The Deception is the fourty-sixth Animorphs book. It was written by K.A. Applegate and ghostwritten by Elise Smith. It is narrated by Ax.

Official DescriptionEdit

The Animorphs and Ax have managed to contact the Andalite home world. But the battle is far from over. Visser Two has arrived to Earth, and he's not happy about the state of things. He decides the best way to take over Earth is to have the humans destroy the people and the land the Yeerks don't need. He decides to start World War III.

Ax and his friends know that Visser Two means business and there will probably only be two ways to keep him from destroying everything they know: Find a way to stop the war. Or find a way to stop him...forever...

Plot SummaryEdit

Animorphs 46 deception inside cover only high res

Inside cover showing Ax in human fighter pilot morph

The book begins in the exact place where #45 The Revelation had ended. The Animorphs have just begun a Z-space transmission with the Andalite fleet. They inform the Andalite fleet of an impending ambush on the Anati world. The Andalites are skeptical of the genuineness of the information thinking that the earth resistance might lie to them in order to become their top priority. They remain skeptical even when Ax confirms the information, saying that he may have confused his loyalties.

Ax, Tobias and Marco (who, after recently "dying" now lives in hiding with them) intercept a Yeerk transmission that the newly promoted Visser One (Esplin 9466) has a plan to conquer the world by a war between the most populated country (China) and the United States. The humans would exhaust their weapons and would not be able to retaliate. The Animorphs steal an F-16 from an air base and fly out to sea to an aircraft carrier. They crash it into the sea so the Yeerks would not think they were being invaded. They infiltrate the ship and find Visser Two, whose host is a high-ranking officer in the Navy (Admiral Carrington). The Yeerks find out that the Animorphs are on the ship and have reinforcement. Bug fighters began invading the aircraft carrier. The Animorphs attack, and fight alongside the non-controller American military personnel. The yeerks have commandeered an American submarine and plan to use it to launch a nuclear attack against the Chinese and instigate WWIII.

In order to stop this, Ax commandeers a Grumman F-14D Tomcat fighter loaded with a nuclear warhead, against Jake's decision, abducts Visser Two and threatens to use the bomb to destroy the Yeerk pool and the city above it (along with the families of all the Animorphs). Visser Two is unable to call Ax's bluff (although even Ax himself is not sure if he was bluffing) and he calls off the attack that would have instigated the war. Ax is left wondering whether or not he would have been capable of launching the nuke, if the rest of the Animorphs, particularly Jake, will ever be able to forgive him. Ax directly betrayed Jake's explicit order, something he swore he would never do again.


Jake -- Peregrine Falcon, Flea, Seagull, Cockroach, Siberian Tiger
Rachel Human (Michele Leary) Bald Eagle, Flea, Human (Michele Leary), Seagull, Cockroach, Grizzly Bear
Tobias Human (male navy lieutenant) Flea, Seagull, Cockroach Human (male navy lieutenant)
Cassie -- Osprey. Flea, Seagull, Cockroach, Wolf
Marco -- Osprey, Silverback Gorilla, Flea, Seagull, Cockroach
Ax Human (random male), Human (Captain Felitti, air force pilot), Human (male navy lieutenant), Human (male soldier), Human (Admiral Carrington). Human (all the humans in the last column), Seagull


  • The cover quote is, "The Animorphs have never met Visser Two. Until now." The cover quote on the UK edition is "A Deadly Plan..."
  • The inside cover quote is, "Prepare for takeoff...."
  • This was the 2nd book cover showing Ax morphing into a human, the 1st was in Book 8 The Alien.
  • This is the first book in which the Animorphs learn for sure that the former Visser Three (Esplin 9466) has now been promoted to Visser One, after the events of The Revelation.
  • The name of Visser One's (a.k.a. Esplin 9466) game plan for taking over Earth is called Operation 9466.
  • This is one of the few times Cassie's rule of morphing (not morph sentient beings) is broken. Cassie is okay with it, this time. To see the other books where the morphing rule is broken, click on the letters in 'few times'.
Capt Dave Mattingly Capt Orson from animorphs 46 deception inside cover

The text on the side of the jet reads "Capt. David Mattingly Capt. Orson".

  • ANIBASE:  On the side of the jet, if you look closely, you can make out the names of two captains: Orson (the cover artist's cat) and the cover artist himself, David Mattingly!
  • We meet Visser Two - an insane fanatic and devout follower of the new Visser One. Visser Two is brought to Earth and allowed to take a high ranking navy officer, Admiral Carrington, as his host. He is supposed to use this host to start a battle that would become World War 3. Unfortunately for the Yeerks, the Animorphs catch wind of this plan before it goes too far...
  • This was the last volume for which a French edition was produced, until books 53 and 54. Books 47-52 were not published in french, and book 53 is labelled "Volume 47".


Taken from

Main Series #1 The Invasion | #2 The Visitor | #3 The Encounter | #4 The Message | #5 The Predator | #6 The Capture | #7 The Stranger | #8 The Alien | #9 The Secret | #10 The Android | #11 The Forgotten | #12 The Reaction | #13 The Change | #14 The Unknown | #15 The Escape | #16 The Warning | #17 The Underground | #18 The Decision | #19 The Departure | #20 The Discovery | #21 The Threat | #22 The Solution | #23 The Pretender | #24 The Suspicion | #25 The Extreme | #26 The Attack | #27 The Exposed | #28 The Experiment | #29 The Sickness | #30 The Reunion | #31 The Conspiracy | #32 The Separation | #33 The Illusion | #34 The Prophecy | #35 The Proposal | #36 The Mutation | #37 The Weakness | #38 The Arrival | #39 The Hidden | #40 The Other | #41 The Familiar | #42 The Journey | #43 The Test | #44 The Unexpected | #45 The Revelation | #46 The Deception | #47 The Resistance | #48 The Return | #49 The Diversion | #50 The Ultimate | #51 The Absolute | #52 The Sacrifice | #53 The Answer | #54 The Beginning
Megamorphs The Andalite's Gift | In the Time of Dinosaurs | Elfangor's Secret | Back to Before
Chronicles The Andalite Chronicles | The Hork-Bajir Chronicles | VISSER | The Ellimist Chronicles
Alternamorphs The First Journey | The Next Passage
TV Tie-Ins Meet the Stars of Animorphs