|This article is written from a Real World point of view.|
- "I tried to put all my problems out of my mind. I tried to wash away the image of my mother. I remembered her two different ways. As the mom I'd always known. And now, as Visser One, the Controller who had arranged to let us escape from captivity in the Yeerk Pool ship, just to embarrass her nemesis, Visser Three. I tried to shove both images aside. But as I felt the morph begin, I thought, I'm coming to save you, Mom. And I also thought, I'm coming to destroy you, Visser One."
The Escape, published in January 1998 and written by K.A. Applegate, is the fifteenth book in the Animorphs series. It is the fourth book narrated by Marco, and the third book with Marco as the sole narrator.
Almost nothing could be as bad as finding out your mother is Visser One. The most powerful of all Vissers. The leader of the Yeerk invasion of Earth. But it happened to Marco. And even though he's been handling it pretty well, he knew there'd come a time when he'd have to face her again. Knowing that the Yeerk in her brain had taken his mother away.
So when Marco, the other Animorphs, and Ax discover that Visser One is overseeing a secret underwater project, they know they have to check it out. But Marco's not sure if this is a battle he'll be able to fight...
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The Animorphs, including Tobias and Ax in their human morphs, are at this restaurant called the Amazon Cafe in a new mega mall that had been built on a mission which Cassie spearheaded, the Amazon Cafe has real parrots, are they're treated badly and she wants to save them, so Marco gave her the idea to morph into parrots and insult the food and the customers. A young woman then comes and puts the parrots in a cage while their perches are being cleaned. Jake, Rachel, Marco, and Cassie follow her into the back while Tobias and Ax stay behind as back-up. She puts them in a storage room and they soon enter, Cassie takes each one out and gives them to the others and they acquire the DNA of the parrots.
Their friend and ally, Erek the Chee, waits until the Animorphs are done with their prank and until Jake and Marco are walking away through the mall. Erek then extends his hologram around them, explaining that everyone else is just seeing a group of security guards talking so that way he can talk with them privately.
Visser One has returned to Earth and is overseeing a new project that's being run from the waters around Royan Island. They don't know what it is, but it must be huge if Visser One is overseeing it, and Visser Three not quite happy about that.
A new alien race of Controllers called Leerans are on Royan Island and the next day after school, Marco is out in the woods with Ax and he asks him about the Leerans. Ax tells Marco that Leerans are an aquatic sentient race of amphibians are psychic. Marco tells him what Erek told him and Jake, which puzzles Ax because the Yeerks could never have invaded the Leeran homeworld like they're doing with Earth, they would instantly know if a Leeran was a Controller. But if they could make Leerans into Controllers, they would have psychic Controllers. They would be able to root out spies like the Chee and even know the truth of the so-called "Andalite bandits."
Marco later tells Jake that they have to find out what the Yeerks were doing at Royan Island. So they make a plan to do so - but first, Tobias needs acquire a dolphin morph. After getting a seagull morph for Ax, everyone, except for Tobias, flies out to The Gardens. Tobias dives down to the tank, where one of the dolphins jumps into the air and he strikes it, but he gets his talons stuck in the dolphin's rubbery skin and goes for a ride with the dolphin through the water. He acquires the dolphin's DNA, but it doesn't go into a trance. Marco divebombs down and knocks Tobias free.
Later, The Animorphs infiltrate the facility, and discover that the Yeerks are trying to create super-intelligent sharks which can be infested and controlled, because in their natural state, the sharks' brains are not big enough. They decide to acquire morphs. Marco accidentally reveals to the other Animorphs his fear of sharks. While scouting the waters off Royan Island, the Animorphs are captured by a computer while morphed as sharks. They have devices installed in them designed to bestow sentience on animals. The Animorphs then try to morph flies, but find they can no longer morph into small creatures because the devices are too large for small creatures' brains. They realize the only way to remove them is to destroy the facility, deciding to attempt to do so.
- Visser One
- Visser Three
- Leeran-Controllers (First Appearance)
- Various Hork-Bajir, Taxxon, Gedd and Human-Controllers
- Controlled Hammerhead sharks
- Council of Thirteen (Mentioned Only)
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic
- The Gardens
- Royan Island (Only Appearance)
- Ocean World Aquarium (Only Appearance)
- It is revealed that Visser One has returned to Earth, after having faked her death, and that she is overseeing a project at Royan Island to convert hammerhead sharks into Controllers to use on the Leeran homeworld.
- Marco speaks to Visser One for the first time.
- Rachel speaks to Visser Three for the first time.
- Marco is forced to tell Ax and Rachel that Visser One's host body is actually his mother, and Marco remarks that Rachel would have told Cassie and Tobias; the Animorphs are now aware that Marco's mother is Visser One.
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Jake||Parrot (White), Hammerhead Shark||Parrot (White), Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Housefly (partially), Siberian Tiger|
|Rachel||Parrot (Yellow-Orange), Hammerhead Shark||Parrot (Yellow-Orange), Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Housefly (partially), Grizzly Bear|
|Tobias||Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark||Human (himself), Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark|
|Cassie||Parrot (Crimson), Hammerhead Shark||Parrot (Crimson), Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin (Monica), Hammerhead Shark, Housefly (partially), Wolf|
|Marco||Parrot (Green), Hammerhead Shark||Parrot (Green), Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Housefly (partially), Osprey, Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim)|
|Ax||Seagull, Hammerhead Shark||Human (Main), Seagull, Tiger Shark, Hammerhead Shark, Housefly (partially), Northern Harrier|
|Visser Three||--||Unnamed Yellow Sea Serpent Creature|
- The cover quote is, "The Yeerks are out there...."
- The inside cover quote is, "Talk about a shark attack...."
- This is the second book in which all six of the Animorphs acquire the same new morph.
- This is the first instance in the series where an animal does not go into a trance when being acquired.
- Although Rachel has used her thought-speak on others before (the circus trainer from The Stranger being her first instance), this marks the first time she uses it to communicate with a Controller, as well as the first time she communicates with Visser Three.
- This also marks the first book where the Animorphs begin to talk to Visser Three or the other Yeerks directly. Prior to this Ax had always acted as their 'spokesperson' in case they said or did something that would give away their non-Andalite natures, but here Rachel directly addresses Visser Three when he attempts to eat Ax (Marco also speaks to him, but given that he spoke as he was punching Visser Three's snake form the Visser may have been unconscious before he registered what Marco was saying to him). Cassie has spoken to Visser Three before, though only briefly (although the other Animorphs were unaware of it) while Marco had spoken to a human-Controller previously as well.
- This is the first appearance of the Tobias-Ax-Marco sub-team, which would be used quite often as the series progressed.
- Marco says that Ax would trade a Cinnabon for the Mona Lisa on p7. This should be reversed.
- Marco remembers when he saw Erek King tore up the Matcom Corporation building, but Marco had been killed before Erek went postal, and thus did not witness the massacre.
- Erek has knowledge of the freed Hork-Bajir; the Yeerks believe that the two died, though, and the Animorphs never told him about it.
- Marco doesn't seem to have read Lord of the Rings before, but he knew about Tolkien elves in The Android.
- Cassie and Tobias are both missing closing tags for their lines on p47 and 48.
- A tab is absent on p59.
- Marco is capable of swimming in the school's pool and in the ocean in this book, but in The Message, Marco was unable to swim and nearly drowned. There was no indication in the interim books that Marco ever learned how to swim.
- Royan Island is spelled as Royal Island on p90.
- Marco, on a team with Tobias and Ax, mentions how they cannot morph into wolves since it would be conspicuous. However, neither Ax nor Tobias possess a wolf morph.
- On p144, a Leeran-Controller discovers Marco is a human who can morph. The Leeran goes to rescue Visser One from drowning, yet in subsequent appearances, Visser One would be unaware that the "Andalite bandits" are mostly human.
- The Leeran homeworld is referred to as "Leeran" in this book, but in The Decision, it is named Leera.
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