Review: The Hork-Bajir Chronicles

Series: Animorphs: #22.5

Series: Animorphs Chronicles: #2

Oh, I do enjoy the Animorphs Chronicles. The Andalite Chronicles were good, but if anything, The Hork-Bajir Chronicles are even better! If nothing else, there’s a lot less time travel. 😄

In this one, we get not only the story of the Hork-Bajir, but to a large extent the story of how the Yeerks came to be as well:

Alloran turned all four of his eyes on my father. <Prince Seerow, you are relieved of duty.>

<You can’t relieve me!> my father cried.

<When a commander has become incapacitated due to injury or mental defect, his subordinates may relieve him,> Alloran quoted from the regulations.

<What mental defect?> my father demanded.

<Stupidity,> Alloran said harshly. <The stupidity of kindness. Charity to potential enemies. You’re a fool, Seerow. A soft, sentimental, well-meaning fool. And now my men are dead and the Yeerks are loose in the galaxy. How many will die before we can bring this contagion under control? How many will die for Seerow’s kindness?>

It’s Alloran and his family (especially his daughter) sent to the Hork-Bajir world–and them that end up directly participating in the terrible mess that we all knew had to be coming.

But up until then, I love the worldbuilding in this one. The Hork-Bajir world is weird. I love the idea of a shattered world and giant (kilometers tall) trees keeping it barely habitable. I love the (minor spoilers) reasons why the world and the Hork-Bajir are the way they are.

And then eventually, I love the conflict. Andalite versus Hork-Bajir, not fighting, but morally and ethically. And the Yeerks in all their soon to be overwhelming numbers. It’s an invasion rather unlike that of Earth–far more out in the open.

As an added bonus, our first point of view of how the Yeerks do their thing:

My sonar found the head quite easily, of course. And I’d been taught how to pinpoint the opening into the head by extending two palps.

It was quite a small entryway. I had to squeeze myself down and work my way slowly inside the ear canal. From there on, it was all by feel. My sonar didn’t work, of course. And the smells encountered were unfamiliar, useless.

But then, after what seemed far too long a time, my palps encountered a surface alive with electricity!

The brain. I could feel the activity, the snapping neurons, the arcs of microvoltage between synapses. I had to flatten myself all the way. My palps sought for trenches, gaps, openings around the brain. And I found them. I pushed my body down inside each wrinkle of the brain. Just as I’d been taught to do.

And slowly at first, then faster and faster, I began to make contact! I felt the neurons connecting to me!

Still… a bit weird. But it’s fascinating to see for once.

As I mentioned, one of my favorites, at least up until we get to The Ellimist Chronicles.