Plot summary[ edit ] The Yeerks have finished their anti-morphing ray and want to test it. Rachel was supposed to be with him in fly morph to be able to rescue him and tell the rest where the lab was. Tobias, alone and trapped, tries to get demorphed unsuccessfully since he is already demorphed. He is then tortured by the sadistic Taylor with a machine that controls the parts of the brain that induce pain and pleasure. He almost goes insane and nearly dies after receiving heightened, alternating doses of painful and pleasant sensations and memories.
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Shelves: childhood-memories , animorphs , own , child-soldiers This book was so incredibly difficult to read. Usually, I have a hard time slowing down as I read these. Not this one. No, this one I could not not read slowly. It hurt to read, and not for any deficiency in the writing or the story.
It hurt to read because of what happens, what Tobias suffers on this mission. If we thought he had already suffered and lost enough — getting trapped as a red-tailed hawk, having to survive as a hawk, gaining back his morphing ability but staying a hawk, learning about who his father is, falling in love with Rachel despite now being different species — that was just the internal suffering.
That was just his characterization and personal development. To backtrack to the happy side, though, there are some very touching moments between Tobias and Rachel at the school dance. Those are the lights on either side of this dark tunnel of a book. Now comes the physical suffering, the pain that comes from being in a war. The pain that cuts deep into the soul as it cuts into your body. The pain that can break you as nothing else can. He was emotionally and psychologically scarred before, but now he is physically and even more psychologically scarred after the trials he undergoes in this book.
Hawk is the body I have to keep if I want to help the other Animorphs and Ax combat the Yeerk invasion. Why was Rachel ignoring reality? He keeps her human. A generous estimate: eighteen years. I looked at the floor. In an instant, the bulletin board display had thrown our friendship into the harsh light of reality. Rachel was a girl who could, on occasion, become a bird of prey. I was a hawk who could, on occasion, become human.
And the harsh reality of their own lives as human and hawk. Trapped as a person who was no longer me. To become anything else would be to sacrifice himself needlessly. Our ears. Our air force. Like Joan of Arc without her sword. It felt good to hear Jake say I was indispensable. But with Jake you could never be sure anymore what was sincere. And what was just expedient. What you saw with Jake was what you got. Jake needed me as one of the Animorphs. He liked me, respected me, was happy for me when I was happy.
And, when he had to, he used me without regards for anything but winning. And they are all seeing the same thing: a leader who says what needs to be said, and does what needs to be done, in order to win. I want my brilliance to appear unstudied. You are not Andalite, exactly, but you carry the Andalite heritage. I am glad you will have that DNA in you from now on. It is a very unique genetic mixture. It is true. I honestly admire my culture. There are things I would like to teach you, to share with you if you are interested.
I wanted so much to stay cool. To make it seem like I could take it or leave it. But this was something, finally, that I really did have a right to. I was part Andalite, even if not genetically. God knew how.
Or at least [t]he Ellimist knew how. But I was. And it excited me. You have impaled the tree with the tip of your blade. That is not the desired result. Nice job, Ax, just have Tobias plunge right into all this, hm? Do you want out? You take care of yourself.
I mean…be careful. Whatever happens? If it comes down to it, save yourself and forget the stupid mission. She was concerned about me. Which was good. I could keep my cool. Inconceivable arrogance on our parts. We had underestimated our foe. A fatal error.
The hawk brain, the animal part that still, even now, lived apart from me, untouched by human reason, began a low, defeated moan. A death moan. This is a hard wake-up call. We had met many times, [Visser Three] and I.
But visible through those Andalite eyes was an evil that still struck fear in my heart. Still gripped me with hopelessness and despair. Perhaps it was the knowledge that this Yeerk had managed something that years of battle had been unable to do: take down the great Elfangor. Was he just lucky?
Or was he really smarter than we were? Would he always triumph? Would we never be able to end the invasion? Or at least night and twilight. Me, the human me, the boy inside kept screaming, tell her, tell her! But the hawk…the hawk suffered dumb, helpless. The hawk had no way out. And already, for the hawk, the pain had become a fact of life. Life was hunger.
Life was killing. Life was danger. Life was pain. The hawk could manage it. Not on a conscious level, of course, but by shutting down. Keeping alive on a sort of primitive autopilot. Only essential parts of the organism were maintained. No contemplation. No decision. Not even observation. Just survival. The boy Tobias screamed. The hawk Tobias had already begun to accept the pain. Visser Three, plotting my death. I was a dupe. False hope.
Shelves: childhood-memories , animorphs , own , child-soldiers This book was so incredibly difficult to read. Usually, I have a hard time slowing down as I read these. Not this one. No, this one I could not not read slowly. It hurt to read, and not for any deficiency in the writing or the story. It hurt to read because of what happens, what Tobias suffers on this mission. If we thought he had already suffered and lost enough — getting trapped as a red-tailed hawk, having to survive as a hawk, gaining back his morphing ability but staying a hawk, learning about who his father is, falling in love with Rachel despite now being different species — that was just the internal suffering.