Make the change.
"We can't tell you who we are. Or where we live. It's too risky, and we've got to be careful. Really careful. So we don't trust anyone. Because if they find us... well, we just won't let them find us. "The thing you've got to know is that
everyone is in really big trouble. Yeah. Even you."
— Blurb found on the back of a majority of the Animorphs books prior to book #51: The Absolute.
Five teenagers discover that parasitic aliens
, Yeerks, are secretly infiltrating Earth by taking over people's minds and bodies
. They encounter an alien who is on their side, an Andalite named Elfangor, who gives them the power to morph into any animal they have touched
. Joined by Elfangor's younger brother and unable to trust almost anyone else, they begin a violent and secretive guerrilla war
against the alien invaders.
During the course of the series, the six teenagers grow from fun-loving kids into an elite team of paramilitary troops, attacking the Yeerk invasion force wherever it is discovered. Along the way, they find allies that they never expected, enemies that prove more dangerous (and, in some cases, bizarre
) than the Yeerks themselves could ever be, travel to alien worlds, and confront their own inner conflicts. Month after month of pressure begins to take its toll, and the kids are irrevocably changed from the innocent suburban youths they once were.
It supplanted Goosebumps
as the most popular children's book series of the mid-1990s till the Millennium despite its incredibly dark setting and content, or perhaps because of it. Like J. K. Rowling
, the author credits herself as K. A. Applegate
to obscure her gender
; the books were co-authored by her husband Michael Grant
, an accomplished author in his own right
, and most later books were ghostwritten so that Applegate could write Everworld
. Applegate did still write the outlines, however, and she came back for the two-book finale.
The series heavily deconstructed the Recruit Teenagers with Attitude
/ Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
concept, turning what could have been a Saturday morning cartoon into pure horror. The six protagonists regularly have to confront the morality of their actions and push against the lines they are not willing to cross, and inevitably end up crossing them because there is no other choice. War Is Hell
is in full effect and they have nightmares about the horrors they have to endure, in addition to the gradual loss of innocence and humanity. It is emphasized repeatedly that their efforts are not
enough—the Yeerks have infinite resources, an infinite army, anyone they know could betray them, and they have to balance the war with their normal lives so no one catches onto them. All they can do is sabotage the Yeerks until the Andalites hopefully
send their fleet one day to save the Earth, but in the meantime they are only delaying the inevitable.
Responding to fan reaction to the ending, Applegate wrote this letter
The franchise included fifty-four regular installments, four extra-length specials (the Megamorphs
), two Choose Your Own Adventure
-style books (which are generally considered to be of low quality), four backstory specials (The Andalite
and Ellimist Chronicles
), a short-lived TV series adaptation
, and Game Boy and PC games
. A re-release of the series began in summer 2011 with new 3D/animated covers,
rewriting some of the more dated elements and also clearing up some Continuity Drift
. Unfortunately, the lack of widespread marketing and poor sales of the rereleases led to its cancellation
there's a best installment crowner! Please note that while it's listed under "Best Episode", this does NOT cover the TV series.
Has a character sheet
For the TV series, see Animorphs
This series provides examples of: