Author(s): K.A. ApplegateDownload
Animorphs “RM” is an exciting series for young adult readers about five teens who are given the power to “morph” into any animal they touch and then to absorb its DNA. This power is granted them by a dying Andalite alien named Elfangor, who also warns the teens that Earth is being threatened secretly by a group of aliens called Yeerks. This high-interest series is currently a successful television show and will be sure to intrigue even the most reluctant readers.
Some Reviews: 224 in Goodreads.com
It’s easy to look at the premise of this book–pre/teens transform into animals to fight alien invaders–and scoff, or write it off as juvenile nonsense. However, in doing so you’d be dismissing what is actually a very deep and rewarding series of books, a series that has the utmost respect for its audience.
Firstly, there’s the aliens. Far from generic bug-eyed monster, each race has a distinct ethos and biology, with their own culture, traditions, life cycles, idiosyncrasies, and prejudices, explained and elaborated upon in depth over the course of the series. The aliens in Animorphs compare favorably to some of the best aliens I’ve encountered in “real” adult science fiction. They’re all vividly described as well, firing the imagination and providing endless inspiration for artistic types such as myself. And new species were introduced regularly throughout the series; every single book at times, especially when Visser Three’s around to transform into one of his endboss morphs.
One thing I really liked about the aliens is that their powers (with a couple obvious exceptions) were always limited. Neither the Yeerks nor the Andalites had endless forces of troops and super-weapons at their disposal. Their resources were always limited, so they had to use strategy. That’s one of the things that made the series so interesting.
But more so than its interesting aliens or military strategies, what really sets Animorphs apart is the respect it had for the intelligence and emotional resilience of its young audience. My intelligence was never insulted while reading these books. They were never dumbed down. The characters and situations were complex. The villains had their own motives and ambitions that could be understood and even sympathized with. None of the heroes were without flaw. There was hardship, suffering, and tragedy. Near the end of the series, all of the protagonists bear the psychological scars of their long struggle.
I read all of these on PDF files I stole from the internet, since a 54-book series is expensive to buy in one sitting and impossible to find in completion at my local libraries. Believe me, I tried. It took me about three days to finish the lot, mostly because they’re easy to read, but also because for 90% of the books the first few chapters are a generic introduction to the series. Why Applegate felt the need to do this is beyond me. When you read the books one after the other it just comes off as formulaic and tedious, which is exactly the opposite of the story and characters.
I know the final volume has been getting a lot of slack which is perfectly understandable. Applegate seems to think this is because she gave us a realistic ending, but it’s really because she introduces a completely new and unresolved plot about twenty pages into the volume. Ouch. I found the ending to be fine enough in a very Nolan-esque way, but I can see what all the hoopla is about. I formed my own ideas about what I think happened in the end and I’m satisfied with that. I think that level of ambiguity is quite trusting of an author and rewarding for a reader.
Book 22 is my favourite volume (tough pick, but hey), since it both terrified me and underscored the fact that Rachel’s true strength lay in her willpower. It is also probably one of the best written volumes in the series. Books 13, 30, 33 and 49 are also fantastic.
The whole series, however, is fully worth a read and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
I don’t know how to express how much this book series changed my life. It’s almost impossible to describe. When I first started reading avidly, around age six, I just couldn’t really get into a book series. I’d read a book, but I wouldn’t think about it again afterward. Then I found Animorphs. And I fell in love. I read, and I read, and then I’d read the books over again. I became obsessed with the lives of the characters, and determined to find out how their stories would end. Over the course of ten years, I collected the entire series.
I got my first Animorphs book when I was seven, and I got my last when I was seventeen. I have all 54 books, the alternamorphs, the specials. I have two of the videos, the book about the cast, etc. I love this book series so much. It follows a group of five kids and their alien friend. But what I really liked is that Applegate didn’t treat me like a kid. Her stories progressed in maturity as I did. And by the end, I was so absorbed. I cried at the ending.
I understand a lot of people are upset about the ending, and it wasn’t my favorite. But I actually liked the ambiguity. And it was a good fight.
ReRead in 2017. Was surprised and impressed how well the books held up. After starting I quickly realized there was much more to the story than a few kids turning into animals. The story delves into complex moral issues and lets the reader decide the ‘right’ thing was. Loss of innocence, life and death, free will, war, depression, family, loyalty.
I enjoyed different books this read through than I had when I read through the series more than ten years ago.
Couldn’t recommend the series highly enough.
I started reading this series back when I was in junior high. It finished when I was a freshman in college. This series is outstanding. I doubt many people allowed themselves to really get into a series that lasts almost 60 books, but the entire thing is phenomenal. It’s a must read for anyone who wants to get a glimpse of what kids go through while fighting a war. KA Applegate didn’t allow herself to compromise the truth for happy endings. These kids are fighting an overwhelming enemy, the Yeerks, and they are constantly beaten, set back, and worn down, but never give up. Are there times when you have to suspend disbelief a little bit? Yes, but rarely. KA Applegate’s only fault is that some of the books feel like “filler episodes” in a TV series, but on a whole the series has a great linear progression that continues to expand on itself. I would love to see this series turned into a series of novels or movies someday.
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