Animorphs: The Encounter

In K.A. Applegate’s third Animorphs book, The Encounter, we see how it has been a hard for Tobias adjusting to being stuck as a red-tailed hawk.

The 1996 Book Cover

The majority of the book’s plot revolves around Tobias’ adjustment to being in animal form since in the first book, he was forced to stay in the morph because of how he couldn’t morph back into human form without giving away the fact that the Animorphs are humans.

Very much of Tobias’ first narrated book gives more of an in-depth view on the other Animorphs.  With Marco and Tobias’s relationship, we see how Marco’s joking nature allows Tobias to feel more human.  We also see how that even though Tobias may believe feel that he and Marco aren’t close friends, Marco helps out Tobias by being able to escape from the mall after Tobias has a small freak out and flew into the mall on purpose.

With Rachel and Tobias’ relationship, we see the crush that he has on her grow and Rachel reveals later on that she’s always known about his crush.  But, we also how that even though Rachel has a reckless side to her, we get to see a more grounded side of her when she and Tobias discuss in her room how he feels that he’s losing a part of his humanity.

With Jake, we see how he is willing to help out someone who he really didn’t know until that night in the first book when they had their first encounter with the aliens.  Tobias reveals a fair amount about Jake: Jake has opened up his families home — mainly the attic — for Tobias to live in and provides Tobias with food; Jake called Tobias’ uncle and told the uncle that Tobias had gone back to his Aunt’s; and we find out that Jake is not only a logical leader, but he also feels emotional responsible for all of the Animorphs.

As for Cassie, we mainly find out that Jake isn’t the only one between the two of them that have romantic feelings for the other.  This is revealed through Tobias’ observation between the two in a group westing after they morph back into humans after the group has a close encounter with almost not making it out of a wolf morph.

We also find out that Tobias fears for the other Animorphs that they might not get out of morph within the two hour time limit since he seems to be losing apart of what makes him human and he doesn’t want that for the others.

All though a lot of the book deals with the characters’ personalities, we also find out another possible reason why the Yeerks choose Earth, and the other planets they’ve invaded, as a place of interest: the natural resources.

The 2011 Cover

I think the reason why this book is as essential as it is due to the fact the feel that, I at least, have gotten about Tobias being a slight mystery compared to the others and how he is the only one that has been stuck in an animal morph.  We also get to learn just how powerful the animal instinct is and how that the Animorphs need to keep themselves grounded in the sense of keeping their humanity.

Cassie basically said it best in the first book about how the group will have to use animal instincts and their own.  I believe that this book and Tobias are the vessel that proves just how powerful the combination can be throughout the whole book.  I’m not talking about being just physically powerful, but the of power human emotion.  All though there was a point when Tobias had been taken over by the hawk’s normal instincts, it seemed like Tobias’ emotions allowed him to perform slightly better as a hawk.

I think that something that is important about this book out of the first three so far is that since it didn’t seem fighting the Yeerks heavy compared to the other two, it allowed us to experience what the Animorphs’ new reality is with this war and the consequences that these teens are faced with.

Something I am looking forward to seeing more battles.  I feel that since the first five books are being narrated be each of the Animorphs, it will take a while for use into the thick of the plot.  The first three books seem to be where we are still learning the rules.

I think that as we also continue, we will really see how this war is effecting the Animorphs since it seems like they are, in some ways, still trying to wrap their heads around the whole thing.  After all, would anyone be able to fully understand what’s going on?  Let alone being in your teens.

Touching again on the possible location: we learned that there are black bears, but not grizzle bears in the area that they live in.  So we presume that they must live between the West Coast and the Rocky Mountains or the midwest.  I want to say that my gut instinct says they live in Montana or somewhere close to Montana.

Yet, I still wonder why the Yeerks choose the city that they are in.  You would think that the Yeerks would of chosen a city and state that is within a 100 mile radius of a major metropolitan city.


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