The Solution is the twenty-second book in the Animorphs series, written by K.A. Applegate. It is narrated by Rachel. It is the last book in the David trilogy.

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


Official description

David, the newest Animorph, is not what he appears. His need to control the other Animorphs and Ax is all he thinks about. And the things he does are starting to break up the group.

Rachel and the others know that time is running out. The newest battle against the Yeerks is the most important one yet. And it's not one that will wait. Winning this fight could mean slowing down the invasion. But no one knows what to do with David. Because the newest Animorph is more than just a little problem. He's deadly...

Plot Summary

After having a bizarre dream, Rachel is woken by Ax. He explains Jake's express orders to summon her. That decision bothers her, but her qualms are silenced when Ax breaks her the news of Tobias's probable death. Rachel is willing to do what Jake expected her to do. They fly to Marco's house. Ax tries to fly through his window, but is promptly knocked out by Marco - or rather, David in Marco's morph. Rachel allows David to morph to golden eagle, and leads him on a chase through town. Rachel plans to lure him into the power lines, electrocuting him. But David outmaneuvers her, and almost kills her. Fortunately, David is attacked by a hawk, which turns out to be Tobias, with David thinking that it is a random red-tailed hawk.

Relieved that Tobias is alive, the Animorphs plan how to trap the traitor. At school, they're surprised, though, when David, in Marco's body, demands the Blue Box, threatening to betray their identities to the Yeerks. Cassie tries to reason with him, but to no avail. Making no progress, David leaves, with Rachel in pursuit. In a secluded spot on the school grounds, Rachel tells him that even if David betrays them, she'd still have time to make short work of him and his parents before she would be silenced by the Yeerks. David tries to attack her, but she pins him down. Having made her threat, she releases him. And Rachel becomes enraged with the way Jake is manipulating her violent tendencies.

Book 22 inside cover rat

Inside cover of Book 22, showing Rachel in rat morph.

The Animorphs formulate one final attempt to doom the Yeerk's plan to make controllers of some of the G8 leaders. They morph dolphins and travel to the shore of the Marriott resort. Then they morph elephants and rhinoceroses, and ravage the resort huts the heads of state reside in. They leave a screaming Visser Three (morphed as 'Tony'), and retreat into the ocean, morphed as dolphins. The plan is a success, but they encounter David, in orca morph. Here David accuses Rachel of threatening to kill his family, and Rachel is hurt by her teammates' silence. While he is threatening the Animorphs, Cassie slips away and remorphs into a humpback whale, because that is the best morph any of them to defeat David's orca. After an exhausting battle, Cassie's whale morph finally drives David away.

Rachel returns home and collapses in her bed, but is almost immediately pestered by her sister, wanting some comfort regarding Saddler's grave condition. Rachel walks into the bathroom, and is confronted by an invisible David. He challenges her to a personal war, which she accepts. Rachel then accuses Jake of not standing with her against David, and that Jake thinks she is a sociopath. At the hospital, the family visits their dying child. It becomes apparent that he is far from dying; he'd somehow miraculously made a full recovery. Jake immediately suspects David. 'Saddler' then mocks Rachel and Jake, demanding the Blue Box. Rachel and Jake reconcile, and then begin concocting a scheme to beat David at his own game.

The Animorphs have a mock discussion about a Blue Box that breaks into smaller pieces, and Rachel pretends to have been morally defeated by David, being mocked by Marco the whole time. They meet David at a Taco Bell, and agree to lead him to the Blue Box, allowing him to verbally abuse Rachel some more. Rachel and David fly to the abandoned construction site, with the other Animorphs following close behind. David traps the Animorphs as cockroaches in a Pepsi bottle, and he and Rachel morph rats. They venture into the pipes to retrieve each 'piece'. David soon figures out the Animorphs' elaborate trap, and Rachel tries to escape, barely doing so. The instant she escapes, a cage door is dropped, trapping David. Tobias swoops down and reveals to David that he is in fact, still alive and freed the other Animorphs from the bottle.

Rachel and the others wait, with David in the cage, the remaining about of time until David is trapped forever as a rat nothlit. Cassie had plotted out all of David's emotions, gauged his inflating ego, and knew the sociopath would select Rachel as his victim. The Animorphs specifically left a bottle near the site where Rachel and David would go after the blue box so that David would be inspired to use it to trap Ax, Cassie, Jake, and Marco in cockroach morph while Rachel and David go after the blue box pieces.

Rachel and Ax stay behind with David after the other Animorphs leave. Rachel because she says David's anguish won't bother her, and Ax so he can keep track of time and make sure David remains trapped as a rat. Rachel and Ax use their bird of prey morphs to carry David out to a desolate rocky outcrop a mile offshore where many other rats reside. They leave him there, his thought-speak pleading and cursing trailing behind them. Later, Rachel hears someone at school saying the place where they dropped David is haunted, and that you can hear David's cries.


Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Contributions to the Series' Story Arc

  • David is trapped in rat morph.
  • The Animorphs maroon David.
  • Rachel realizes that she possesses violent tendencies beyond a simple love of excitement, and that Jake is disturbed and concerned by this.


Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake Peregrine Falcon, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Rhinoceros, Cockroach
Rachel Great Horned Owl, Bald Eagle, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, African Elephant, White Rat
Cassie African Elephant Osprey, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, African Elephant, Cockroach
Marco Rhinoceros Osprey, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Rhinoceros, Cockroach
Tobias African Elephant Bottlenose Dolphin, African Elephant
Ax African Elephant Northern Harrier, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, African Elephant, Human (main), Cockroach
David Human (Marco), Orca, Human (Saddler), Rattlesnake, White Rat Golden Eagle, Human (Marco), Orca, Human (Saddler), Rattlesnake, White Rat (trapped in morph)
Visser Three -- Human (Tony)


  • This is the seventh book to feature a cover morph that was not acquired in the book. Rachel acquired her rat morph in The Secret, while helping Cassie with a science experiment; David did acquire the morph in this book.
  • The front cover quote is, "A mistake has been made. His name is David...."
  • The inside front cover quote is, "Hickory, dickory, dock...."
  • During Rachel's bizarre dream at the beginning of the book, she unwillingly morphs into an elephant and accidentally crushes a boy in an orange hoodie. Someone in the building cries out, "Oh My God! She killed Kenny!", an obvious reference to South Park.
  • Various times throughout the book, Rachel (via her narration) mentions the Animorphs are protecting the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, and Japan. Mysteriously, the leader of Germany was dropped after #21, The Threat.
  • Rachel adds at the end that they never heard from David again; however, she and David were reunited in #48, The Return.
  • ANIBASE : The dedication for this book reads "For Jeff Sampson and all of his friends". The "and all his friends" part has a pretty interesting story behind it: K.A. wanted to dedicate this book to all of the Animorphs fans who took the time to create web pages for her book series. Unfortunately, legal issues prevented her from naming actual fan sites so K.A. ended up changing the dedication, but the meaning is still there. If you're on of those amazing kids who made a website for Animorphs (like Jeff Sampson), then this book is dedicated to you!


International Covers

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
TV Tie-Ins Meet the Stars of Animorphs

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