The Hork-Bajir Chronicles is the second Chronicles companion book to the Animorphs series, written by K.A. Applegate. With respect to continuity within the series, it takes place before book #23, The Pretender, although the events told in the story occur between the time of The Ellimist Chronicles and The Andalite Chronicles. The book is introduced by Tobias, who flies to the valley of the free Hork-Bajir, where Jara Hamee tells him the story of how the Yeerks enslaved the Hork-Bajir, and how an Andalite named Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan, and her companion, a Hork-Bajir named Dak Hamee, tried to save their world from the invasion. Jara Hamee's story is narrated from the points of view of Aldrea, Dak Hamee, and Esplin 9466, alternating in similar fashion to the Megamorphs books.
The unforgettable story of the fierce Hork-Bajir wars in a time before the Animorphs...
Dak Hamee is a unique Hork-Bajir. His people call him a "seer." He learns more quickly and completely than the rest of his docile race. Hork-Bajir like him are born once a generation.
Aldrea is a young Andalite. Daughter of the notorious Prince Seerow. It is only after she and her family are sent to the Hork-Bajir home world that she begins to fight the Yeerks -- and, with Dak's help, ultimately discovers their hideous plan.
BackgroundEditThe Hork-Bajir Chronicles is one of the most unusual novels in the Animorphs series because of its almost complete lack of human characters (Tobias, who appears in the prologue and epilogue, is human, albeit trapped in hawk morph). Some fans thus found it difficult to relate to the alien characters. Also, the novel's unconventional, bittersweet ending disappointed some readers. Other readers enjoyed the novel's unconventionality and found the story very moving as well as action-packed. Also, the fact that the novel further explains many concepts (such as the law of Seerow's Kindness and the truth about the Hork-Bajir war) as well as characters, races, and back stories referenced in other Animorphs books (most notably the previously published The Andalite Chronicles) helped make it popular among many members of the Animorphs fanbase.
It should also be noted that, while the moral implications of war are a common theme in the Animorphs series, The Hork-Bajir Chronicles is one of the novels in that series that deals most heavily with that theme (such as the loss of innocence during the battle on the Hork-Bajir homeworld and war crimes being committed by the usually honorable Andalites). It describes a peaceful world that is torn apart by violence. While clear divisions of good and evil exist in the Animorphs series, K.A. Applegate has stated that she wanted to write The Hork-Bajir Chronicles to show that "most stories of conflict are more complicated than any one side would have you believe." (From The Hork-Bajir Chronicles book jacket, Scholastic, 1998, hardcover).
Plot SummaryEditIn the Earth year 1966, Aldrea and her family come to live on the Hork-Bajir homeworld after her father Seerow, formerly Prince Seerow, is relieved of duty by Alloran-Semitur-Corrass and many other Andalites who feel he is no longer fit to command because his peaceful philosophy towards the Yeerks (which has resulted in the Yeerk's enslavement of many other species). On the Hork-Bajir homeworld, Aldrea makes friends with Dak Hamee, a Hork-Bajir who is a Seer, meaning he possesses intelligence greater than most others of his species. Aldrea's mother, a biologist, is fascinated with the reptilian, tree-dwelling, peaceful Hork-Bajir, as well as with the other life on the planet. Aldrea herself begins to learn more about Hork-Bajir culture from Dak, and he in turns learns about Andalites. But then tragedy strikes in the form of a Yeerk invasion, and Aldrea's entire family is killed. She and Dak barely escape, and Dak is sickened by his first taste of violence when they are forced to fight Yeerks and Gedd-Controllers. The Yeerks arrive at the enormous tree where the other members of Dak's tribe live, and proceed to enslave every single Hork-Bajir they find.
Aldrea and Dak, meanwhile, continue to flee the Yeerks, and they journey down into a huge chasm called Father Deep (the Hork-Bajir believe they were born from Father Deep and Mother Sky). There they meet the Arn, a powerful but arrogant race who created the Hork-Bajir, as well as many other creatures that inhabit their planet. Aldrea convinces the Arn that it is in their best interest to fight back against the Yeerks. Aldrea also urges Dak to round up the remaining Hork-Bajir and train them to fight. Eventually, Dak does so, and he and Aldrea then lead their Hork-Bajir army, along with various monsters and terrifying creatures created by the Arn, against the Yeerks on the ground. In the ensuing bloodbath, Aldrea is disgusted by the carnage, and Dak blames Aldrea for turning his people from innocence and peacefulness towards violence. Dak becomes more distant with Aldrea. After many months, an attack force of Andalite ships appears, though not enough to fight off all the Yeerks. The Andalites, including Alloran, who is now a powerful leader, joins Dak and Aldrea on the ground and take part in their campaign of guerilla warfare against the Yeerks. As their numbers began to dwindle, Alloran becomes desperate, and finally resorts to using a biological weapon called the Quantum Virus, which will kill all Hork-Bajir, from the Hork-Bajir-Controllers (whose bodies are being controlled by Yeerks) to all the free Hork-Bajir still alive on the planet to prevent them from becoming enslaved.
When Aldrea realizes what is about to happen, she betrays Alloran and her fellow Andalites in order to help Dak destroy the virus before it can be employed. In the resulting conflict, the virus is accidentally released into the environment. Aldrea, who had morphed into a female Hork-Bajir during the struggle, stays too long in that form and is thus trapped and is now a Hork-Bajir Nothlit. She and Dak realize their love for each other, and the two become a mated pair. They go to live in the deep valleys, where the toxin will not reach for some time. Their descendants become part of the small Hork-Bajir colony on Earth. Years later, Jara Hamee, Dak and Aldrea's descendent, tells the story of the Yeerk invasion of the Hork-Bajir homeworld to Tobias, revealing at the end that he and his mate, Ket Halpak, have named their daughter Toby after Tobias, responding to his comment about it being a strange name for a Hork-Bajir by commenting that Toby, like her great-grandfather, is different, she is a Seer like Dak.
- The paperback inside cover quote is "They say that terror is in the Deep...". The hardback edition did not have a quote.
- While the UK cover may look the same as the US inside cover, look closely - in the UK cover Aldrea is looking at the reader, in the US inside cover she is looking away.
- ANIBASE: Around the time K.A. Applegate was developing and writing The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, she was participating in a week-long author "chat" on a Scholastic Network message board. Many of the fans that visited suggested ideas in addition to asking questions. It was during that week that K.A. saw the constant requests for a female Andalite and read the fan suggestions for having a Hork-Bajir "thinker". These ideas led to the creation of Aldrea and Dak Hamee, two classic Animorphs characters and the heroes of The Hork-Bajir Chronicles.
- Continuity Note: The story of the fall of the Hork-Bajir race has been previously told in The Andalite Chronicles, however this is the first time that story was told in detail here. Similarly, the events taking place for the story of Prince Seerow, and the birth of Seerow's Kindness is fully told here, where as they were briefly explained by Ax in Animorphs #8: The Alien.
- Aliens introduced include the Arn (four-legged, brightly colored creatures with feathers all over their bodies and tow long arms ending in claws. They are an arrogant species of scientists that specialize in biology.), the Hawjawbran (A species of aliens with brains spread out in nodes all over their bodies, making them useless hosts to the Yeerks.) and the Ongachic (nomadic species so spread throughout space that it is impossible for the Yeerks to ever find an infest them all.)
- This is the only Animorphs book to be published in both hardback and paperback where the paperback is not a Scholastic School Market Edition.
- The pages of the book include a flipbook "morph" of Yeerk- Gedd -Hork-Bajir - Andalite - Human
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan||Chadoo, Alloran-Semitur-Corrass, Hork-Bajir (Delf Hajool)||Chadoo, Jubba-Jubba, Alloran-Semitur-Corrass, Hork-Bajir (Delf Hajool)|