Book 51: The Absolute
Publishing Date: March 2001
The Marco/Tobias/Ax dreamtime shines in this novel as Jake decides it’s time to alert the governor of California and the Armed Forces of the alien invasion, and sends a small team with ‘finesse’ to do so while the other wreak havoc all over town to keep the Yeerks busy.
The first half of the book is dedicated to Marco and Tobias fighting morphed Yeerks, adding Ax and acquiring ducks for their flight to the capital. They all wonder why they haven’t morphed ducks for long-distance travel before, and quite frankly so do I. Then they meet the governor, assume it’s a man and make an ass of themselves when they find out not only did they do no research before leaving (which is VERY un-Animorphs-like) but their governor is actually a middle aged, frumpy-looking woman. Yet she has the spark of Rachel inside her and fearlessly goes along with the Dream Team and believes everything they say with little to no proof beyond an alien of their very own and the fact that the army, the police, and various citizens are trying to kill them all, including her own husband.
So, the governor. Not sure who the California governor was back in the 90s/early 2000s, but then again, neither were the Animorphs. How hilarious would it have been if they came across the Governator Schwarzenegger himself? He’s already had a cameo in one of the earlier books. But I like this governor. She’s fearless and trusting of the alien freaks changing bodies in front of her eyes, and she takes her husband out with a chair. Yet she’s still a politician and (I don’t really understand American politics though, so please excuse me) apparently also in charge of some parts of the military? I don’t think Australian politicians have permission to tell the military what to do. Clearly I don’t know enough about Australian politics either.
And then there’s a chase scene to end all chase scenes. You know how I said the first half of the book was all about Marco and Tobias fighting Yeerks and then morphing the ducks and flying away? The second half is dedicated to the most epic of all chase scenes when the Dream Team kidnaps the governor, who amusingly answers that she doesn’t know where she’s going when someone calls out to her, and proceeds to both protect her and get her away from the Yeerks who want to kill her and the Animorphs. And of course they escape because Animorphs. And the governor goes on TV to tell everyone to prepare for a state of emergency, we’re fighting aliens y’all.
There are some inconsistencies in the book, though. The Yeerks know exactly who the Animorphs are. They know it’s five humans and one Andalite (well, more humans now that the auxiliary group has been added). Yet when faced head-on with undeniable humans morphing, they still yell “Andalite!” and would prefer to shoot at Ax than any of the others. I guess old habits die hard. Or maybe they just don’t know what he Animorphs call themselves. I mean, it would be pretty stupid to yell, “Human!” in a crowd of humans and start shooting, wouldn’t it?
And then there’s the time when a bunch of schoolkids show up to the Gardens with their teacher on a Saturday morning. Yep, some editor overlooked that part. The Saturday part is pretty important, because it means the governor won’t be at her/his office, s/he’ll be at home. Partying. Like politicians do. And schoolkids LOVE to go on early morning ass-crack-of-dawn field trips on Saturdays, because it’s a zoo!
But it is awesome to see random Controllers morphing out of nowhere. It really shows how fucked the Animorphs are now that not only their enemies could be anyone (as it’s been all along) but that anyone could morph and come after them.
And here’s something I wanna think about: Tobias spends a lot of time nowadays in his human morph, obviously because of Loren. But because his human morph is a copy of his DNA at age thirteen, is his sixteen year old self morphing a thirteen year old or did his human morph age as well? I was wondering when he got in the tank with Marco, well Marco’s still a small guy even if he is sixteen by now, but Tobias’ thirteen year old body might be the same size and that also makes Tobias small. Also it gets awkward when you wonder about Jake and Marco going through puberty and voices deepening becoming young men and other stuff, does Tobias get to experience that or is his human self forever thirteen? And as a side note – how long will his hawk body live for? A hawk’s life or a human’s life? And when he morphs his human self, either aged thirteen or sixteen, does his hawk DNA ‘reset’ at the original age of the original hawk he acquired before he was trapped in morph? Because if so, the Animorphs just found a way to cheat death. Become a nothlit and have your morphing power restored by an all-powerful inter-galactic space weasel. Simples. *kiss*