|This article is written from a Real World point of view.|
There is a new Animorph. And he's arrived just in time, because the Yeerks are preparing their biggest takeover ever. The ultimate target: the world's most powerful leaders gathered together in one place. What better way to get into the minds of humans? Literally
At first, David joins the fight with a vengeance. But there is definitely something wrong. Because he's starting to break the rules. Taking risks that could get them all captured. Or killed. The Animorphs don't know what to do. Because there was a time when the Yeerks were their greatest enemy. That's about to change...
After falling from the Blade ship, the Animorphs are snagged from mid-air by Rachel and Tobias, in their respective eagle and hawk morphs. They land on the beach, needing a plan to infiltrate the Marriott resort. Jake becomes aware of the tensions between David and Marco, and is disturbed by David's unnecessary excesses. The team morphs into seagulls, and spy out the area, crawling with security agents armed to the teeth and accompanied by dogs. They're zapped by a security man wearing sunglasses with weak Dracon beam emitters built into them. Jake tells them to leave. Upon his return home, his parents tell Jake and his brother Tom that their obnoxious cousin, Saddler, was gravely injured in a car accident, and that they were leaving town to spend time with his parents. Jake is presented with the opportunity to advance his plans. Unfortunately, that night, David disappears from Cassie's barn. Jake morphs into his dog, Homer, and tracks David's scent to an inn. David had morphed into a golden eagle, smashed the window with a rock and entered without paying. Jake warns him of the consequences of this action. David doesn't hide his contempt, but leaves with Jake anyway.Cassie formulates a plan to infiltrate the resort. Jake morphs into a dragonfly, while the other Animorphs, with the exception of Tobias, morph into fleas and latch onto Jake's body. Tobias guides them to the hotel. Inside, Jake tries to find the banquet hall where the speeches and infestations will take place. Inside an air vent, he gets caught in a spider web. Terrified, Jake demorphs, and the others follow. Cassie is badly wounded when Jake's demorphing creates a human artery that forces more blood into her flea body than it is prepared to hold. He releases them, and they begin demorphing. Marco is stuck mid-morph, as a giant flea. They begin to despair, but Cassie guides Marco and enables him to demorph. Marco then becomes emotional, something very unlike him.
Jake inspects the banquet room, and notices the number of holograms in place. Here they discover how the Yeerks plan to infest each world leader, having infiltrated the facility by Visser Three acquiring and morphing the White House Chief of Staff (Although there are two schools of thought about why he would do this; Ax theorises that it was because there would be no way for the man to have access to a Kandrona if he is infested and something goes wrong with the mission, while Cassie thinks that it is simply Visser Three's ego wanting him to take the key role in a plan that could result in the Yeerks winning the war for Earth at last). Now the Animorphs need a plan to thwart it. They return to the resort, knock out the guards, morph into them, and reenter the banquet. Soon they realise they'd been deceived, and had fallen into Visser Three's trap. David is frightened and turns against the Animorphs in order to preserve his own life, Cassie having to attack him to stop him revealing who they are. It isn't long, though, before they discover that the Hork-Bajir surrounding them were only holograms. They took the Visser hostage, and withdrew. The Animorphs, now disgusted and angry with David, try to plan their next move before it's too late. But during the night, David returns to his old home in eagle morph. Jake and Ax pursue him, only to find that David had apparently killed Tobias. David explains that the Animorphs weren't treating him as an equal, and that he'd have to take matters into his own hands. Enraged, Jake engages David, only to be ambushed by Hork-Bajir. Ax rescues Jake, and escape. David then leads Jake to the mall, and they each morph their battle morphs, lion and tiger respectively. After a brief duel, David severs Jake's carotid artery, leaving him to bleed to death.
- The world leaders
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Jake||Dragonfly, Human||Seagull, Bat, Golden Retriever (Homer), Dragonfly, Peregrine Falcon, Random Human Controller, Siberian Tiger|
|Rachel||Flea||Seagull, Great Horned Owl, Flea, Bald Eagle, Grizzly Bear|
|Cassie||--||Seagull, Great Horned Owl, Flea, Osprey, Wolf|
|Marco||Flea, Human||Seagull, Flea, Cobra (Spawn), Human (random male Controller)|
|Ax||Seagull, Flea, Northern Harrier, Human (random male Controller)|
|David||Seagull, Flea, Human||Seagull, Golden Eagle, Flea, African Lion, Human (random male Controller)|
|Visser Three||--||Human (Tony)|
- The cover quote is, "The newest Animorph has a secret. And it's not good...."
- The inside cover quote is, "Jake's really gone to the dogs...."
- This is the sixth book in which the cover art does not depict a morph acquired in the book.
- This book is part 2 of a three-part arc called "The David Trilogy."
- This book was the very first to have the "watch Animorphs on TV" logo. The show premiered on Nickelodeon the next month and lasted for 26 episodes in two seasons. The logo disappeared from covers after #24: The Suspicion, but returned on #30: The Reunion with a new look and continued to appear on every single cover for the rest of the series.
- When Cassie says, "I seem to remember you morphing to a tiger and running around on people's roofs, Jake", it can be assumed that this is about Jake arriving at David's house in the middle of #20: The Discovery even though we never actually see this happening. However, it is possible that she meant Jake had done so earlier on, shortly after gaining his morphing powers.
- After David pulls the fire alarm and is almost caught, he rolls underneath the table and begins to morph into his African Lion morph, despite Jake telling him not to. Jake ends up grabbing David's mane, but then realizes to himself that as it is David's first time in a lion morph, he may not be able to control its instincts. However, Jake had deduced that David had morphed lion earlier on, after leaving Cassie's barn to break into a Holiday Inn, so it would have been David's second time morphing the lion.