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The Arrival

(Animorphs #38)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,112 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Ax's people have arrived on Earth, and they want Ax back on board with them. Ax is torn. Should he join his fellow Andalites? Can he desert the Animorphs? ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 148 pages
Published February 2000 by Scholastic Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,112 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kara Babcock
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tfw you’re too lazy to write a review because Julie’s is literally word-perfect.

I’m actually just going to quote stuff I like from her review and add a few thoughts of my own in order to pretend I’m doing work here and justify counting this as a “review” of my own….

Ax's characterisation is pitch-perfect

So much yes! Ax is a fun narrator because of his alien perspective, but in the wrong hands that perspective becomes too loony. Ghostwriter Kimberly Morris keeps the comic tone from become too over
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Until this book, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill was the only Andalite on Earth… other than Alloran, the host body of Visser Three, the only Andalite to be infested by a Yeerk. Suddenly, four more Andalites appear, telling Ax that their mission on Earth is to assassinate Visser Three. If only things were that simple.

I've always loved the books from Ax's point of view. Usually, they're packed with amusing observations on human food, culture, and behavior, all of which amaze and confuse Ax endlessly. I
Janelle Dazzlepants
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5/5. Wow. This one was good! I must say I was beginning to worry after books 36 and 37 so thoroughly disappointed me!

Kimberly Morris is an amazing ghost writer, just wow!

I can't write a long review on this. It would just be too long. BUT:


I loved the Ax kissing scene and then him later denying he liked her.
The plot was very well constructed with several excellently crafted surprises.
Arbat being eaten alive... just wow.
The humans in the Yeerk pool acting as a shield... wow.
Arbat killing Al
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I accept this offering as reparation for the awful travesty of #37.

Poor Ax almost always gets the narratives of will-he-won't-he, but somehow this one totally worked. I wasn't so sure about the beginning--although I loved the quiet and subtle nod to how incredibly powerful the Chee are that even torture isn't a thing but also that their holograms can't create the idea that it is--because it just seemed as unnecessarily over-the-top as some of the recent books. I was all set to be disappointed, b
   At long last an Andalite ship has arrived on Earth! But why is it only the one ship, and with only four Andalites? Instead of bringing hope to the human Animorphs, it crushes their spirits. As for Ax, he faces new dilemmas not about his loyalties to the Animorphs, but about his people and their pride and morals, as well as what his own morals are in this war.

   Are the Andalites really here to take out Visser Three, or are they hiding some other mission?

   This was a beautiful, complex, thoug
Jonathan Pongratz
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, science-fiction
Original Review at Jaunts & Haunts


I gave this novel four stars! 

Though this book wasn't perfect, I did enjoy the journey greatly. 

Ax always has a great POV in my opinion. He shakes up human phrases and makes comical references that stick with you. Either that or he goes crazy over some cinnamon buns, bun-zah. 

As the blurb suggests, we get to see some Andalites on Earth finally, yay! Understandably, Ax is torn. Jake is his prince, but should he go back on his oath and join his brethren? 

I did
This is a vast improvement over the last few books. I wish, as always, that Andalite worldbuilding were more robust than "pretentious warrior-scientists--surprise, actually they're huge hypocrites!" but at least Ax's relationship with his people, as a race and as individuals, is nuanced. I have a hard time getting a grasp on Ax's character, as he vacillates between boring and comic relief, but the rare book like this one does a lot to correct that. The plot is manipulative for the sake of tensio ...more
Kate Crabtree
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The way Applegate works in shades of gray is incredible. While many Yeerks are despicable, there are some that are allies to the Animorphs. And, while there are honorable Andalites, there are traitorous ones as well (we meet a few in The Arrival- their plan is to utilize a virus like the Andalites used to decimate the Hork-bajir. This virus would kill off Yeerks, but would likely also kill humans as well).

War is a messy, messy endeavor, and Applegate explores its nuances wonderfully.

Also, love h
The Library Ladies
(Full review here at the

Narrator: Ax

Plot: Oh thank god, a return to sanity as far as these books go. Not only is our narrator blessedly in character, but we once again have a team that is capable of rational thought and pulling off complicated (and, importantly, NECESSARY) plans.

The story starts off with the Animorphs already in the midst of a mission: rescuing Mr. King from where he’s being held by the Yeerks. In their battle morphs, they succeed in breaking in to where h
Jenny Clark
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, animorphs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: animorphs
This one kind of confused me. Did the Animorphs trick the Andalites earlier in the book by acting crazy and disunified, or was that legitimate? It can't have been, otherwise they wouldn't have reunited later in the book. It's strange.

Otherwise, I was pleased with the plot, though one has to wonder if the Animorphs would've had a different reaction to the virus if it had a chance to kill another species instead of humans, and if they had seen it as absolutely necessary to stopping the Yeerk plagu
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Omg Ax. :[

This one's sad. We get to see more of Ax and how it's like to be lonely, away from home, surrounded by species who are very different from you.

I just hate it that he cried, I mean... nooooo Ax is too cool to cry. He's always sad, that I know, and have accepted, but it's the kind of sad that's beautiful even for an Andalite. Like a graceful kind of sad. So when he cried, my respect for Ax increased.
Alejandro Fernandez
The book Animorphs The Arrival was kind of boring at the beginning because I wasn't interesting. But then I got to the middle and I got interesting because the kid changed into an eagle and that was cool. My opinion on this book is that it should be on book self everywhere in the world because it is funny and interesting. I would recommend this book to my friends because I think they would like this book. ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animorphs
One of my favorites.

One of my favorites. Ax's story arc is one of the more solid ones in the series. Coupled with #18 this book is downright perfect.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ohhhh, Ax. Ax. I love you so much. Bless your baby bones.

This is hands down my favorite Animorphs book so far. I hope this ghostwriter comes back.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I'm reading this series for the first time as an adult. (Unfortunately) I have no fond memories coloring my reading.

Wow. Usually when I love an Animorphs book, it's because of how dark it is. While this one was dark, it was so much more than that. This was easily one of the best books in the series. This was a very good book, Animorphs or not.

The dark, seriousness amped up a notch: Is genocide worth it to win a war? If you risk wiping out a whole species (humanity), is it worth it to
Arkham Reviews
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
While this is by no means one of the worst Animorphs books, it is a very strange book. The Andalite arrival on Earth should have been a big deal, but I feel that this book cheats a little. This book doesn't herald the arrival of the Andalite fleet on Earth, it's just four of them on a specific mission that is entirely completed within this book. It's a bit of a cheat and not the gamechanger that it could have been.

While the plot builds to a high-stakes final act and maintains tension well, somet
Davy Kent
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-sff
The Arrival has a very weak start but gradually improves as you keep reading. Based on the first half of the book, it'd be worth a 4/10 at most. It rallies and claws its way back up to an 8/10 by the end.

This book illuminates slightly the war effort from the Andalites against the Yeerks, and displays (between the lines) how arrogant their species is. They are burdened with being the only species capable of containing the Yeerk Empire but see themselves as #1 first and foremost. Their strategies
Joshua Glasgow
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsea Gouin
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animorphs
This was sooo good! Especially following the previous two! Ax's books are always rather hit or miss but this one was so brilliant! Some Andalite's show up on Earth and the Animorphs are excited to think it's the fleet to help with the's not, just some rogues on a personal mission. Ax once again faces the crisis of his people vs. his friends. He also gets his first crush and heart break when he chooses what's right over his duty. And he totally leaves a person to just be eaten ...more
Books That Burn
This series established several generalizations about alien species early on and then has spent the last ~15-20 books dismantling those assumptions. No group is a monolith, and here Ax encounters more of his people, not all at their best.

The levels of narration in this book are so good! I don't want to spoil anything, but the way Ax's internal monologue is handled is masterful. I hadn't remembered this one very well, it just hadn't stayed with me. Ax's description of humans for Andalites and of
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Pretty intense. I liked it on the whole, though I'm not sure if Ax POV books are my favorite. It wasn't all too surprising except where it really as and, man, this series is just getting darker.

(view spoiler)
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
An excellent book in the series, but missing too much of the characters I love to warrant five stars.
The title before this, The Weakness (#37) gave us a discussion of hubris, but surely the hubris angle belongs more in a book all about Andalites, a race whose vanity and arrogance knows no bounds. Honestly the sheer inability of Andalite characters (even Ax) to be dynamic from these personality vices in any real way makes me dislike books that put them in focus.

Andalites should consider using th
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Finally some other Andalites arrive! But, alas, they are there to mass genocide the Earth to kill the Yeerks (and by extent all humans). The hard-liner military approach of the Andalites that is now pretty well established gets bogged down later in the series however when we learn that Andalite civilians in general are much less dogmatic and violent. The scene where the gang shows up to save Ax from the cage was also *chef's kiss*. ...more
T Berry
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Aside from some flaws (which honestly may have been tied up by the end, better than I remember since I read this on not much sleep and in something of a rush) this is probably one of my favorite Animorphs books.
Both for the relative uniqueness of being an Ax book and dealing largely in Andalite culture and such, as well as for the plot which I won't spoil. But it was pretty dang good.
Jonathan Grant
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Plot things are happening!
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
This is not as good as I remembered, which makes me sad. But still, sci-fi for kids with action and an actual story is pretty cool.
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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)
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  • The Stranger (Animorphs, #7)
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