|This article is written from a Real World point of view.|
The Animorphs and Ax have one true ally in their battle against the Yeerks: the Chee. So, when they discover that the Chee -- including their friend, Erek -- are in trouble, they have no choice but to help.
But the Chee's problem is much deeper than anything the kids could have imagined. It's hidden in the ocean. So far down that no human has ever travelled there -- and survived. And the Animorphs realize what will happen if Visser Three discovers the valuable secrets of the Chee. One of which is the Animorphs...
During a shopping trip with Cassie, Rachel discovers Erek having problems: his hologram malfunctions. Barely managing to get him away in time, they discover all of the Chee are having problems with certain aspects of their technology, particularly their holograms, owing to interference with the Pemalite ship hidden in the ocean. Of all the Chee, two are currently still in danger, while the rest have successfully hidden themselves.
One of the Chee in danger, Lourdes, is hidden in a flophouse where drug fencing occurs, but a SWAT team - with a Controller member - are about to raid the house. After rescuing Lourdes, they have to travel to the bottom of the ocean, to fix the problem of the malfunctioning holograms, but have problems thinking of the morph they could use to go so deep into the ocean. Cassie finds the solution: morphing into a giant squid. However, none of the group had acquired that morph or had any idea where to get it - though they know for a fact that sperm whales capture giant squids.
They are stuck on what to do next until they find out that a sperm whale has conveniently beached nearby, so Rachel and Tobias acquire it and dive to find a squid. Upon finding and battling one, the group all acquire it and release it, and then dive to the Pemalite ship. They notice several Yeerk Bug fighters en route to the Pemalite ship as well, following the signal. When the Animorphs reach the ship first, they use the single-digit access code to infiltrate it and fix the Chee programming, but then a self-destruct sequence is initiated too.
The group is confronted by a being called the Drode, an aide of sorts to Crayak, who threatens and insults them all. He shows some bizarre fondness for Rachel and tells her that if she wanted favor with the Crayak, she should kill Jake, telling Rachel that her passport to Crayak's side is Jake. The Yeerks also emerge into the ship, and the group must stand and fight them before allowing them to gain control. But as the battle reaches a climax, Erek appears - to the shock of the Drode - and activates a violence-dispeller. The Yeerks and Animorphs are forced to leave the ship, and the Chee have their holograms restored.
Contributions to the series' story arc
- The Drode is introduced.
- Tobias and Rachel's relationship is further explored. Rachel is asked out by someone other than Tobias, and she is tempted by the prospect of a normal romantic relationship, but rudely tells him no, concluding in the end that, no matter how tempting the prospect of a normal relationship is, no normal guy would go to the lengths that Tobias has gone to in order to keep her safe.
- For the first time, Crayak's interest in Rachel is hinted at and explored .
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Jake||Giant Squid||Peregrine Falcon, Rhinoceros, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Giant Squid, Siberian Tiger|
|Rachel||Sperm Whale, Giant Squid||Bald Eagle, African Elephant Seagull, Sperm Whale, Giant squid, Grizzly Bear|
|Tobias||Sperm Whale, Giant Squid||Seagull, Sperm Whale, Giant Squid|
|Cassie||Giant Squid||Osprey, Wolf, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Giant Squid|
|Marco||Giant Squid||Gorilla, Osprey, Seagull, Dolphin, Giant Squid|
|Ax||Giant Squid||Northern Harrier, Skunk, Seagull, Dolphin, Giant Squid|
- The cover quote is, "They thought they'd seen it all. They were wrong...."
- The inside cover quote is, "Rachel's getting a sinking feeling...."
- This is the sixth book in which all the Animorphs acquire the same new morph.
- This was the 2nd of 3 book covers to show Rachel morphing into an aquatic animal, the 1st was in Book 12 The Reaction (Crocodile) and the last was in Book 32 The Separation (Starfish).
- Because the cover morph was a giant squid, and there were no giant squids in captivity, K.A. Applegate scrambled for info on giant squids from the library to the internet. She even borrowed her mother's copy of the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea just so that she could get an idea of how real squids might actually move, even though the squid in the movie was fake.
- The password to get into the Pemalite ship is "six", a single digit number. The Pemalites, although highly advanced, were far too trusting, and unconcerned about keeping security tight.
- ANIBASE : New to the series is Drode, a spokesperson for Crayak, who is sent to taunt and mess with the Animorphs on occasion. He looks like a small dinosaur, though he has a human shaped head with large, purple-rimmed eyes.