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.


Released: December 1999
Pages: 129
Cover Art by David B. Mattingly

Front Cover (Hi-Res)
Inside Cover (Hi-Res)



Inside Cover UK Cover  
U.S. Inside Cover U.K. Cover French Cover  


  • Promotional Tie-in: This book was released with an exclusive Animorphs "zipper tag" attached (picture below). They were packaged with the initial releases of this book, in a limited amount. The rest came without it.
  • ANIBASE: Here are some comments from Katherine Applegate about what she was striving to do with this book:

    "This one was cool. I wanted to show that Rachel, although the ultimate warrior, is not a leader. At least not as much of one as Jake. I wasn't picking on Rachel, just showing that different people have different gifts, and making the point that a wise general knows when to back off."

  • The Garatrons were introduced as a new species that the Yeerks were currently invading, however we never heard from them again past this book.
  • Starting with this book, the rest of the books that were published until the end of the series were noticably thinner in page numbers. However, this was not because K.A wasn't writing enough, but because of another problem entirely. Jeff Sampson, from Morphz, had this to say:

    "The reason the books are shorter is actually something rather unexpected -- K.A. switched from Word Perfect to Word, and the version she uses drops entire paragraphs down to a lower page. The manuscripts look the same length to K.A. -- but in print, the books are about 20-25 pages shorter! Not only that, but her son, Jake, likes to mess with the settings and she's pretty sure he must have messed with something in Word. "


ANIBASE: In this book we met The Garatron Inspector, sent to Earth by the Council of Thirteen to check up on Visser Three. The Inspector fully expected to become a member of the council, but didn't count on an Animorph in cobra morph injecting him with deadly venom.


Jake None.
Rachel Cheetah.
Cassie Cheetah.
Marco Cheetah.
Tobias None.
Ax Cheetah.
Visser Three Unnamed Creature.

Visser Three's Unnamed Creature
Basically a pile of putrid smelly fat.

With their centaur-like appearance, blue skin and fur, and mouthless faces, Garatrons look like long lost cousins of the Andalites. But, unlike the Andalites, Garatrons have no blades on their tails, heads shaped like a bike racer's helmet, and can move around at speeds so fast that they make cheetahs look slow. The Garatrons were supposed to be a new Controller species, but they were never seen again -- on Earth, anyway -- after the Animorphs took down the Garatron Inspector.





Bonus Zipper Tag
Zipper Tag Cover



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A big credit to Jeff Sampson for helping build and write the Anibase, which provided much of the inside information towards the series.

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