Animorph #2 The Visitor by Katherine Applegate Review

One of the things that I love about this series is that you never have a book come from the same point of view in a row.

Rachel’s The Narrator

One of the things that I love about this series is that you never have a book come from the same point of view in a row.

K.A. Applegate takes all of her characters into play and while the first book was from Jake’s point of view, this one is from Rachel’s. She begins out with the same intro we will continue to see about how no last names, no personal information will be given. They are in enough danger from the Yeerks as it is.

Animorphs — The Visitor by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs — The Visitor by K.A. Applegate

Rachel proceeds in the first chapter to give us an update and recap on what happened last issue and just what Earth is facing. “The Yeerks were parasites. In their natural state they were just big slugs who lived in a sludgy pond called a Yeerk pool. But the Yeerks have the power to take over other bodies. They have enslaved many races throughout the galaxy—the Taxxons, the Hork-Bajir, and others. And now they had come to Earth, looking for more bodies to control.”

Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

There are other races of aliens fighting the Yeerks but for those on Earth it is a waiting game, one in which they really cannot afford to wait as our heroes are watching friends and family being basically assimilated to the Yeerk agenda. I really love the different voices you get as you read the series, it creates not only a depth of character but also you really get to learn what makes up each character and what drives them.

Starting Out

The gang is getting the hang of their morphing abilities, although Cassie has got a much better control than the others. I think this is due to her love and understanding of animals in general, both parents work either rescue or vet fields. This is an empathic trait they have helped their daughter harness.

K.A. Applegate
K.A. Applegate

With all the failure of their mission in the first book, the anamorph team is divided on wanting to try again. Cassie of course is the peacemaker, with Rachel and Jake being gung ho to go again with a new plan, Marco is of course straining to be the voice of reason when his logic is snuffed out. The kids know their Assistant Principal Chapman has a Yeerk in his head, but they also suspect his daughter Melissa has the same affliction. Rachel talks about how they used to be friends and how Melissa has had a behaviour change, going from competing and training in gymnastics to literally no care at all. Rachel hesitates to use a friend this way but in the end she sees that this is also a way to help her.

Animorphs Rachel by Kristin Kemper
Animorphs Rachel by Kristin Kemper

Things get worse when a guy hassles Rachel and being spiteful she half morphs into her animal form to scare him off. Just moments after she normalizes, Chapman and Melissa show up to offer a ride, having seen the guy hassling her. Worse yet, her shoes were destroyed from the morph. When hoe we get a peek into the home life of Rachel, and as I stated before this is one of the parts of the book I love. It shows us that these characters have something to fight for and each reason is different from the others, but holds the same strength. We get to see Rachel’s mom and siblings, how their life is normally.

After dinner Rachel calls the gang to have them come over and explain what happened. They talk about infiltrating the Chapman residence to hopefully find out if he suspects Rachel. It begins with cockroaches and thankfully ends with Rachel showing the others that Melissa has a cat they can use to infiltrate by acquiring her morph. Easy Peasy, right?

Things don’t go in any way according to plan, although as a fun side venture we get to see Tobias’s feelings for Rachel. In the end Rachel acquires two new morphs but no new Yeerk information that night.

It’s Like I’m Clint Eastwood

Again one of the biggest parts of this series that I adore is the depth to these characters that K. A. Applegate puts into them. We get a glimpse into each characters lives and a good bit of relatability to each of them. We get great scenes with Rachel’s family, her mother and siblings. We also get to see the vulnerability that makes up Rachel as she is woken from a nightmare by her sister.

Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

This scene gives us some vital information that is further explained in the next set of instances between Jake and Rachel. The morphs each have different influences and actions on the kids as they take on different animals. It really helps to deepen the information that we have already from the gifts the kids each have and we as readers get to learn along with them as they make this journey trying to save the world one day at a time.

Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

I love the ease of relatability with references to Star Trek and Fantastic Four, how easy it is to envision just what and where the kids are referring to by the things that they say. When Rachel finally infiltrates the Chapman residence she is given not only information but learns something, to me at least far more important. As Melissa’s cat Fluffer, she learns that the reason why she and Melissa have stopped being so close and first hand gets to see the pain that the Yeerks are causing. She is given her reason concretely to fight.

Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate

While we have learned and broken the alien bar with the first book, we learn that while the Yeerks can infiltrate the mind of any creature, there are those that they truly fear. Vissar Three through a hologram shows Chapman’s Yeerk his newest acquisition the Vanarx also known as the Yeerkbane. It is a like a tube full of Octopus suckers that literally suck a Yeerk from their hosts. Terrifying.

Everybody Wants To Be A Cat

The gang is getting a pretty good idea of just what they are up against, they also get to see firsthand that not all Yeerks are happy with Vissar Three but must obey. There is a system of protocol and they rank their leaders by number, Vissars being the higher of the ranks. One of the things that intrigued me was that we also get to see that while yes there are those who were forced and coerced into being used by the Yeerks and those who willingly let it happen, there are those who tried to make agreements.

Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

Assistant Principal Chapman is one of them; he made the agreement after his wife had already been taken to let the Yeerks take over his mind and body as long as Melissa was spared. In this book we see just how fragile the agreement is and on top of that get to see that just because a Yeerk has taken over someone does not mean that person is gone completely or cannot fight back.

Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

In the end Rachel and the gang get into chaos and literally end up fighting not only the Yeerks, but Hork-Bajir and Taxxons, see the images to see these terrifying creatures and we get to learn much more about their histories later in the series. What ends up being more terrifying though is Rachel and Jake fightingthe two hour time limit in their morphed states. To see whether they make it or not you will just have to read the book!

I really thank you guys who take the time to read these reviews, the Animorphs series was one of my favorites when I was growing up and getting to dissect the series is such a joy and pleasure as I get to not only go back through the Animorphs story again but to get to share the series with some who may not have read it and hopefully will as it definitely is worth it. Stay tuned as I will be back soon with book three The Encounter.

Kendra Hale


One thought on “Animorph #2 The Visitor by Katherine Applegate Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.