The Escape, published in January 1998 and written by K.A. Applegate, is the fifteenth book in the Animorphs series. It is the third book narrated by Marco.

This article is written from a Real World point of view.


Official Description

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...

Plot Summary

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.

Leeran alien hi res

Leeran depiction - a new alien race introduced in this book.

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.

Animorphs escape book 15 inside cover

Inside cover

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 that live on a planet that has more water than land, much like Earth, and they are psychic, they're capable of reading minds within close range, which makes them dangerous because they could know technological, military, and even personal secrets. 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 hammerhead 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. During the ensuing battle, Marco reveals to Rachel and Ax that Visser One's host body is his mother, just as they were about to kill her. Visser Three storms in, angry that Visser One would do these experiments without his knowledge or consent, and they have an argument. Visser Three is about to eat Ax in a snake-like alien morph, but Rachel intervenes and grabs him by his wrist in bear morph, threatening to cut him in half. Because of this, Marco sees an opportunity and morphs into a gorilla, knocking out the Visser.

A possibly infested Leeran states to Visser One that Marco (still in gorilla morph) is human. Visser One, however, misunderstands and thinks it's saying that the morph, the gorilla, is a human or like a human. Marco knocks the Leeran unconscious before it can explain what it meant. The Animorphs know that the Yeerks must be stopped before they can utilize two new powerful living weapons. They destroy the factory and escape unscathed.

Marco's mother may or may not be dead. She was unconscious when the flooding started, but a Leeran was seen swimming toward her and the Animorphs heard a torpedo being expulsed, which may have carried her to safety.


Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:



Contributions to the Series' Story Arc


Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake Parrot, Hammerhead Shark Parrot, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Fly, Siberian Tiger
Rachel Parrot, Hammerhead Shark Parrot, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Fly, Grizzly Bear
Cassie Parrot, Hammerhead Shark Parrot, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Fly, Wolf
Marco Parrot, Hammerhead Shark Parrot, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Fly, Osprey, Silverback Gorilla
Tobias Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark Human, Bottlenose Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark
Ax Seagull, Hammerhead Shark Human, Seagull, Tiger Shark, Hammerhead Shark, Fly, Northern Harrier
Visser Three -- Unnamed Yellow Sea Serpent Creature


  • Animorphs escape book 15 flipbook

    Flipbook of Marco morphing Hammerhead, from the pages of the book.

    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 marks the first book where the Animorphs begin to talk to Visser Three and 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 while in snake morph (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 before, though only briefly. This is the book when the walls come down and they decide to take the risk of speaking directly.
  • The Leera homeworld is referred to as Leeran in this book, but in Book #18: The Decision, it is actually called Leera.

Gallery (US images)

International Covers

International Back Covers

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


Taken from

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