I remember reading this in my years of elementary school and I LOVED them. The plot was interesting, the characters were memorable, and the story was unpredictable that I had no idea how it was going to end or where this series was going. These kinds of books I LOVE!!!!!!
The plot is pretty basic and good for a series for kids. Aliens are using human bodies to take over and it's up to human kids with the power of alien technology to stop them. What's not to love?
*sniffs* Why aren't most books this creative and well written? Man, this is so good that I was sad that it ended.
It is a really easy read and not that difficult to follow and if you're into aliens and a lot of action, this is a good series if you're a young reader.
The characters are sooooo memorable and so likeable that I just absolutely LOVED them. The best part of that is that what happens to the characters is totally UNPREDICTABLE and NOT EXPECTED. This I like. I really appreciate books that keep you interested and guessing about what's going to happen. For one thing, Jake and Cassie, who are OBVIOUSLY a couple DON'T EVEN GET TOGETHER in the end because they grow too far apart from the war.
A couple that was obvious from the get-go doesn't even get together in the end? That is really rare, especially in children's books. That was totally unexpected and fascinating at the same time. I love turns like these, even as I kid I still was shocked but still loved it because it was totally NOT cliche. There was also Rachel's death, which was totally unexpected as well. I felt so sad that she died and I was totally NOT expecting that, and the effect that it had on the characters was just so deep that you could feel their sorrow once she died. Why did she have to die?????? *sniffs* Rachel you will be missed.
There was also other drama that went on in this series and it made me think 'Wow, this is pretty dark for a book series for kids'. Especially the drama for the characters, for example you have Rachel's inner conflict between her bloodlust violence and her kind and caring side. There was also Jake's depression that kept appearing after some things happen. Not to mention the struggle within Tobias between his human conscious and his mind as a predator.
The more I think about it the more I realized that this is some hard core stuff for a kid's series. It's like, "Man, this series can get dark for a book series for kids." . . . wait a minute didn't I already said that? Oh well.
Anywho, let's talk about the characters.
Jake - Jake is an incredibly likeable leader. He's not perfect, he makes mistakes and those mistakes have significant consequences that he learns from. His leadership during the war causes him to mature quickly and become a dependent leader. However, there are some flaws with this character, he gets depressed a lot. And I mean A LOT. His depression causes him to give up his leadership position and lose trust in Cassie after she allows his older brother Tom to escape. The war affects him greatly and he changes from it. This is a good changeable character. He doesn't always improve or get better. I'd dare say that he almost changes for the worst when the war comes to an end. He's more ruthless and doesn't question himself in making decisions for the best of the team.
Cassie - Cassie was one of those characters that I tolerated the least. I'm not saying that I hate her at all, I just got a little impatient with her at times. She is likeable as well. She is the one that keeps the group together. She's kind, yet has doubts about the morals of the group. Although she is very against violence, she does a lot of planning and is very reliable even though she is a 'tree-hugger' or nature loving. Sometimes it got in the way but she was still very likeable.
Rachel - She is one of my favorite characters in the series. I like this character, she was involved with gymnastics, but also liked to go to the mall and shop. She's attractive, confident and bold. Not to mention very smart. (NOTE: This is how a heroine SHOULD BE DONE!!!) This shows that a female character doesn't have to be "not girly" to be a badass. Her character change is so awesome that I loved every minute of reading about her. When she gets involved with the war she becomes very violent and always eager to do battle. I really loved it when the author added Rachel's dark bloodthirsty nature to appear because of her obsession of the war and violence that followed. It was really interesting to see her like that. Especially her inner struggle, she loved power yet became concerned with her change. *sigh* Still love her.
Tobias - He is your typical quiet loner kid in the group. He was a bully target and tired of his human life. When he gains the power to morph he stays as a hawk because he went over the 2 hour limit. The conflict between his humanity and the predator of the hawk was interesting to read and kind of a new thing in kid's books. He had to hunt and kill to survive yet he had difficulty in keeping his human conscience. I thought that the romance between him and Rachel was very genuine. It wasn't perfect but they tried as best as they could and I honestly liked their relationship much better than Jake and Cassie's. The part in the series where Tobias is actually Elfangor's biological son which explains why Elfangor's death had more of an impact on him. It wasn't important or relevant to the series but still a nice twist.
Marco - He is my favorite male character in this series. He is a bit of a sarcastic person that always throws jokes around. He has a sense of humor but he's also cautious, ruthless yet calculative and strategic. His involvement with his father being depressed with his mother's "death", who is actually Visser One, is pretty genuine as well. He's hesitant to join the Animorphs because of his concern for his father and I think that his character is very well done.
Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (more commonly known as Ax) - He is a very interesting character when it comes to alien characters. His curiosity and enthusiasm in Earth's culture was fun to read and I loved his sense of humor that the Animorphs didn't find funny. His character was really likeable and he was a fun alien. He was arrogant but also loyal to his human friends.
The other aliens - I think that the alien designs in this series was brilliant. The aliens were unique and had interesting characteristics. The Yeerks, the Taxxons, the Hork-Bajir, and the Andalites. They were so interesting and so well developed that I loved the series the whole way through. The only downside is that these books are easy read. I remember reading at least five books per day minimum. But this is just a nitpick for me. It’s still fun and a great sci-fi adventure.