|This article is written from a Real World point of view.|
- "Nice to hear your voice again, Andalite. The Andalite with the power to stay in morph for more than the two-hour time limit. Your voice brings back such sweet memories. I learned a lot about you during our time together, Andalite. I saw your mind. I saw your courage dribble away. I would enjoy finishing you now. Breaking you. Right here and right now. You think you're strong, but I know you're weak. It would take seconds! But this time, Andalite, it's your cooperation I require. I need you and your fellow Andalites. I need you to help me destroy Visser Three."
- ―Taylor to Tobias
The Test, published in June 2000 and written by Ellen Geroux based on an outline by K.A. Applegate, is the forty-third book in the Animorphs series. It is the tenth book narrated by Tobias and the fifth book with Tobias as the sole narrator.
Tobias, the other Animorphs, and Ax have seen things so bizarre that no sane person would believe their story. No one would believe that aliens have taken over the Earth, and are in the process of infesting as many humans as possible. No one could believe the battles and missions and losses these six kids have had to deal with. And it's not over yet.
Tobias has been captured by the same human-Controller that nearly tortured him to death once before. She claims that now she's a part of the Yeerk peace movement. That she just needs a favor. Tobias isn't sure what to believe, but he knows that if the Animorphs and Ax don't find him soon, what he believes won't matter anymore...
This section needs a rewrite
Tobias discovers a a missing child lost in the woods. He leads the boy's father to his son. Throughout the book Tobias deals with PTSD from the torture he endured at the hands of the sadistic sub-visser, Taylor. He continues to question his own strength and resolve.
Taylor, claiming she is now part of a rebel Yeerk faction, enlists Tobias to try and sabotage the Yeerk pool. All of the other Animorphs, except for Cassie, who declines on moral grounds, accompany him and Ax as they dig a tunnel to the pool. In order to dig a tunnel to the Yeerk pool, Tobias and Ax alternate turns in Taxxon morph, which has a nearly uncontrollable constant hunger. It is discovered that Taylor has been working for Visser Three, and sets off a gas explosion. Cassie is able to turn off the gas from its control station, injuring several humans in the process. She is once again distraught by the violence she has had to use to save her friends. Taylor is presumably killed in the explosion.
- Visser Three (Mentioned Only)
- Crayak (Mentioned Only)
- Council of Thirteen (Mentioned Only)
- Visser One (Mentioned Only)
- Bobby McIntire
- Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul (Mentioned Only)
- Tom (Mentioned Only)
- Eva (Mentioned Only)
- Mr. Tidwell (Mentioned Only)
- Illim (Mentioned Only)
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic
- Yeerk pool
- The Sharing's Community Center (Mentioned Only)
- Leera (Mentioned Only)
- Anati homeworld (Mentioned Only)
- Andalite homeworld (Mentioned Only)
- Tobias is struck by a golden eagle after using thought-speak to guide a father to his missing son, after which he is placed in veterinary care. His actions illicit media attention, causing the Yeerks to capture him.
- Tobias finds himself under the custody of Taylor, the sub-visser who tortured him, who asks for the Animorphs' cooperation to use a natural gas pipeline to destroy the Yeerk pool, killing not only the Yeerks in the pool but the hosts as well.
- Cassie refuses to participate in a mission that would cause the death of thousands of people and opts out.
- Tobias and Ax acquire and morph Taxxons to dig the tunnel, but are betrayed by Taylor, who triggers the gas in an effort to kill the Animorphs as well.
- The gas is shut off by Cassie, who had discovered that the majority of the hosts at the pool were members of the Yeerk Peace Movement and that Taylor was working in tandem with Visser Three, who planned to eliminate the peace faction and the 'Andalite bandits' in one fell swoop, whom he planned to blame for the attack on the pool. As all the other Animorphs are in the tunnel, this forces Cassie to fight her way to the pumping station alone, beating multiple human-Controllers to the brink of death in order to turn off the gas and save the lives of her friends.
- Tobias begins to wonder whether he might have intentionally trapped himself in red-tailed hawk morph on some level as a means of escaping his human life.
- Taylor mentions to Tobias that the Yeerks' invasion of the Anati homeworld, supervision of which was given to Visser One in VISSER in exchange for suspending her death sentence, is floundering.
- It is revealed that Ax repairs and refurbishes laptops, which he then sells to a computer store, in order to earn money.
|Morpher||Morphs Acquired||Morphs Used|
|Jake||--||Siberian Tiger, Wolf, Peregrine Falcon|
|Rachel||--||Grizzly Bear, Tomcat (Fluffer McKitty), Bald Eagle|
|Tobias||Human (Taylor), Taxxon||Flea, Human (Taylor), Human (himself), Andalite (Ax), Taxxon, Brown Bat|
|Marco||--||Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim), Osprey, Wolf|
|Ax||Taxxon||Seagull, Human (Main), Great Horned Owl, Taxxon, Northern Harrier|
- The cover quote is, "Tobias is about to face his biggest fear...."
- The inside cover quote is, "Surprise, surprise...."
- This marks the fourteenth time that an Animorph acquires a human morph, not counting Ax's acquisition of a random human in the alternate timeline presented in Back to Before.
- This also marks the first time that an Animorph acquires a human morph of the opposite sex.
- ANIBASE: This book featured a new Tobias cover model. Ursula Albano, the art director for Animorphs shared this story with us about the discovery of the new Tobias:"We couldn't find a kid in time for the shoot, so the photographer asked the agency to send over any old kid to stand in. Our artist, David Mattingly, would alter him digitally to fit the character. Well, a boy shows up kind of out of nowhere, skateboard in hand (he lives in the neighborhood) and a knit hat pulled down practically to his eyes. When he pulled his hat off, we knew we found the perfect Tobias. Tonya (the editor for Animorphs) and I just loved him. He was blonder than the first Tobias, but was perfect. He was Tobias. A happy accident from a desperate situation."
- Jake mentions Ax making contact with the Andalite homeworld, a callback to The Alien. Tobias also references the events of The Sickness, recalling the instance Cassie morphed a Yeerk.
- Taylor doesn't tell the Animorphs what time to meet at Borders, yet they have their meeting as the bookstore opens.
- Marco states that they have to meet Taylor in a human morph in order to prevent their identities from being exposed, but then claims that he cannot go as his human self since he believes he would attract female attention; Marco's regular self would not count as a 'human morph'.
- Tobias's line on p45 is written as if he spoke it verbally, despite the fact that he is in his red-tailed hawk form.
- On p91, Jake tells Tobias that Ax managed to modify Taylor's Dracon beam to prevent her from firing past the third setting. However, Ax never had a chance to gain access to her weapon nor did he possess the time to modify it without her knowledge.
- While in the manhole, Ax gives Tobias' fur a trim to prevent Taylor from realizing that the two Andalites are identical. Despite the fact that they are being hidden by the other Animorphs, once they dispersed, Taylor would have noticed the Andalite fur on the ground.
- While the back cover summary states that Taylor is claiming to be part of the Yeerk Peace Movement, Taylor never states that in the book itself, instead claiming to be representing a rebel faction intent of overthrowing the current regime in favor of a new democracy.