Book #51 in the series Animorphs by K.A. Applegate.

Disclaimer: If you've heard of Animorphs and you're thinking "Aww, how cute," maybe you should read my introduction to the first book to see how wrong you are.


Animorphs #51
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

The Animorphs decide to split into two teams to deal with the probable infiltration of the National Guard. Jake asks Marco to take Ax and Tobias on a mission to see their state's governor so they can get military resources committed and compete now that all-out war is imminent. The group manages to get duck morphs, flies to the capitol, and tracks down the governor's mansion. They get into a limo as roaches, to find out what event the governor is going to, and find that it's some fundraising event for campaigns. But Marco reveals himself to the state's highest official--finding out in the process that the governor is a woman--and ends up also discovering that one of her guards and the governor's husband are Controllers.

Ax, Tobias, and Marco have to save the governor from the attack that comes next, and they manage to explain everything to her once they successfully get her back to her mansion. She swallows everything with some difficulty but has her commanding face on, and Ax respects her mightily for this. She makes some calls to get both personal protection and warnings to the military about the Yeerks' plan to take over the National Guard. But then, of course, the governor's house is targeted by Yeerks, so Marco causes a distraction by morphing into the governor and allowing himself to be kidnapped so she can get away. Tobias and Ax save him and they make a subtle getaway, and at the end, a news program shows what happened to the other Animorphs during their battle and announces to the world that this extraterrestrial invasion is happening. The governor makes an announcement and finally the war is public. Now they have help and allies, but the Yeerks are no longer hampered by their need to infest in secret.

About this book:

Narrator: Marco

New known controllers:

  • A teacher and other bystanders at The Gardens
  • One of the governor's guards
  • The governor's husband
  • Kitchen staff at the ballroom

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: None
  • Cassie: None
  • Marco: Duck (mallard), human (the governor)
  • Rachel: None
  • Ax: Duck (mallard)
  • Tobias: Duck (mallard)


  • This book was ghostwritten by Lisa Harkrader.

  • It's been noted before, but up to this point it's still unclear as to how Yeerks could morph into a bird if the bird's skull is not large enough to house their bodies. Unless the Yeerk was changing with the animal, it doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the continuity, which suggests that if something larger than a certain size is in a creature's head, morphing to something with a head smaller than the object is not possible.

  • In the scene with bystanders catching the Animorphs in the duck pen, a female teacher Controller knocks an armed guard to the ground so she can grab his tranquilizer gun. It's a bit odd that a teacher could successfully attack a guard--even if she had the element of surprise. Unless a guard is very incompetent, he shouldn't be able to be attacked and disarmed by a random teacher who presumably has no training, even if she's determined.

  • A shot is fired in a conference room right near a ballroom, and this brings no security and no attention until bigger hell starts breaking loose. Gunshots are loud. Seems odd that no one noticed it.

Best lines:

Marco: The food court at the mall. Not your typical Andalite hangouts. Well, except maybe the food court. After this war is over, I fully expect Ax, our resident Andalite, to spend the rest of his life in human morph at Cinnabon.

Marco: "Nobody got hurt. Nobody was home. Not even Fluffer McNutter or whatever that stupid cat's name is."
Rachel: "Fluffer McKitty."
Marco: "Oh. Excuse me. Fluffer McKitty. That's so much better."

Tobias: "The quack's not the big problem. What I'd really like to know is, who thought up this leg/tail arrangement? Look at my butt."
Marco: "Um, thanks, Tobias. I think I'll pass."

Major MacDonald: "Extraterrestrial? Aliens? You've gotta be joking!"
Ax: "She is not joking. My presence should prove that."

Marco: "Uh-ur-ulph."
Tobias: "Did you say something, Marco?"
Ax: "I believe Marco is trying to tell us that while he is extremely happy to see us, he enjoys being trussed up, and could we please not remove the filthy satchel from his mouth, as he finds it quite tasty."
Tobias: "Yeah. That's what I thought he said."
Marco: "Uh-uhl-ur-ULUPH!"
Tobias: "Okay, okay. Don't get your skirt in a wad."

Marco: "It's what we've wanted from the beginning. Why am I not ecstatic?"
Tobias: "How can you get ecstatic about all-out global war?"

Next book: The Sacrifice, Animorphs #52

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