The Journey is the forty-second book in the Animorphs series, written by K.A. Applegate. It is known to have been ghostwritten by Emily Costello. It is primarily narrated by Rachel and secondarily by Marco.
Sometimes your worst problems are the ones you can't actually see. Like the Helmacrons. These less-than-an-inch-high aliens are back, and they want the morphing cube more than ever. Obviously, Rachel, the other Animorphs and Ax can't let them take the cube. But when Rachel tries to stop the Helmacrons from stealing it, Marco gets in the way and ends up with tiny aliens, well, up his nose.
Rachel and the others can't let the Helmacrons stay inside Marco's head. They're armed, and could cause serious damage. So the Animorphs and Ax come up with a plan to evict the Helamcrons from their new residence. But it involves a shrinking ray and the obvious: Marco's nose...
A boy takes a picture of the Animorphs while they are demorphing in an alley. They track the boy down and decide to keep watch on him. When they go to Cassie's barn to reconvene, the Helmacrons show up and demand the morphing cube because they need it to charge their ship. In the battle that ensues, the Helmacrons leave the ship and enter Marco's nose. The Animorphs decide to use the Helmacron ship to shrink themselves so they can follow the Helmacrons and stop them from killing Marco from the inside. When they shrink, they realize that they are too small to hear the speech of full-size humans, which didn't happen the last time they were shrunk. When they catch up to the Helmacrons inside Marco's nose, they notice that they have been shrunk to 1/100th the size of the Helmacrons, who tweaked the shrinking device before they left their ship knowing that the Animorphs would shrink themselves so they could go after them.Meanwhile, Marco is bored of just sitting around and decides to go over to the apartment of the boy who took their picture to try to steal his camera. He goes up the fire escape and enters through a window, but before he can even pick up the camera he gets bitten by a dog and flees home. Rachel falls down into Marco's stomach, and the Helmacrons as well as the rest of the Animorphs follow her, where they are shortly burnt by stomach acid before morphing sharks and following the Helmacrons into the bloodstream. In the bloodstream, Rachel notices a pathogen while looking at all of the different types of blood cells around them. They realize that when the Helmacrons reach the heart, they can stop it from beating with their weapons.
Marco goes back to the apartment a second time, and while he is there someone comes home. He soon finds himself trapped in the closet and against Jake's orders, morphs a cockroach. The Helmacrons shoot at the cockroach's heart, after which everyone believes Marco to be dead until they remember that cockroaches can withstand severe trauma. In the meantime, the Animorphs get the weapons away from the Helmacrons by biting their legs. Marco is indeed alive, and they manage to get him to morph back to human. Holding the Helmacrons at gunpoint, they all return to the barn, and recharge the Helmacron's ship with the morphing cube. The Helmacrons leave earth again after promising to never come back. Later at home, Rachel discovers that the pathogen she saw in Marco's bloodstream was rabies, and his near death experience actually saved him from the virus. Rachel considers calling him, but quickly dismisses it.
|Morpher||Morphs Acquired||Morphs Used|
|Jake||--||Siberian Tiger, Great Horned Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Bat, Hammerhead Shark|
|Rachel||--||African Elephant, Bald Eagle, Grizzly Bear, Hammerhead Shark|
|Cassie||--||Wolf, Great Horned Owl, Bat, Humpback Whale, Hammerhead Shark|
|Marco||--||Gorilla, Great Horned Owl, Cockroach, Seagull|
|Tobias||--||Hork-Bajir (Ket Halpak), Bat, Hammerhead Shark|
|Ax||--||Great Horned Owl, Northern Harrier, Bat, hammerhead shark|
- The cover quote is, "Rachel is about to go where no human has gone before...."
- The inside cover quote is, "An elephant never forgets. Especially this elephant...."
- This is the third book in the mainstream, numbered series, to be narrated by more than one character, the second being The Prophecy and the first being The_Departure.
- The Helmacrons use the word Jackanapes. It is an insulting name, used by the Helmacron Males to describe the Helmacron females. Jackanapes could be a play on the bad word jackass.
- ANIBASE: The Journey marked the return of the teeny Hemacrons (who first appeared in The Suspicion), aliens on a quest to take over the universe despite their diminutive size. "About half the fans really hate the Helmacrons," Katherine Applegate says. "Me, I loved the two Helmacron books. It can't be all dark and serious, people. You need some dumb fun every now and then."