|This article is written from a Real World point of view.|
- "So let me get this straight. We have to rescue a paralyzed Chee from a stolen goods warehouse before the Controllers get her. Then we have to dive down to the bottom of the ocean, find the Pemalite ship, somehow get inside it and turn off the signal before ten o'clock tonight so the Yeerks don't get the Chee in the safe at the nuclear waste facility. Is that pretty much it?" [...]
"There's one more thing. The Pemalite ship's signal will have been picked up by orbiting Yeerk spacecraft. They may already be down there waiting for you."
- ―Marco and Erek King
The Exposed, published in February 1999 and written by Laura Battyanyi-Wiess based on an outline by K.A. Applegate, is the twenty-seventh book in the Animorphs series. It is the eighth book narrated by Rachel and the sixth book with Rachel as the sole narrator.
The Animorphs and Ax have one true ally in their battle against the Yeerks: the Chee. So, when they discover that the Chee – including their friend, Erek – are in trouble, they have no choice but to help.
But the Chee's problem is much deeper than anything the kids could have imagined. It's hidden in the ocean. So far down that no human has ever travelled there – and survived. And the Animorphs realize what will happen if Visser Three discovers the valuable secrets of the Chee. One of which is the Animorphs...
During a shopping trip with Cassie, Rachel discovers Erek having problems: his hologram malfunctions. Barely managing to get him away in time, they discover all of the Chee are having problems with certain aspects of their technology, particularly their holograms, owing to interference with the Pemalite ship hidden in the ocean. Of all the Chee, two are currently still in danger, while the rest have successfully hidden themselves.
One of the Chee in danger, Lourdes, is hidden in a flophouse where drug fencing occurs, but a SWAT team – with a Controller member – are about to raid the house. After rescuing Lourdes, they have to travel to the bottom of the ocean, to fix the problem of the malfunctioning holograms, but have problems thinking of the morph they could use to go so deep into the ocean. Cassie finds the solution: morphing into a giant squid. However, none of the group had acquired that morph or had any idea where to get it – though they know for a fact that sperm whales capture giant squids.
They are stuck on what to do next until they find out that a sperm whale has conveniently beached nearby, so Rachel and Tobias acquire it and dive to find a squid. Upon finding and battling one, the group all acquire it and release it, and then dive to the Pemalite ship. They notice several Yeerk Bug fighters en route to the Pemalite ship as well, following the signal. When the Animorphs reach the ship first, they use the single-digit access code to infiltrate it and fix the Chee programming, but then a self-destruct sequence is initiated too.
The group is confronted by a being called the Drode, an aide of sorts to Crayak, who threatens and insults them all. He shows some bizarre fondness for Rachel and tells her that if she wanted favor with the Crayak, she should kill Jake, telling Rachel that her passport to Crayak's side is Jake. The Yeerks also emerge into the ship, and the group must stand and fight them before allowing them to gain control. But as the battle reaches a climax, Erek appears – to the shock of the Drode – and activates the ship's hostility-containment program. The Yeerks and Animorphs are forced to leave the ship, and the Chee have their holograms restored.
- The Drode (First Appearance)
- Visser Three
- Hedrick Chapman / Iniss 226
- Tom / Tom's Yeerk
- Various Hork-Bajir, Taxxon and human-Controllers
- Crayak (Mentioned Only)
- Howlers (Mentioned Only)
- Visser One (Mentioned Only)
- Dan (Mentioned Only)
- Peter (Mentioned Only)
- Eva (Mentioned Only)
- Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul (Mentioned Only)
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic
- Pemalite ship (First Appearance) (Only Appearance)
- Yeerk pool (Mentioned Only)
- The Gardens (Mentioned Only)
- Iskoort homeworld (Mentioned Only)
- The Animorphs discover that the Chee are no longer able to emit holograms or move, thus putting them in a dangerous position where they might be exposed. Erek King informs them that the Pemalite ship, hidden fifteen thousand feet deep in the ocean, houses the computer needed to remedy the Chee's situation.
- The Animorphs, after facing numerous coincidences working in favor of them reaching the ship, discover that a puppet-master is responsible, although Tobias admits that he does not believe that it is the Ellimist's doing.
- The Drode is introduced for the first time.
- The Drode reveals that he was the one pulling the strings on behalf of his master, Crayak, who wants the Animorphs dead, specifically Jake, after the latter foiled his plans for the Iskoort and ruined the Howlers.
- The Drode reveals that Crayak is interested in Rachel, citing her bloodlust and drive for combat as a trait Crayak values.
- Rachel is asked out on a date by a boy named T.T. and berates herself for hesitating and considering the offer, as she admits she thinks of Tobias as her boyfriend, but laments how T.T. can take her to a movie and dinner without the need to demorph. When T.T. asks again, she rebuffs him, remarking that while T.T. is normal, T.T. did not put his fears aside and dive into peril to protect and rescue her like Tobias does, who fought his severe hydrophobia in order to ensure Rachel's safety.
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Jake||Giant Squid||Peregrine Falcon, Rhinoceros, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Giant Squid, Siberian Tiger|
|Rachel||Sperm Whale, Giant Squid||Bald Eagle, African Elephant, Seagull, Sperm Whale, Giant Squid, Grizzly Bear|
|Tobias||Sperm Whale, Giant Squid||Seagull, Sperm Whale, Giant Squid|
|Cassie||Giant Squid||Osprey, Wolf, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin (Monica), Giant Squid|
|Marco||Giant Squid||Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim), Osprey, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Giant Squid|
|Ax||Giant Squid||Northern Harrier, Skunk, Seagull, Bottlenose Dolphin, Giant Squid|
- The cover quote is, "They thought they'd seen it all. They were wrong...."
- The inside cover quote is, "Rachel's getting a sinking feeling...."
- This is the sixth book in which all the Animorphs acquire the same new morph.
- Because the cover morph was a giant squid, and there were no giant squids in captivity, K.A. Applegate scrambled for info on giant squids from the library to the internet. She even borrowed her mother's copy of the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea just so that she could get an idea of how real squids might actually move, even though the squid in the movie was fake.
- Tobias corrects Cassie when she refers to calamari as squid, stating that calamari is octopus. Tobias is incorrect, as Cassie is correct: calamari is indeed squid.
- While attempting to acquire the sperm whale, Jake asks where Cassie is, to which Rachel responds that Cassie is too busy trying to save the whale and that it would be difficult to pry her away. However, by the next page she is in seagull morph.
- Upon landing in the ocean, Jake tells Cassie to demorph first and Tobias to go last. Tobias then demorphs, and waits for Rachel to demorph, meaning that Tobias did not go last. As Rachel treads water, Tobias tells her it is time to morph into the whale, and she agrees out loud, using her human mouth. The book then states that she is focusing on the mental image of the whale and then immediately describes her demorphing from seagull to human, struggling to tread water until her feathers become fingers. If Rachel was in gull morph, she would have been unable to speak out loud. Additionally, she would need to focus on her human shape to demorph; focusing on a whale while in another morph would not cause her to demorph. Finally, the passage says she was treading water but on the next page it describes that she struggled to tread water until her fingers emerged.
- After capturing a giant squid, Rachel states that she held it in place for everyone to acquire, including Tobias, and that she acquired it last. On the very same page, Rachel explains that she had to hold the squid still for Tobias to acquire it after she had finished acquiring it.
- Tobias remarks that the inside of the Pemalite ship reminds him of Ax's Dome ship; however, not only was Tobias not present when they rescued Ax, Tobias has never seen or been inside a Dome ship at all before.
- Rachel reveals that they all got grounded for a week after their mission, but by the next page, she goes running during the day.