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The Return (Animorphs #48)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,468 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
David, the "sixth Animorph," is back. When the Animorphs and Ax decided to give another human being the power to morph, it was one of their biggest mistakes. David tried to destroy all of them--and almost succeeded. Rachel and the others thought they'd seen the last of him.

They were wrong.

Rachel knows what a threat David is. He's cunning and dangerous. Worst of all, he kno
Paperback, 148 pages
Published December 2000 by Scholastic (first published October 1st 2000)
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Mar 06, 2013 chrys rated it it was amazing
review to be edited.

1st stage:
david fuck you
2nd stage:
goddamn it rachel
3rd stage:
Feb 02, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
Holy mindfuckery, Batman. How does this series not get SO MUCH MORE PRESS than it does?

It's such an incredible thing to me how much more I appreciate Rachel reading this as an adult than I did when I was a kid; I never liked her as a kid, but my heart breaks for her from my grown-up state. I was all set to dislike this at the beginning because it had the choppy, halting sentence style that I detest and it felt like it was going to be a rehashing of the "oh dark Rachel" from The Separation. BUT N
Apr 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: nostalgia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, ya
Man, difficult to rate this one, I'm going with 3.5. Even though Rachel's morality has been explored through the series, it was nice to have a book devoted to it. Rachel is also one of my favorite characters. And that ending killed me. But overall I don't think the book was super well-written.

Big questions in this one (and the reason for a higher rating): What does it mean to be a "good guy"? How do you know a choice is right or wrong, and just what is right or wrong anyway? Is it acceptable to
Jun 30, 2014 Katelynn rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
   Rachel is cracking. There is no doubt about it now. Her reality and her dreams and her nightmares are all confused, and she’s not quite sure which one is which all the time. She has nightmares within dreams within reality, and to top it off, she now has David – the former 6th Animorph (well, technically 7th if you include Ax in the count…), long since trapped as a rat – back, and seeking revenge against her. Only he’s not alone – he has an army of rats at his disposal, and (view spoiler) ...more
Nov 19, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
Ghostwriter: Kimberly Morris, who also wrote the fantastic #38 The Arrival. I have to say, I'm really enjoying casting a spotlight on the ghostwriters this time around, getting a sense of their own strengths and weaknesses and styles -- I had no idea they were ghostwritten when I was a kid, so this is granting my reread an extra layer of analysis/dissection. It's also interesting seeing the list of writers coalescing towards the end (Morris and Harkrader are going to be trading back-and-forth th ...more
Julie Decker
Aug 07, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was amazing
Rachel's cracking up. After several nightmares in which she challenges Jake's authority and gets universally shunned for her violent ambitions, Rachel finds herself whisked away to a dungeon, facing David the rat. He has her trapped in a glass cage and claims he wants to get her back for what she did--he wants to force her to share his fate trapped as a rat. But soon she finds holes in his story and realizes this is actually a trick of Crayak and the Drode, who have been following her rising vio ...more
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)

Rachel has been kidnapped by David the rat, the boy the Animorphs trapped in morph when he sold them out. He wants revenge on Rachel, but who is really behind the scenes pulling all the strings?

The Return is highly reminiscent of Jake’s nightmare book #41: the Familiar, but it’s even more messed up and mind-fucky than that. At least if you approach Jake’s book as a nightmare or his worst fears come real you’ve got a good interpretation. I’m still struggling to figure out whether Rachel’s book is
Mar 20, 2015 alternBRUNO°° rated it really liked it
It is definitely not easy to see such a strong character to face crisis. All their traits start emerging and going through the cracks, and you discover the structure, everything that remained hidden and driving them across the whole saga starts getting a specific shape. Rachel is the tough one, the ruthless, even. And in here the transformation is set: kidnapped by David, the seventh animorph and made a player in Crayak's game the result is both important and magnificent. I can't wait to finish ...more
Sep 26, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it
Though this series "jumped the shark" in the previous novel, this one brings back the excitement, fun, and suspense that made these books such, an old enemy returns! The ending is rather heartbreaking, though.

Side note: Doesn't the "morph" on the front cover look a lot like Lady Deathstrike from the second X-Men movie?
Timothy Boyd
Jan 28, 2015 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing
Fantastic SiFi series for a young reader. I enjoyed reading these with my daughter. The storyline is good and the plot interesting, wouldn't take much to make these great adult SiFi stories. Highly recommended
"I'm one of the good guys"
"Then do the right thing"


Hard to write in-depth review on phone. Will try to add more later.
Amalia Dillin
Mar 04, 2017 Amalia Dillin rated it it was ok
This was another disappointing Rachel book for me, because again, it feels like her "evil" half is entirely in command of her and making all the decisions as if she had never been put back together again after that starfish incident, though I feel like by the end she had hopefully worked out whatever was causing her to act like primarily evil rachel all this time, so if that's the case it will have been worth it. Time will tell. It also felt like another momentum killer. I am hoping the next boo ...more
Aug 29, 2008 Swankivy rated it it was amazing
Ew, David came BACK! (Sort of.) What a creepy ending . . . damn, it makes you feel for Rachel.

Notable moments and inconsistencies:

This book is ghostwritten by Kimberly Morris. It's credited to Lisa Harkrader, but that was a mistake.

David claims that Crayak got him off the island "in exchange for a companion." This whole concept makes little sense because it seems there is no "exchange." David got the favor of being taken off the island AND he got the favor of being promised a companion of his ch
The Return What did I just read? This is the mess that The Familiar avoided becoming. While that one was weird in a way that worked this one is just weird.
Why waste Rachel's last book on the return of David. Was anyone really dying to see him again?
More under the cut (with spoilers).

I see two outcomes to bringing David back. 1. Redemption (didn't happen) or 2. Death (likely happened, but why the cliffhanger?) Seriously why not just write the scene? I mean, this book gets pretty dark in places
Rachel can't win, can she? This war changed everyone in different ways, but in the end the others might be able to return to some semblance of normalcy. But Rachel, something dark and primal has been released drom within her. And it's been getting stronger, seeping through the cracks that this war makes on her. And the realisation that she's different, that she stands apart from the group makes it worse. Especially since they use her to keep their own hands clean.
What happened in the end? I thou
Jul 29, 2011 Bonesy added it
This book was a total mindfuck. David's back, but this time he's back through means of Crayak. So the whole time you're reading this, you can't tell if stuff is actually happening, or if it's all just a trick. I can see why some people would say this book's plot is ridiculous, but I was personally awaiting the return of both David and Crayak, so while it might have been pretty off-the-wall, it was a satisfying read. It's strange to me that they never reveal whether or not Rachel killed David, I ...more
Tommy Grooms
Jul 28, 2016 Tommy Grooms rated it it was ok
In the last Rachel book before the end, David the rat reappears via Crayak. Rachel is tempted with an offer of power by Crayak, and her own dark desires clash with her sincere wish to be one of the "good guys." This is such an appropriate last book for Rachel, with a horrifyingly ambiguous ending, but the execution (particularly the opening of dreams and dreams within dreams) is so clumsy that by the time the primary temptations are taking the place the reader is left wondering if what he's read ...more
Aug 23, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
David, the psycho Animorph, is back - and he wants revenge.

This book was crazy. Rachel had so many visions and dreams (and dreams within dreams) that I'm still not entirely sure what was real and what wasn't. She is such a complex character though, and I always love being in her head.

(view spoiler)
Dec 28, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
Review written: sometime before April 18, 2015

The Return by Katherine Applegate

Why I read it: My book club was reading the series at the time.

Rating: 2/5

What I thought: Ugh, my head! I'm probably been too harsh on this one, but it was just so confusing and bizarre that I just want to write it off and pretend it never happened, OK?
Jackie Krasuski
Jul 24, 2011 Jackie Krasuski rated it it was amazing
I do not know how I ever would have survived junior high without this fantastic science fiction series. Maybe the story quality went down as the book numbers got higher, but the idea that aliens were invading our planet secretly... it was almost good enough for a young teenager to believe.
Mar 20, 2013 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animorphs
My favorite Rachel's story <3


SUPER RACHEL! (That will be the killer of Visser One and her fellow Animorphs in the future..)

Jackie Krasuski
Aug 06, 2011 Jackie Krasuski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do not know how I ever would have survived junior high without this fantastic science fiction series. Maybe the story quality went down as the book numbers got higher, but the idea that aliens were invading our planet secretly... it was almost good enough for a young teenager to believe.
Jan 10, 2017 Guillermina rated it it was ok
No. Seriously. Where is the ending.

Parts of this book are good, but David is irritating, his return another Deus ex Machina, and Crayak's temptation too over the top.

I wish this series'd be rewritten, eliminating the Ellimist and his game.
Aug 11, 2016 Darcy rated it it was amazing

Soo Jo
Dec 20, 2013 Soo Jo rated it really liked it
I never figured out what happened at the end...
Oct 10, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it
My first sci-fi series growing up. It has shaped my reading style and is suggested to any one who likes YA fiction!
Jul 13, 2013 Lindsey rated it really liked it
I found this book entirely unacceptable
Jul 06, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: bored people who read the whole series
Shelves: re-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Applegate was born in Michigan in 1956. Since then she has lived in Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, and after living in Pelago, Italy for a year, she has moved back to Southern California. She has an eleven year old son named Jake Mates, although she says the Animorph leader is not named after him. In 2003 she and her husband, Michael Grant, her co-author on many p ...more
More about Katherine Applegate...

Other Books in the Series

Animorphs (1 - 10 of 54 books)
  • The Invasion (Animorphs, #1)
  • The Visitor (Animorphs, #2)
  • The Encounter (Animorphs, #3)
  • The Message (Animorphs, #4)
  • The Predator (Animorphs, #5)
  • The Capture (Animorphs, #6)
  • The Stranger (Animorphs, #7)
  • The Alien (Animorphs, #8)
  • The Secret (Animorphs, #9)
  • The Android (Animorphs, #10)

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