Animorphs was the first chapter book series I ever read as a child. Harry Potter, The Egypt Game, the Lord of the Rings, before all those, I was thoroughly engrossed in these books. I began reading them at age twelve and continued to read them as I got older, even though many of my friends had outgrown them. I'm a loyalist, I suppose. While most kids spent their allowances on toys or candy, I bought books. There's a special reason that I preferred books over other things, but that's another story altogether. My point it, I'm a fan.
Or, that is, I was. I fell in love with the books as I learned more about the characters, but as the series wore on, I found myself angrier and angrier at the author, and then authors, as books 25 onward were ghost-written by other people. I became very uncomfortable with where the books were going and couldn't help feeling as though they were setting up characters I dearly loved to fail, and fail miserably. My suspicions of this were confirmed when I read the last four books in the series. I won't lie to you, after Rachel was killed, I legitimately rage-quit. I threw away all the books that I had bought with my own sparsely-received money because I was so angry at how it all ended. Rachel is dead for no good reason, Tobias is bitter and withdraws from humanity, they all hate Cassie for doing what they all knew she'd have done in in that situation, Ax ends up a puppet for a mysterious intergalactic being that's never fully explained, Jake is so eaten up with depression that he can't even function and is probably an alcoholic, and Marco is an empty shell of a person with nothing to comfort him but his fame. And then the entire series ends on a cliffhanger. The actual fuck? There was no resolution, no relief, no happy ending for anyone.
I'm sorry; I'm just not a fan of tragedy. I can't get emotionally invested in a series if I know the people in them are either going to die or end up wishing they were dead by the end of it. And that's exactly what happens. It's why I hated The Hunger Games books and refuse to read Game of Thrones. There are many books that broach the subject of war and death and loss that don't completely destroy their characters in the process. I just can't read about people who should win but never do. The only conclusion I can draw is that the writers hated these characters and desired greatly to see them suffer.
There are so many issues I have with these books. Why did Cassie have the Escafil Device in the first place? Why wasn't Ax entrusted with it, or why couldn't it have been hidden in the Hork-Bajir valley? Why did Rachel have to die, when her death ultimately meant nothing? Why kill Tom? Why not capture him and wait out the three day limit and let him go into hiding with Marco and his family? How is it possible that it took more than three years for someone other than five kids and one alien to recognize that the world was being invaded? Wouldn't a simple MRI brain scan have revealed the Yeerks? How the FUCK are you going to end both romances, both of which spanned the entire series, at the last minute for such senseless reasons? So many issues that I finally decided, after giving up on the books for more than 15 years, that I'm going to fix it. For myself. I need to get this out. I need a proper conclusion to the story. I NEED a happy ending. So I'm writing this fanfiction for me. I hope that you enjoy it; I really do. But this is something I need to do to be able to love this story again. To be able to root for the characters and remind myself why I loved reading them when everyone else thought they were stupid or silly or a waste of time.
I'm going to be ignoring several aspects about the book canon, mostly because I find them ridiculous and unnecessary complications to the main story. The Elimist, Krayak, and the Helmacrons (and their technology) being primary examples. I'm also going to be working from book 23 (the Pretender), the last book that K.A. Applegate wrote on her own (other than book 24, The Suspicion, as it features the Helmacrons, and book 26, The Attack, because of the Elimist/Krayak story arc) and ignoring the rest. I'm leaving out a lot of plot development, I'm aware, but I think to get back to what I believe the story should have been, it's necessary to start where it was still cohesive and before it got hilariously incoherent as a linear storyline. I'm also ignoring the Megamorphs books as well, because what the fuck were those things? The only expansive books I'll include as part of my canon are The Andalite Chronicles and The Hork-Bajir Chronicles; the idea is to streamline the story into a more coherent one.
So, in summary, I hope you enjoy my take on these books. Please leave feedback. I'd love to hear your thoughts.