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Graphic Novel Review: Animorphs #3: The Encounter by K.A. Applegate, Michael Grant, and Chris Grine

Hey all, Sam here.

It’s the first of April, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to do some sort of joke post here on Free State of Geek. Well….at least not this year. A good joke or prank would require planning on our part, and we’ve been a bit busy recently. I guess this is going to be my last Animorph graphic novel review…for a while. Based on a Google search, it seems that #4 will be out in December 2023, and then #5 and #6 are supposed to be out in Summer and Fall 2024. I hope they continue to do well. I’d love to continue with these adaptions through the whole series.

But…that’s going to be too long to wait for me to go without continuing the series. So, here’s the question: do I switch over to reviewing each novel, or do I read them without review and then read the graphic novels and review them as they’re released?

Okay, let’s go ahead and jump into the review.

The wildly popular, bestselling sci-fi series by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant returns in a new full-color graphic novel series, adapted by Chris Grine.

When Tobias and his friends were given the power to morph, they were also given an important warning: Never stay in a morph for more than two hours. But Tobias broke the time limit, and now he’s trapped in the body of a hawk — forever.

When he discovers an important Yeerk secret, Tobias knows he has to do everything in his power to destroy it. But to do so, he’ll have to contend with a part of himself that’s wrestling for dominion. A part that isn’t human.

For Tobias, the fight against the Yeerks is more pressing than ever — not just for humankind, but for his own humanity.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Tobias remains my favorite. I have loved him since the beginning. This series is still one of my favorites, even though it has been such a long time since I’ve read through the series. I still have fond memories of my youthful fangirl obsession with the characters and the story, and that is why I am so thrilled with this adaptation that is extremely faithful to the original books. It’s so wonderful for me to get to experience this series all over again, and I can only hope that enough of the youth today are finding the graphic novels and connecting with the Animorphs series. Sure, the technology has changed a bit from the late 1990s, but the heart of the story is still relevant and recognizable.

But I want to point out a conversation that happens in this volume, a conversation between Rachel and Tobias. I’m not going to get the exact wording down, but I think the basic idea will still come across. Throughout this volume, Tobias has been struggling with his identity since he’s been trapped in red-tailed hawk form. Is he still human, or is he a hawk now? He confesses this concern, this fear, to Rachel…and her answer is that his outside isn’t what matters; what matters is what is in his head and his heart.

And, considering how difficult the world is right now, how cruel so many are to those who they see as different, this conversation felt very important, very impactful. Honestly, even more so considering that there are some beloved childhood authors who have revealed themselves to be hateful. Thank goodness K.A. Applegate and Michael Grant remain decent people.

It just makes me wonder if Katherine and Michael wrote this series, or at least specifically this scene, intentionally.

The Animorphs series follows a group of kids who gain the power to morph, to change their outsides, and they fight against this alien race wanting to control others, to be the dominant force in the universe. Getting to experience the characters and their journey again, now, with the current context of our lives and the world in general, it still resonates in such a powerful way.

Okay, well that is all from me for today. I’m going to go back to more reading and writing (because it is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo). Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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