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The Alien

(Animorphs #8)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  5,588 ratings  ·  199 reviews
What would you do if you were the only alien trapped on a strange planet? Probably freak out, right? But as an Andalite warrior-cadet, Ax has to be pretty cool about stuff like that. He's been hanging with the Animorphs ever since the Dome ship was destroyed by the Yeerks and his brother, Prince Elfangor, was destroyed by Visser Three.

Life on Earth is pretty different for
Mass Market Paperback, 159 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by Scholastic Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  5,588 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Kara Babcock
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Alien represents the end of the First Age of Animorphs. It is Ax’s first time as narrator, and so with this book, all of the six Animorphs have had a chance to tell their story. As with the introductions to each of the human Animorphs, this book lets us hear in Ax’s own words why he is fighting the Yeerks. Thanks to his knowledge as an Andalite, he also allows Applegate to share more background about the Andalite–Yeerk war. The human Animorphs begin to break down the last of Ax’s barriers, s ...more

This book was a lot more complicated than I remembered it being. Ax is so frequently the source of comic relief when the other Animorphs are the POV characters. (He was my FAVORITE when I was in middle school.) But here, in his own book for the first time, one of the first things that strikes you is how serious he is in his own mind. I wouldn't say he's *humorless*, but he's very close. It's the only thing that saves his ridiculous behavior while in human morph from collapsing the narrative.
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This one was actually the first book I ever read of the series -- my older cousin handed it to me on a whim, saying she thought I might like it, and I ended up completely addicted. Ax's first POV book expands the worldbuilding further, offering more information on the Andalites and Yeerks; it's touching and sad, 'foreign' (KAA manages to pull off a narrative voice that sounds genuinely alien, unaccustomed to even the smallest norms), chilling when it comes to what star
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to this books so much - finally a story told from Ax's perspective! - but I'm sorry to say that I was largely disappointed. Sure, the "Ax doesn't understand everyday things" episodes where amusing enough and actually made me laugh a few times (and the scene with Cassie's mum and dad was one of my favourites from the book), but I can't help but be disappointed that Ax is so... alien in a very superficial way, if that makes sense. Sure, he's overwhelmed by taste and Doesn't U ...more
Ashley Marie
Ax. Oh man, Ax.

At one point in this book, Marco mentions how Jake and Rachel are both severely ticked off at Ax for withholding information and outright lying to them, and I have to admit I was just as irritated with him as they were. Yes, his play-with-all-the-sounds is cutesy and he loves food. But Aximili is very intelligent, and to knowingly keep important information from the Animorphs team - people he considers friends and who in turn consider him a friend - left a bad taste in my mouth. I
Feb 06, 2015 added it
I missed this one the first time around (my library must not have had it) so I was unprepared for the BEVY OF AX FEELINGS. Holy cow! From the other POVs he's kind of stiff, vaguely goofy, and does things like go completely bananas when he gets a new food to taste, but inside his head it's different. I think I just sat there flailing at my ereader going "Aaaaax!!" Trying to live up to his brother, not wanting to fail his people, his guilt and sense of duty and the conflicts between his duty as an ...more
Jenny Clark
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animorphs, childrens
Wow... Just wow... I can't even right now...
Gosh I love this series so much, even as an adult. I must say that I read it as a kid and honestly I only remember about 3 books from it and those are The Andalite Chronicles, The Hork Bajir Chronicles and The Deception, Volume 19, so all my reviews for these are pretty much of a first read through.
Ok, so now for coherency. Ax is one of my favorites, along with Cassie and Tobias. And Rachel. And Jake. And Marco. Ok, so it's really hard to pick a favori
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
Brought to you by The Moonlight Library!

This book was a BIG DEAL when I was a kid because it was the first time a representation of an Andalite would appear on the cover. And trust me, the Andalite illustrations get A LOT better than this.

Ax’s first turn at narration replaces what should have been Tobias’ second go, but that’s OK, because Ax is awesome. In this book Ax makes a huge mistake in accidentally giving humans advanced technology, so he decides to contact his home world before removing
The Library Ladies
(Originally reviewed at

Narrator: Ax

Plot: The Animorphs’ most pressing mission yet: familiarize Ax with human habits! Movie theaters, trips to their school, meeting their families, this book is jam packed with Ax-as-a-human shenanigans. Intermixed with this all, this is the first full book we have with Ax’s first person narration (he had a few chapters of his own in the first Megamorphs book, but that hardly counts), so through all the comedic hijinks are a lot of rather sa
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh, Ax... 🤣😭
Nathanael Rudolph
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is possibly my favorite of the series so far.
Ax and his learning-to-be-human antics are tiresome--I'm not convinced that I ever found them funny, I certainly don't now, and it brings the incompetency/bad decision-making back in force. The second half of the book is more successful. Andalite worldbuilding turns out not to be particularly interesting as yet, but Ax's conflict is significant and, no matter how predictable, the resolution is satisfying.

A moment to consider heteronormativity, here established to be so universal as to apply even
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
A dazzling study of what it feels like to be billions of miles from every member of your own species. Also, a sobering warning against the dangers of tasting chocolate for the first time.
Reanna Patton
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting seeing things from the perspective of Ax, the Andalite. I like that we learn a little bit more about the Andalites and their customs. I'm interested to see more. Love Ax! ...more
   Finally picked back up on my group re-read of the Animorphs series! (I’m only, oh, a good 20 books behind at this point…oops.) On the plus side, it means that I have books 8, 9, and 10 on audio and ready to go. My audiobook review is here and my original review is below.
   This is Ax’s first narrated book, and therefore his introduction into the rotation (he and Tobias switch off in this slot for most of the series). He is a young Andalite, the only survivor of the battle that resulted in his
   June 13, 2020 review here with original May 15, 2015 review below it.
   While Adam Verner’s narration marks the last of the main series narrators, I also have a bit less to say on average for each Animorph. You see, I think he does a really good job sounding like “Ax” – an alien in a strange place, with a certain way of speaking which is a bit more stilted than the narration by the human Animorphs. It also sounds like he must have had quite a bit of fun playing with sounds when Ax did; his so
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really thought my re-read of Animorphs would only be about nostalgia. I don't read a lot of YA, particularly not YA aimed at pre-teens, and felt that at 33, only nostalgia would make me enjoy those books that were one of the first series I ever fell in love with, one of my first memories as a reader. But those books are good. They are very good. So good that, even as a 33 yo woman that doesn't enjoy the YA genre that much, I still love them. And they make me feel many thinks, not only nostalgi ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, audio
Turns out the Andalites are a bunch of assholes. Earth is not a priority, so the Animorphs (and Ax) are on their own.

We learn about Seerow's Kindness in this book - the law that forbids Andalites from sharing technology with other races, which Elfangor has already broken. And we find out why they have that law. (view spoiler)

Good book with more world building. I don't find Ax as hilari
Animorphs Read 2020 (March);

I really like that this series finally gave Ax his own book. I do find it a little unbelievable there are only like five or six words that are vastly different we get introduced to from the alien point-of-view, and I have issues with "I" point of view managing to hide anything of importance from the reader until it's being revealed to other characters. As that's not how either of those work. But it is a children's book, and it gets a small bit of a write off for that
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love this whole series which is why I’m re-reading, but man, i did not like the way they were all over Ax in this one. As an adult, i like keeping my secrets to myself. It’s not that i don’t trust other people, it’s that not everything needs to be shared. So I’m not sure what lesson the author is trying to promote here - at this age, if you make a kid mad (whether or not the kid even has a right to BE mad) they go blabbing all your secrets to the nearest adult. Maybe trust your friends, but not ...more
Janet Jay
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Now that things are really getting rolling I’m enjoying these a lot more. One problem, especially at the start, was that the characters and their voices weren’t different enough. Ax is, necessary, a very different one than the rest, and that made it more interesting.

But damn, what made it great was the sheer amount of answers but more so, clues and references and tantalizing teasers. Now I see vaguely what direction we’re heading.

Coda: FINALLY we learn one of the only details about these that I
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm doing a series re-read, and this is my favorite so far. I love Ax's POV and his attempts to understand human behavior, and I'd like to know exactly how many arms, legs, and tails each character has in every book I ever read in the future. ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Crabtree
Oct 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I never particularly loved the Ax books, and the whole “omgz taste and making sounds is crazeeee” thing that never seems to end. But this is a fine book. Next?
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Bless baby Ax. I enjoyed this one a lot, getting to his experience of being isolated on the planet. I also realize why the kept Visser Three's andalite morph alive (he's a lot scarier that way) but it does reek of a bad plot hole. That said I've always been in these books for the characters, the ideas, and the emotions, not really the plot, so it gets forgiven. ...more
Julie Decker
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ax is interested in learning more about humans, but his Andalite laws forbid him to give away much information about his own species. But one day, he accidentally breaks a law about giving humans advanced technology, making some changes to a computer program without realizing that he's pushed human science ahead of itself. Feeling isolated after so long without seeing another Andalite, Ax tries to call home using this technology, but even though he's successful, he's reminded of how Andalites do ...more
Dichotomy Girl
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, sci-fi, middle-grade

This is the first book that is entirely from Ax's perspective. Which made it a little difficult for me, as I found Ax to be annoying and speciesist. I mean, rationally I get it. We know that dolphins are smart, but we still think that we are better than them. So I can see why Ax is the way that he is, but it still pisses me off, ya know?

I read an interesting review that made the point that Ax's speciesism is actually intended to make the point that Humans are the supreme species in t
Alexis Masters
I was looking forward to this book, since it's told from Ax's point of view. But for some reason, I was mostly disappointed. We do get to see Ax's side of things, and it's pretty funny how he thinks of some things (like chocolate). But the overall story felt weaker than the rest.
I did like that the others called Ax out about them sharing everything with him and him still keeping them at arm's length. I'd be angry about that, too.
And what was up with the ending? There was no reason whatsoever t
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nearly ten books into the series, and we've finally gotten to the first book narrated solely by Ax—and even in just this one book, he has quite the arc.

This is the first real look at we get into what drives Ax as a character. First of all, we finally got some real insight into his relationship with Elfangor and how that relationship actually worked. He carries a lifelong frustration at constantly having to live in Elfangor's shadow, but it's nevertheless clear that he loved and respected his big
Marina Schulz
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lately I've been thinking a lot about my four year old cousin, who on occasion, when something makes her laugh, giggles and says, "That's silly", with a big smile on her face.

That's sort of how "The Alien" made me feel, because the perspective of Ax, a four legged, scorpion tail, thought-speaking alien, taking the body of a human, and experiencing a bunch of human things like reading and eating for the first time, is just as silly as you might imagine.

Ax's reactions made me smile a big huge grin
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also published under the name Katherine Applegate ...more

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 Secret (Animorphs, #9)
  • The Android (Animorphs, #10)
  • The Forgotten (Animorphs, #11)

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“You act like a normal human and you’ll win an Oscar,” Marco said. He led the way up to his house and opened the door. “Okay, look, you wait right there by that table. Don’t go anywhere. If my dad comes in and talks to you, just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Got it? Yes and no answers only. I’ll run up to my room. I’m gonna call one of the others to meet us at the bookstore. You’re already driving me nuts.” I stood by the table. There was a primitive computer on the table. It even had a solid, two-dimensional screen. And a keyboard! An actual keyboard. I touched the keyboard. It was amazing. Andalite computers once had keyboards, too. Although ours were very different. And it had been centuries since we’d used them. On the screen of the computer was a game. The object of the game was to spot the errors in a primitive symbolic language and correct them. Of course, before I could play I had to make sense of the system. But that was simple enough. Once I understood the system, it was easy to spot the errors. I quickly rewrote it to make sense out of it. I said to myself. “Hello?” I turned around. It was an older human. He was paler than Marco, but other features were similar. Marco had warned me to say nothing to his father but “yes” and “no.” “No,” I said to Marco’s father. “I’m Marco’s dad. Are you a friend of his?” “Yes.” “What’s your name?” “No,” I answered. “Your name is ‘No’?” “Yes.” “That’s an unusual name, isn’t it?” “No.” “It’s not?” “Yes.” “Yes, it’s not an unusual name?” “No.” “Now I’m totally confused.” “Yes.” Marco’s father stared at me. Then, in a loud voice, he yelled, “Hey, Marco? Marco? Would you . . . um . . . your friend is here. Your friend ‘No’ is here.” “No,” I said. “Yes, that’s what I said.” Marco came running down the stairs. “Whoa!” he cried. “Um, Dad! You met my friend?” “No?” Marco’s father said. “What?” Marco asked. Marco’s father shook his head. “I must be getting old. I don’t understand you kids.” “Yes,” I offered. 1 likes
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