The Deception - Katherine Applegate

Book 46: The Deception

Publishing Date: October 2000

Narrator: Ax

My rating:

2 of 5 hearts

Ax and the Animorphs discover the Yeerks are planning something so huge they’ve named the plan after the reigning and newly promoted Visser One. While they don’t know what it is, they know they have to stop it. So they rush off in good Animorphs style to throw punches first and ask questions later.


This book… is not a good book. It’s boring, spends way too much time on military stuff, and only really has one plot point and absolutely no denouement. The only plot point is a fight on an aircraft carrier that the Yeerks are trying to use to start World War 3. There isn’t enough detail in the scenes which leaves you to wonder if Ax is walking around in Andalite form wearing pants because he morphs and takes off his shirt but not his pants…


The one good thing from this book is the Animorphs contact the Andalite fleet at the beginning of the book. The Andalite fleet is dickish to them, and basically says, “You’re lying to make us come and save your sorry asses!” So the Animorphs, now knowing the Andalite fleet has basically abandoned them, make the decision from now on to do ‘whatever it takes’ to win the war… except not. OK, so they’re going to morph other humans now, sometimes without permission. That’s OK… yet when Ax proposes a horrific plan to Jake, even knowing it’s a bluff, Jake says they can’t do it, it’s wrong… it’s like HELLO, trying to prevent World War 3 whilst also involved in stopping an alien invasion, why are you still being a child about this? By now they know the Andalites aren’t coming and they still want to sit around moralising whether they can kill tens of thousands to save billions? They want to NOT take the path that will assure their victory?


I think it says something that this is the last book this ghost writer was allowed to touch. There’s things that make no sense – Visser Two thinks he can shoot an Andalite in morph and lock him in a room and he’s gonna stay there. The soldiers on the aircraft carrier suddenly realise wild endangered animals are their friends. They also instinctively know that Ax the alien is not the same kind of evil alien the Hork-Bajir are, so they don’t freak out when the blue centaur dude talks to them – although one guy flips out when a red-tailed hawk starts talking to him.


AND THEN the ending. That ending. So Ax kidnaps Visser Two in a jet armed with a nuclear bomb and flies him back to California, and Visser Two surrenders and recalls the nuclear sub, and then the book just ends. It ends with Ax flying a fighter jet and Visser Two bound in the back. No words of the most interesting part of the story – how Ax lands the jet, gets the Visser out and returns him to the Yeerks without being fried, and how Visser two keeps his word and doesn’t re-send the sub… I mean really? That’s the most interesting part of the book and it’s not even in the book!


Also, I made a note of this quote:

Tobias said, “Particularly Americans. I mean, we’ve got no enemies at sea, not many on land, and those aren’t exactly real scary. The country’s just not ready for war. Maybe it’s arrogance, maybe a combination of things, but the average person on the street just doesn’t think another World War is possible.”


Oh poor sweet innocent pre-9/11 world.


Join me for a review of #47: The Resistance next week!