition says.

It's just humans and aliens here, but it still creates an "Us versus Them" narrative that I find a whole lot more poisonous than Ax's new rattlesnake morph.

Add to that that "Oh no I have a secret that I cannot tell you about even though the whole plot would be over if I just talked to you for two minutes but I can't because of, uh... reasons!" is my least favourite kind of plot in anything, even though it's kind-of-sort-of-somewhat justified here... and you'll see why this isn't exactly my favourite Animorphs book.

Oh, and also, SPOILER WARNING: I can't be the only one who was irritated by the sheer stupidity of the showdown. They have Alloran right there! Even if none of them can bring themselves to kill him as he begs them to do, they could at least take him away! Hide him somewhere! Do ANYTHING except letting him just lie there so Visser Three can come back to take him over again. They could've gained an amazing new ally and taken one of the Yeerks strongest Controllers away at the same time! But no, we can't do that. We must properly push the reset button at the end of the episode after all.

But! Big news! Yeerk have infiltrated the Andalite homeworld! Ohmygosh. Now *that* is quite the plot development. Now why the heck did Ax not tell Alloran's wife about *that* when he contacted her? Please, plot. You're relying on your characters being insufferably stupid. Stop it. ( )
  Lymsleia | Dec 15, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Book description
Ax is still trying to adjust to life on Earth. The Animorphs consider him to be one of them, but they become concerned when he begins keeping secrets from them. Meanwhile, Ax changes a computer program written by Marco's dad (he thinks it's a game) so that he's now given him high-tech knowledge.
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"What would you do if you were the only alien trapped on a strange planet? Probably freak out, right? But as an Andalite warrior-cadet, Ax has to be pretty cool about stuff like that."--Back cover.

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