|This article is written from a Real World point of view.|
It was really bad when Jake found out his older brother was one of them. It was even worse when Tobias stayed in his morph too long. But nothing compares to the horror the Animorphs are about to face. Nothing.
Jake, Rachel, Tobias, Cassie and Marco have a feeling they know where the Yeerks' new base is located. And they've even figured out how to get in -- how many people notice a few flies on the wall?
But they never figured they might get caught. Or that Jake could fall into the Yeerk pool. That Jake could become a human controller. A Yeerk.
The Animorphs morph cockroaches in order to infiltrate a meeting of The Sharing. They discover that the Yeerks have infested an entire hospital staff and are using them to turn patients into Controllers. Not only that, but next week their state's governor – who is a Presidential candidate – will be checking in for surgery.
The Animorphs morph houseflies to infiltrate the hospital, and discover a Jacuzzi that has been converted into a miniature Yeerk Pool. Jake demorphs to human and turns the Jacuzzi on to kill the Yeerks, but the Animorphs are discovered by the Controllers. In the subsequent fight Jake is hit by a bullet ricochet and his head falls in the pool. He is infested by a Yeerk named Temrash 114 who seeks to escape death.
The Animorphs escape from the hospital into the woods, and Jake panics as he realizes that none of his friends have noticed anything different about him. Fortunately, Ax notices something amiss in Temrash's initial reaction to him and accuses Jake of being a Controller. Temrash loses his cool and insults Ax, calling him "Andalite filth" and the others realize he is indeed a Controller.The others decide to hold him for three days until Temrash dies of Kandrona starvation. In the meantime, Ax morphs Jake and takes his place at home and school. The others tie Jake to a chair in an abandoned shack out in the forest, but Temrash still has access to all of Jake's morphs. He morphs to tiger in the night and escapes. He becomes lost in the forest and morphs to Peregrine Falcon and tries to fly away, but Cassie stops him as a Great Horned Owl.
Temrash begins to taunt Jake, revealing that he was once the Yeerk controlling Jake's brother Tom. Jake tells him that he will never give up.
The next morning Temrash again tries to escape, this time as an ant, but is forced back by an enemy ant colony. Temrash begins to die of Kandrona starvation. As he does, Jake witnesses his pain, and in the fugue (the final hours of a Yeerk's death from Kandrona Starvation) catches his first terrifying glimpse a "bloodred eye", which we will later learn in The Attack is that of the godlike being Crayak.
Jake returns to his family to find that he has apparently been acting strangely lately, because Ax is not used to being in human morph. A few days later he morphs partway to wolf (to disguise his voice) and telephones Tom to give him a message of hope.
- Temrash 114 (First Appearance) (Death)
- Visser Three
- Several unnamed Yeerks (Death)
- Various Hork-Bajir, Taxxon and Human-Controllers
- Gedds (First Appearance) (Flashback Only)
- Mak and Ssstram (First Appearance) (Mentioned Only)
- Crayak (First Appearance) (Unnamed)
Contributions to the Series' Story Arc
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Jake||Cockroach, Fly||Cockroach, Fly, Siberian Tiger, Wolf, Ant, Peregrine Falcon|
|Rachel||Cockroach, Fly, Great Horned Owl (not used)||Cockroach, Fly, African Elephant|
|Cassie||Cockroach, Fly, Great Horned Owl, Flea||Cockroach, Fly, Horse, Great Horned Owl, Flea|
|Marco||Cockroach, Fly||Cockroach, Fly, Silverback Gorilla, Wolf|
|Ax||Cockroach, Fly, Human (Jake)||Cockroach, Fly, Human (Jake)|
- The front cover quote is "Now he is one of them…"
- The inside front cover quote is, "Superfly?" which is another reference to Superman.
- This is the first Animorphs book where Tom has a primary role.
- Temrash 114 is pronounced Temrash one-one-four, he was formerly known as Temrash 252, pronuced Temrash two-five-two.
- Visser Three reveals that the expectations for numbers of new Controllers are 200 per month, meaning they would infest 2,400 people per year.
- It is revealed that Tom gave up his freedom to prevent Jake from being a Controller to Temrash 114, although curiously, he later rebels that he will not obey the Yeerks anymore, attacking Visser Three, but loses and is nearly killed.
- The machine-monster with the big red eye that Jake described he saw is later revealed as Crayak, the opponent of the Ellimist.
- At the end, Tom is revealed to have been infested by another Yeerk, although he was free for a short period of time when Jake was infested by Temrash 114. It is likely that Tom fell into one of the Yeerk pools not listed by the Yeerk forces, or it is likely he was even captured by Visser Three.
- Jake is not the only Animorph who had suffered the time of being a human-Controller. Cassie was a Controller twice, Ax was a Controller, and Tobias was also a Controller in Megamorphs #4: Back to Before.
- Temrash 114 mentions Gedd, Mak and Ssstram as alien races conquered by the Yeerk empire. Although Gedd are seen later in several books, the Mak and Ssstram are never seen nor mentioned again.
- Visser Three morphs a human for the first time. It is unclear if this was a particular human or if he performed a Frolis Maneuver to create a unique human. In the Animorphs (TV series), Visser Three's human morph was a wealthy human named Victor Trent.
- Temrash's promotion is indicated by an ID number change in this book. Later on, K.A. Applegate corrects herself, saying that this designation never changes during a Yeerk's life.
- ANIBASE : Katherine Applegate must not have had too much fun imagining the morphs in this book! She tells us that she used to totally creep herself out when doing bug morphs. "I mean, sure, I might morph a tiger or a gorilla or a hawk," she says, "but a fly? A flea? A spider? No way!"
- ANIBASE : One of K.A.'s favorite reads is The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, a book that not only influenced her writing (namely, her teen series Everworld) but also some words and images to Animorphs. "yrch", the elvish word for arc, became Yeerk, the flamed red Eye of Sauron became the mysterious Big Red Eye in #6 The Capture, and the name of a town became Ax's middle name!
Original Release - US Images
Original Release - International Covers
Original Release - International Back Covers
2011 Re-release Gallery