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...
Young teenagers Jake and Marco are leaving the mall one evening after playing video games at the arcade. On their way out, they bump into Jake's cousin, Rachel, her best friend Cassie, and Tobias, a quiet and often bullied kid from school. The five of them decide to walk home together, they take a shortcut through an abandoned construction site when Tobias sees something in the sky, he tells the others to look up and they see a blue-white light flying in the sky. It was an alien spacecraft, and it was coming their way. It hovers above them and then lands nearby. Tobias calls out to the ship saying that its safe and a voice answers him, which the others hear as well. A doorway opens and out emerges the alien pilot, he looked like a blue centaur with no mouth, a set of eyes stalks on top of his head, and a scorpion-like tail. The kids see that he's badly injured and he will die. He warns them that Earth is being invaded by another alien race called the Yeerks, a slug-like parasitic race of aliens who infest life forms through their ear canals and take complete control of the mind and body, turning them into what is called a Controller. The alien's race, the Andalites, fight the Yeerks wherever they go throughtout the universe, they had hoped to stop them, but they were caught off-guard and lost. They have tracked down the Andalite and will be here soon to eliminated him and his ship. He tells them that more Andalites will come, but it will take a year or more for them to get Earth, and by then, it will already be completely taken over and the kids must warn others, but they knew no one would believe them. The Andalite then tells them to go into his ship and get a small blue cube. Jake is chosen and he goes to get the cube, the Andalite explains that the cube is a piece of Andalite technology that will allow the young humans to combat the Yeerks, it will give them the ability to morph: the power to become any creature just by touching and absorbing that creature's DNA. He warns them of dangers but there wasn't time to explain, they now had to decide whether to accept the power or not. As they decide, they see two red lights shoot across the sky, then turn in a circle and head towards them. It's was the Yeerks, they had to decide now, and they choose to accept the power. The Andalite tells them to press their hands against a side of the cube and they receive the power he tells to go, but not without one final warning: never stay beyond two hours in a morph, or they will be trapped in that form forever.
As the two Yeerk ships called Bug fighters start landing, a third ship, larger and black than the other two appears. The Andalite realizes its Visser Three, a Yeerk that has the power to morph. He tells the kids to save themselves, everyone except Tobias run, but he catches up. They hide and watch behind a low, crumbled wall as the Bug fighters and Visser Three's ship, which looks like medieval battle ax called a Blade ship lands. The Blade ship opens and out come reptilian-like creatures covered with blades, the Andalite explains that they're called Hork-Bajir, and despite their fearsome appearance, they're a peaceful race, but are now enslaved shock troops. Next came out massive centipede-like creatures called Taxxons, who are evil. They spread out, holding some kind of pistol weapon, and form a ring around the Andalite and his ship. One Hork-Bajir then comes straight up to the teens, they keep quiet, trying not to give away their hiding place. The Andalite tells them to have courage and that helps them with their as the Hork-Bajir moves away. Jake looks up to see the Hork-Bajir and Taxxons standing attention as Visser Three appears. He was an Andalite-Controller, meaning that he is the only Yeerk that controls an Andalite and thus, has the power to morph. Visser Three approaches the Andlatie, identifying him as Prince Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul. The Visser goes on to tell how the human race is unaware of the Yeerks and how easy it will be enslaving them all and once they're done, they'll move against the Andalite homeworld, where he will personaslly hunt down Elfangor's family and make them Controllers for his lieutenants. Elfangor then strikes, but is only able to hit Visser Three's shoulder, then suddenly, Elfangor's ship fired and destroyed a Bug fighter. The Controllers retaliated by firing at Elfangor's ship and disintegrate it. Three Hork-Bajir then grabs and holds down Elfangor as Visser Three begins to morph. He becomes a huge montrous beast called an Antarean Bogg and devours him, while the Controllers eliminate all traces of him and his ship.
Marco throws up, which catches the attention of a Hork-Bajir Controller. The group is chased by the yeerks, but escapes, shaken and 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, Dude. Jake then tries morphing; he acquires the DNA of his dog, Homer, and morphs into an exact replica. The five kids later 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, Chapman is the leader of The Sharing and a high-ranking 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 the combination of the words "Animal" and "Morphers") by Marco, head to The Gardens, a large zoo and amusement park, to acquire some new, battle-capable morphs.
Marco acquires a silverback gorilla named Big Jim, Jake acquires a male Siberian tiger.
That evening, they infiltrate the Yeerk pool in order to rescue Tom, but find that Cassie has been kidnapped by the same policeman-Controller. With no time to plan a strategy, the four remaining Animorphs head into the Yeerk Pool. They morph and battle through many Controllers, freeing the captive humans and rescuing Cassie, but soon find themselves outgunned when Visser Three appears and morphs a huge alien creature with eight arms, eight legs, eight heads, and breathed fire. Everyone heads up the stairs, some freed prisoners either get burned or get recaptured, and the visser is following them, but he's too big to fit through, but continues to shoot fireballs. Suddenly Tom speaks out, saying he won't be controlled again. He charges at Visser Three, but the Yeerk easily knocks him away. Jake then charges, biting and clawing into one of the visser's necks. Visser Three shoots two fireballs, which hit him and Jake continues on up the stairs.
The Animorphs (minus Tobias) barely escape, having only freed a single woman.
The next morning, Tobias flies into Jake's room in his red-tailed hawk morph. It turns out he was able to escape, but he had to hide in the cavern for a while and had stayed in morph too long and has become a nothlit, a being trapped in a morph. The Animorphs failed to rescue Tom, and Jake promises to keep fighting the Yeerks until the Andalites return.
- Jake (First Appearance)
- Rachel (First Appearance)
- Tobias (First Appearance)
- Cassie (First Appearance)
- Marco (First Appearance)
- Visser Three (First Appearance)
- Chapman (First Appearance)
- Various Hork-Bajir, Taxxon and Human-Controllers (First Appearance)
- Steve Berenson (First Appearance)
- Jean Berenson (First Appearance)
- Homer (First Appearance)
- Big Jim (First Appearance) (Only Appearance)
- Dude (First Appearance) (Only Appearance)
- Escafil device (First Appearance)
- Andalite fighter (First Appearance)
- Blade ship (First Appearance)
- Dracon beams (First Appearance)
- Kandrona (First Appearance)
Contributions to the Series' Story ArcEdit
- The main human characters are introduced.
- The Andalite-Yeerk War is introduced.
- The Animorphs' battle begins.
- Elfangor dies.
- Tobias is first trapped in his hawk morph.
|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|
|Marco||Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim)||Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim)|
|Tobias||Cat (Dude), Red-tailed hawk||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, but in all subsequent books, none of the Animorphs are able to do so.
- 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 a morphing.
- The cover quote is, "Some people never change. Some do..."
- The inside front cover quote is, "Jake is changing..."