Cassie takes on the Yeerks by herself and is summarily transported to Australia where she reveals her morphing power to an Aboriginal family but it’s OK because they’re charming natives who believe in spirits, hee hee isn’t that cute *rolls eyes*
The book opens with the Animorphs somehow believing they can take a piece of crashed Bug fighter to the Government to prove they’re fighting an alien invasion – because presumably an alien itself, a talking bird, and four kids who can turn into animals, not to mention an ally race of ancient androids and friendly parasites and a freaking spaceship that looks like Snoopy isn’t enough to convince the Government they need to start fighting a war. No, that piece of Bug fighter is going to convince EVERYONE.
And here’s my favourite part:
Ax cornered a third Controller between two cargo bins. Whipped his tail. Flicked air. Let out a sound that wasn't even close to "meow."
<This appendage works well to balance the cheetah when it runs, but it is useless as a weapon.>
<You'll have to settle for teeth and claws, Ax-man,> Jake called. <Too many people. We don't need your blue-furred, four-eyed self on the cover of the National Enquirer.>
So apparently revealing the alien invasion to the Government/world ISN’T what Jake wants. Jake? Ya maybe wanna check in on the rest of the team to see if you have concurrent goals? I think they’re working under false pretences.
Also, when Cassie gets trapped on the plane and pretends to be a passenger and acquires a Hork-Bajir, the guy friggin jerks and slumps over her, unconscious. That’s totally NOT how acquiring works. Never mind the blades of the seven foot tall monster right by your face, acquiring puts you in a dreamy trance, not knocks you out temporarily. You can acquire someone just by shaking hands and they’d never know. We’ve seen this happen on almost every other occasion – except the time Tobias acquired a dolphin and decided to become a rodeo cowboy, which was a one-off event.
So Cassie is dropped off somewhere in the Northern Territory, which makes no sense, because the plan was flying to California to Sydney, and it does that east to west, not west to east… ugh, can you imagine how long THAT flight would take covering all of America and then Europe and Asia? UGH. I went from the UK to Melbourne and had to stop in the United Arab Emirates for the plane to refuel. It took me over 24 hours to get home.
Also, it takes Cassie forever to figure out she’s not in South Something Dakota or the South Yemen Desert despite talking to an Aborigine with an AUSTRALIAN accent for pages and pages. She only knows where she is because she sees a kangaroo. Cassie: brilliant with animals, not so much with people.
My favourite thing about this novel I guess is the fact that Cassie’s by herself again. Those are her best stories, when she’d forced on a solo mission. She does so much moralising and overthinking and checking herself that by the time her own stories come around she’s forced to make big bad decisions and sometimes they’re not the right decisions but they always turn out okay because she’s Cassie, damn it, and K.A. Applegate loves her. When Cassie is left on her own, she cuts people open. She’s so badass. Dr Cassie, alien vet: in both senses of the word. You have a choice: you can either be an alien and be cut open or be human and be cut open by an alien. YES IT’S THE SAME PERSON. Can’t get more badass than that.
Also, the ending sucks. But overall, this book is okay. Certainly not the best, but by far one of the worst, even for Cassie's books. (shudders at memories of the Helmacrons.) Skip it if you're only reading books essential to the overall story arc.