The second book of Applegate’s Animorphs book series, entitled The Visitor, is narrated by Rachel this time. With a different narrator, we also get a more in-depth feel to what is going on in the war for Earth against the Yeerks.
In this book, we get to see how the Animorphs are adjusting to their new roles as Earth’s last defense. One thing we see that is starting to be affected is Rachel’s grades.
Rachel, however, understands that her grades are worth the sacrifice as she, along with the other Animorphs, go behind enemy lines by going into Vice-Principal Chapman’s house and not only finds out that Mr. Chapman is in direct contact with Visser Three, but a side effect of having a Controller for a parent.
While being undercover as Mr. Chapman’s daughter’s (Melissa) cat, Rachel and Jake — Jake morphed into a flea on rode in on Rachel without her knowing at first — run into the problem of Visser Three wanting Mr. Chapman to bring in Rachel the cat since Visser Three still believes Rachel and the other Animorphs to be Andalites and he believes that he can get Rachel to morph back into her theoretical Andalite body before the two hour morph limit runs out.
Also, Visser Three demands that Mr. Chapman brings in his daughter, or rather Visser Three demands this of the Yeerk that is controlling Mr. Chapman and this causes a momentary problem that may prove to be a benefit to the Animorphs down the road.
The only problem: Rachel has to escape from the clutches of Visser Three and morph back into her human self before she’s stuck as a cat.
Something we learned in this book is that Rachel has two younger sisters, which means Jake has two more cousins. However, we don’t know Rachel and Jake are related in terms of what parent combination. We also find out that Rachel’s parents are divorced and Rachel and her sisters live their mom. So possibly Rachel’s mom is how she is related to Jake.
One question that arouse during this book as well, that wasn’t answered in the book, is if there is a limit to the amount of different morphs that the group can acquire.
Something I wondered about as I started reading this book was if and when the Animorphs have children, will the ability to morph and the animal DNA that each Animorph has acquired be passed down to the children? If so, would both parents have to have to ability to morph or only one parent? If only one parent had to have this ability, then the question would become: would it be a recessive gene or dominant gene. All though this is a young adult book, this possibility of passing this ability along to children would of definitely helped to keep the book series going, but in a new direction.
Another question I have is that Mr. Chapman is a voluntary, even though it was through blackmail, makes me wonder how long the Yeerks had been on earth prior to five teenagers becoming our last line of defense. After all, between the first two books, it seems that the Yeerks have been on Earth prior to the first book and for some time. This also brings up a question of why the city that we are set in was picking for the first city and if it was the first city.
Something else that I am wonder about is, what is the Council of 13. I am presuming that it has something to do with Visser Three, all though the hierarchy of the Yeerk chain of command has not been defined yet.
Something else that was brought up in this book is how do the Yeerks reproduce. After all, if they have already taken over other planets, there must be a way for them to reproduce. Also, are Yeerks a single gender species?
One thing I will admit is that Applegate did a great job at keeping a similar style of narration thus far between the first book and this one, but enough of a different tone so that we can tell that there is a difference between who’s narrating the book.
I believe from how the first two books and the first chapter of each book went, the overall story is being told from a past tense in a sense, even though the rest of the book is told in a present tense. So I wonder then how they are recording their story since no year is stated, all though we can possibly presume that it is in 1996 when the book was copy right was issued.
I did simple Google search to see when the first blog was done in the modern sense and it looks like it was in 1995. So in theory I guess, the Animorphs could be blogging about this war, all though there is no mention of computers being used. I cannot help but wonder how in theory the Animorphs could be communicating their story since they are trying to keep their identities a secret.