The Invasion

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The Invasion
The Invasion
The Andalite Chronicles
The Invasion
The Visitor

New Cover

The Invasion Cover 2011

The Invasion, published in June 1996 and written by K.A. Applegate, is the first book in the Animorphs series. It is the first book narrated by Jake.

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

Offical DescriptionEdit

Sometimes weird things happen to people. Ask Jake. He may tell you about the night he and his friends saw the strange light in the sky. He may even tell you about what happened when they realized the "light" was only a plane -- from another planet.

Here's where Jake's story gets a little weird. He and his friends are told the human race is under attack, but they're given the chance to fight back.

Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias and Marco have the power to morph into any animal they choose. And they must use that power to outsmart an evil that is greater than anything the world has ever seen...

Plot SummaryEdit

Young teenagers Jake and Marco leave the mall one evening. On the way out, they meet Rachel and Cassie, who are together, and Tobias—all kids from their school—and decide to walk home together. While taking a shortcut through an abandoned construction site, an alien spacecraft lands nearby. The badly injured alien pilot, an Andalite named Prince Elfangor, emerges from the ship and explains to the kids that the Earth is being invaded in secret by a race of aliens called the Yeerks, a slug-like parasitic species who infest humans through their ear canals and take complete control of the human's body, turning them into what is called a Controller. The human controllers are still self-aware but the Yeerk in their head has complete control over their body and what they say. Elfangor tells them that more Andalites will not come to Earth for a year or more, and by then, Earth will already be completely taken over. To combat the Yeerks, he gives the humans morphing ability: the power to become any creature they touch by absorbing the creature's DNA. Elfangor warns them to never stay beyond two hours in a morph, or they will be trapped in that form forever. The Yeerks, led by Visser Three, arrive to kill Elfangor and eliminate all traces of him and his ship. The humans hide and watch, but are discovered and chased by the Yeerks. The group escapes shaken, but more or less unhurt.

The next morning, Tobias visits Jake and informs him that the previous night was not just a dream; he had already morphed his pet cat. The five kids meet at Cassie's farm, where a police officer arrives and informs them that a group of teenagers were sighted setting off fireworks in the abandoned construction site the previous night. He asks if they know anything about it, and the five of them realize that the police officer is a Controller. Later that day, Jake's older brother Tom expresses a similar interest in the teenagers at the construction site and presses Jake for information. Marco realizes—much to Jake's anger—that Tom is also a Controller. Tom invites Jake and Marco to a meeting of a local community club called The Sharing, which the teens quickly determine is a front for the Yeerks to acquire new hosts. They also discover that their assistant principal Mr. Chapman is the leader of The Sharing and a human-Controller.

The next day, Jake morphs into a green anole lizard to spy on Chapman, and discovers that there is an entrance to the Yeerk Pool—a large, underground control center where the Yeerks can feed and recuperate—in their school. The teenagers, newly christened as Animorphs (from Animal Morphers) by Marco, head to The Gardens, a large zoo and amusement park, to acquire some new, battle-capable morphs. That evening, they decide to infiltrate the Yeerk Pool in order to rescue Tom, but find that Cassie has been kidnapped by the policeman-Controller. With no time to plan a strategy, the four remaining Animorphs head into the Yeerk Pool. They manage to rescue Cassie, but find themselves outnumbered and outgunned by Visser Three and his Yeerks. Jake, Rachel, Marco, and Cassie barely escape along with a woman who is free. During the escape, the policeman-Controller is killed. Tobias is able to escape later, but has stayed in morph too long and gets stuck in morph as a red-tailed hawk. The Animorphs fail to rescue Tom, and Jake promises to keep fighting the Yeerks until the Andalites arrive.


Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:



Contributions to the Series' Story ArcEdit


Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake Golden Retriever (Homer), Green Anole Lizard, Siberian Tiger Golden Retriever (Homer), Green Anole Lizard, Siberian Tiger
Rachel African Elephant African Elephant
Cassie Horse Horse
Marco Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim) Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim)
Tobias Tabby Cat (Dude), Red-tailed hawk Tabby Cat (Dude), Red-tailed hawk (becomes trapped in morph)
Visser Three -- Antarean Bogg, Unnamed alien with eight arms, legs, and heads, capable of breathing fire


  • Jake uses thought-speak while in human form early on in the book to communicate with Tobias, but in all subsequent books, none of the Animorphs are able to do so, due to the fact that thought-speak is limited to morphs (for the Animorphs). Subsequent reprints, including the 2011 lenticular version, correct this mistake.
  • Tobias displays signs of injury after morphing his pet cat for the first time - with the cat scratching him before the morph. In later books, injuries were shown to heal after morphing, since morphing was based on DNA. This is also corrected in the 2011 reprint.
  • Visser Three's dialogue implies he's never encountered Elfangor before. However, The Andalite Chronicles reveals that Elfangor and Alloran were on a mission together; that Elfangor led to Alloran's infestation, and that Elfangor had faced off against Esplin 9466 (Visser Three) while he was in Alloran's body. However, this too is corrected in the 2011 reprint.


  • The cover quote is, "Some people never change. Some do..."
  • The inside front cover quote is, "Jake is changing..."
  • Jake acquires a green anole lizard, but never uses it again for the rest of the series.
  • Tobias acquires his cat Dude, and becomes the first out of the five to acquire a morph. However, at the end of this book, he loses his morphing ability after getting trapped as a hawk. Despite this, Dude's DNA still exists within him; however, he regains his morphing ability later on, he is not able to morph into Dude.
  • This was the 1st and only book cover to show 8 stages of a morph, starting with the following book (and beyond) only 5 stages were used, it's also 1 of 2 book covers to not show the full body of the character morphing the other being The Visitor.

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

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