Janelle Dazzlepants's Reviews > The Unknown

The Unknown by Katherine Applegate
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Jan 10, 13

bookshelves: from-my-childhood, animorphs, aliens, children, children-s, movie-tv, sci-fi
Read in January, 2013

** spoiler alert ** This is the first Animorphs book I ever owned as a child! I'd completely forgotten the plot though, so it was like reading it for the first time. :)

In this book, Cassie and Rachel discover that the Yeerks are controlling a pack of horses out in the desert. The Animorphs go to investigate, and find that the Horse-Controllers are trying to sneak into 'Zone 91' (the equivalent of Area 51). It turns out that the military staff of Zone 91 are unaware that the crashlanded alien spacecraft they've been guarding since the 1950's is actually a primitive Andalite toilet. The Yeerks are also clueless as to the purpose of the artifact, but want to destroy it all the same to further their mission. If humans have no proof of alien life, that makes it easier for the Yeerks to invade without questions being asked.

The Yeerks plan to destroy the artifact through enslaving the military personnel that work at Zone 91. Fortunately for them, the Zone 91 staff have rented out the Gardens Amusement Park that Saturday night, making it easy for the Yeerks to ambush key military personnel while on scary rides. Visser Three and co. try to snatch a high-ranking officer in the House of Horrors, but the Animorphs intervene, saving the day.

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I'm a total nut for X-Files and anything sci-fi (just take a peek at my 'read' list for proof) so naturally I loved this book. Even if there weren't the nostalgia of it being the first Animorphs book I ever owned, I'd still love the storyline. It was one of the more lighthearted and humourous books of the series thus far, with the joking jab at Area 51, the artifact turning out to be a 'waste disposal unit', and the battle in the House of Horrors.

I also liked this book as it represented another look into Yeerk culture. Before now, we hadn't even entertained the idea of Yeerks controlling any other Earth species but humans - which in hindsight is silly, as they first creatures they ever inhabited bore a striking resemblance to monkeys! I wonder if the Animorphs will start to suspect the Yeerks of controlling other animals, because that'll certainly up the paranoia and 'we need to be stealthy' stakes.

I guess the only thing I didn't like about the book was that I wish it had been from Marco's perspective. He made a lot of wise cracks and showed some genuine fascination with Zone 91, but it would've been funnier to experience it all from the perspective of the resident sci-fi nut. I'm sure he would've slipped in some good Star Trek references. :P
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