When Jake has to leave town for a family thing, the other Animorphs and Ax figure life will pretty much be normal until he gets back. But when Tobias discovers Visser Three's newest feeding place, the kids decide they have to check it out.
But there's no assigned leader. Now Rachel, Tobias, Cassie, Marco, and Ax have another problem: Who will be the best one for the job? Because being in charge isn't just guts and glory. It's about making decisions that will mean the difference between life...and death.
Plot SummaryEditJake goes on vacation, Rachel becomes leader of the Animorphs (much to Marco's distaste). During a failed attempt to kill Visser Three using cheetah morphs, they learn that he is being inspected by the Controller of a Garatron, a superhumanly-fast alien that physically resembles an Andalite. So they attempt to discredit Visser Three in front of the Inspector, who represents the Council of Thirteen, by attacking various known-Controller-operated or-owned businesses.
The first attack is at a news station, where they go in without any recon, as suggested by Marco. Rachel notices a tour group passing by during their attack and learns later with Cassie, by watching a store's television, that an old man with a heart condition dies of a cardiac arrest during the attack on the station.
Her recklessness, however, almost kills Cassie when she is captured in morph by the Yeerks. But, with some encouragement from Marco, Rachel leads a rescue mission where Marco, in cobra morph, poisons the Inspector, who attacks after some careful prodding by Visser Three. With its enhanced metabolism, the effects of the poison rapidly take its toll on the Garatron, and he dies. Afterward, Rachel talks to Jake, who returns home from his vacation.
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Rachel||Cheetah||Bald Eagle, Cheetah, Grizzly Bear, Polar Bear|
|Cassie||Cheetah||Osprey, Cheetah, Wolf, Polar Bear|
|Marco||Cheetah||Osprey, Cheetah, Silverback Gorilla, Polar Bear, Cobra|
|Ax||Cheetah||Northern Harrier, Cheetah, Human (Main), Polar Bear|
|Visser Three||--||Unnamed Muck Monster|
- This book was sold in a clear cellophane wrapper, also containing a small plastic keychain featuring the often-used 'A' logo.
- According to the Anibase, K. A. Applegate used this book to stress the differences in individual strengths and weaknesses of the Animorphs, using Rachel's lack of leadership abilities (despite her heroic warrior abilities) as an example.
- The front cover quote is, "Jake's not around. Who will take his place?" This was the second cover quote to end with a question mark.
- The inside front cover quote is, "The time has come....".
- Cassie says she has a niece who likes Blue's Clues, but that's not true. Cassie is an only child. (Citation needed.)