|This article is written from a Real World point of view.|
The Reunion, published in May 1999 and written by Elise Donner based on an outline by K.A. Applegate, is the thirtieth book in the Animorphs series. It is the ninth book narrated by Marco and the sixth book with Marco as the sole narrator.
Marco's mom is back. But she's not Visser One anymore. Marco's not even sure if she's still a Controller. But he's determined to find out. No matter what it takes. No matter what might happen. Marco wants his mom back.
Jake, the other Animorphs, and Ax realize that Marco is under some serious stress. And that the situation with his mom could very well jeopardize everything they've worked for. Now they also have to wonder if Marco will be the one to give away the secret of the Animorphs...
Marco suffers a nightmare in which he tries, but fails, to rescue his drowning mother. He is awoken in the early morning by his father, who comforts him.
He ditches school and hops on a city bus, planning to catch a movie. Soon after getting off the bus, Marco is knocked off his feet by a woman wearing a blonde wig and carrying a large suitcase. Marco plans to exact revenge by tripping the woman, but when he sees her face, he realizes that the woman is his mother, and as Visser One. He ducks away and hides his face to avoid being recognized.
Marco follows Visser One, who walks through the revolving doors of Sutherland Tower. When another man, Mr. Grant, walks through the doors, Marco grabs his hand, pretending to be Mr. Grant’s son. Marco acquires Mr. Grant, putting him into a trance, so that Marco can breeze past security. Marco leads Mr. Grant to the elevator, which also contains Visser One. While standing inside the cramped elevator, Marco begins to morph to fly in order to continue following Visser One without being recognized. In fly morph, he lands on her briefcase.
When Visser One steps off the elevator, Marco takes note of which room she goes to. At this point, he plans to leave and tell the other Animorphs about his discovery—but he then gets sucked into an industrial-strength air cleaner. Marco demorphs and crawls his way out of the air vents, landing in a wastebasket. The lights in the room come on and Marco hears a woman calling for Mr. Grant. Marco morphs and impersonates Mr. Grant until the woman leaves. On his way out of the building, Marco runs into the real Mr. Grant. Marco knocks him unconscious, drags him into a supply closet, and takes his clothes. Donning Mr. Grant’s clothes, Marco successfully escapes the building.
Marco goes, changes his clothes, (presumably demorphs), and goes to school. He easily sneaks into the building and encounters Jake. He starts to tell Jake about who he saw earlier that day, but their conversation is cut short as Mr. Chapman confronts Marco about his absence for the first half of the day. In the cafeteria, Marco passes a note to Rachel that says, “Barn. After school. Good news and bad.”
Later, everyone (including Ax) meets in the barn. Marco tells everyone that he skipped school and saw Visser One downtown, and he tells them that she has an office in Sutherland Tower. The group discusses what this means and wonders why Visser One has returned to earth. Rachel deduces that Visser One plans to take down Visser Three. Marco, Ax, and Tobias plan to sneak into Sutherland Tower that night to learn more. Everyone is wary of how Marco might act on this mission. Jake says that “if it comes to a judgement call,” Tobias is in charge.
After the meeting, Jake pulls Marco aside, noting that his story was scant on details, meaning he had probably done some things that he didn’t want Jake to know about. Marco confirms this, but does not elaborate. Jake gives him a stern warning not to go off on his own like that again. Marco says “okay,” noting how much Jake has changed since the start of the war.
Late that night, Marco flies out of his bedroom in seagull morph and meets up with Ax and Tobias on the roof of Sutherland Tower. The three of them morph to cockroach and slip through the door. They make it down the stairs by crawling along the railing. They find Visser One’s office, but cannot slip under the door, and instead have to sneak in through the air vents.
They all demorph, and they see Marco’s mother shackled to a small portable Yeerk pool. They realize that the Yeerk is feeding at that Eva is, for the moment, free. Marco tries to approach her, but Ax and Tobias hold him back. Marco tries to push past them, but they eventually convince him that talking to Eva would be a bad idea.
Marco notices an alien console in the corner of the room, which Ax describes as surveillance and communications equipment. There are images on the screens showing the hidden Hork-Bajir valley. Ax identifies the device carried in Visser One’s briefcase as an Emergency Kandrona Particle Generator. He notes that she has two of them, and they are each good for one use each, meaning the Visser has six days to finish whatever she has come to earth to do.
Just as the Yeerk is reinfesting Eva, someone starts to pound at the door. Marco and the others hide in a small bathroom. They deduce that Visser Three’s forces have arrived to kill Visser One. Against Ax and Tobias’s wishes, Marco morphs to gorilla and opens the bathroom door. Marco, Ax, and Tobias assist Visser One in fighting off the Hork-Bajir-controllers, who soon retreat. Visser One attempts to shoot Ax with a Dracon beam, but misses. Marco grapples and disarms her.
In public thought-speak, Ax “orders” Marco to kill Visser One, but he clarifies in private thought-speak that he is only bluffing in order to keep the Visser scared. They agree to let her live in exchange for information. Visser One explains that Visser Three has accused her of treason, and that the Council of Thirteen have issued a gashad, a warrant to kill her on sight. She explains that she is gathering evidence about the existence of the free Hork-Bajir valley in order to discredit Visser Three. She says that she will help Ax kill Visser Three if Ax and the others give her the free Hork-Bajir.
Pretending to be ruthless Andalites, they “agree” to the deal, although they do not actually intend to give up the free Hork-Bajir. She gives Ax an email address to contact her.
They leave the building. Flying away as birds, Tobias asks for more information on Marco’s plan. Ax says that they need to contact Jake to share what they’ve learned, and to get Jake’s approval on the plan. Marco says that it’s the middle of the night and that they can’t contact Jake with Tom being there. He says that they need to acquire an animal native to mountaintops, and they head to Cassie’s to ask her what animal to acquire.
They wake up Cassie and Marco asks what animal would be a good morph for traveling in the mountains. Cassie suggests a mountain goat, then asks Tobias if Marco is okay. Tobias starts to answer, but Marco snaps at them for talking about him as if he isn’t present. Cassie is silent for a while and Marco assumes she’s listening to Tobias and/or Ax tell her something in private thought-speak. Marco notices the piteous look in Cassie’s eyes. Cassie tells Marco about the mountain goat habitat at the Gardens, and Marco flies off.
Tobias, Ax, and Marco fly to the Gardens, landing in the mountain goat habitat. They all acquire one of the sleeping goats. They are attacked by the other goats on their way out. Tobias and Ax easily dodge the charging goat, but Marco is rammed and knocked down a 15-foot ledge.
Marco returns home and lies awake in bed, too wired to sleep. In his head, he runs through a series of imaginary conversations with Jake, with Eva, with Visser One, and with his father, trying to explain and justify his actions. He imagines a post-war future where he and the other Animorphs are all household names. He imagines a teacher telling the story of what he was about to do, with one of the students describing his actions as “cold.”
The next morning at the barn, Marco explains his plan, which he says will wipe out Vissers One and Three, and lead the Yeerks to think the free Hork-Bajir have been wiped out when in fact they’re safer now. Jake simply says “okay,” not giving any of the counter-arguments he had in Marco’s imaginary conversations from last night. Marco says they need someone to contact Erek, which Tobias volunteers to do. Marco says that they need to play the role of arrogant Andalites. Cassie interrupts Marco, saying that they can’t allow him to murder his own mother. Jake tells her that it’s “not the time,” and she stays silent. Using Cassie’s computer, Ax creates a secure screen name that the Animorphs can use to email Visser One. The email is sent, and the plan is put into motion.
Marco morphs to osprey and lands in a tree near the Ace Hardware store. Tobias is also there, and he confirms that he contacted Erek. Visser One drives into the parking lot in a rented Audi. She steps out, and Tobias, playing the role of an arrogant Andalite, starts to give her instructions via thought-speak. Tobias instructs her to cross paths with Chapman, so that Chapman will contact Visser Three. As planned, Chapman recognizes Visser One and heads frantically to the nearest pay phone.
Tobias instructs Visser One to head to JCPenney next. Marco looks around and spots Jake, in peregrine falcon morph, who confirms that everyone else is in position. Jake tells Marco that there are clothes stashed for him in a dumpster. Marco and Jake land in the dumpster and demorph. Marco puts on the clothes stashed there and Jake morphs to fly, landing on Marco’s shoulder. Marco walks inside the store as Visser One pretends to shop. Jake flies off of Marco and lands on Visser One. Jake, also pretending to be an Andalite, then instructs Visser One to buy a scarf and gloves. He also bluffs and says that four human-controllers are already watching her.
Visser One buys a scarf and pair of gloves. On her way out of the store, she is stopped by a security guard who accuses her of theft, but the guard is actually a controller. Rachel—hiding her face and disguising her voice—jumps onto the scene, insisting that the scarf and gloves were paid for. She creates a scene and starts to draw a crowd, which causes the security guard to back off. The Animorphs and Visser One then make it to the camping store, where they instruct Visser One to buy climbing rope and pitons. The Animorphs notice that five human-controllers are now following Visser One.
The human-controllers continue to follow Visser One as she drives towards the mountains. Marco, Jake, Cassie, and Rachel were hidden in her car as cockroaches. Cassie, posing as an Andalite, converses with Visser One. Visser One asks about their plans, asking what they have to gain if Visser Three is gone and Visser One takes over his position as the leader of the earth invasion. Cassie says that Visser One will be easier to kill, as “humans die easily.” Visser One then mentions that the casualty reports from earth are always weighted towards Hork-Bajir and Taxxon-controllers, and that there hasn’t been a single human-controller casualty.
The Animorphs freeze up, unable to think of something to say. They realize that they’ve made a mistake, and that Visser One now knows (or at least suspects) that the “Andalite bandits” are actually humans.
Visser One arrives at the campsite. Still following the Animorphs’ instructions, she changes into the gear that she purchased earlier and begins to walk along the main trail. Still in the rented Audi, Rachel and Marco demorph, then morph birds-of-prey, and exit the vehicle. While flying away, Marco sees a black limo (presumably carrying Visser Three) pull up. A window rolls down and someone fires a Dracon beam at the Audi, destroying it in a ball of fire.
Marco calls for Jake and Cassie in thought-speak, but there’s no answer. He tries to tell Rachel that he thinks Jake and Cassie are dead, but he finds that Rachel is already out of range. Chapman, Visser Three in human morph, and several other controllers step out of the limo. A park ranger steps out of the Visitor’s Center, and is quickly fried by Dracon beam. Visser Three’s subordinates fire their Dracon beams at Marco, but he narrowly escapes.
Marco tries to think of the next step in his plan, but his thoughts are clouded with grief. He convinces himself that he has to keep moving forward, and that the plan can still work as long as he takes over Jake’s role.
Marco flies past several abandoned campsites. He hopes that the campers were frightened away by Ax—as was the plan—but he worries that they may have been attacked by Visser Three’s forces instead. He watches as Visser One continues climbing the hiking path she was instructed to follow. Marco scans the trail ahead, looking for Ax or Rachel, but does not see them. Down at the beginning of the trail, Marco sees Visser Three, still in human morph, surrounded by about two-dozen controllers. He takes note of a human-controller with red hair who is traveling ahead of the rest of the group.
Marco flies towards the campsite where Visser One was instructed to wait. There he finds Rachel and Tobias, both in Hork-Bajir morph. Rachel asks where Jake and Cassie are. Marco can’t bring himself to answer. Visser One arrives at the campsite. Rachel and Tobias greet her, pretending to be two free Hork-Bajir. They ask Visser One for the password, which she provides. Tobias and Rachel point to a mountain peak, claiming that the Hork-Bajir valley is hidden there. They lead the way for the rest of the climb.
Marco flies down the hill towards Visser Three and his forces. He counts at least 30 Hork-Bajir-controllers. The red-haired controller rejoins Visser Three, delivering the news that Visser One had joined up with two Hork-Bajir. Marco wonders where Ax is, and asks Rachel and Tobias if they had seen him. Rachel says no, and starts to lose her temper at Marco, saying that the plan has clearly fallen apart. Tobias tells Rachel to stop, which surprises both Rachel and Marco.
Marco notices that Visser Three had demorphed back into his Andalite body, and he would have no trouble keeping up with the hike. After bickering with his subordinates, Visser Three decides to go on ahead of the group. He morphs into a crab-like creature with the ability to change its skin color like a chameleon. Visser Three becomes almost invisible even to Marco’s osprey eyes.
Nearing the two-hour limit, Marco lands and demorphs. He then hears Ax’s thought-speak, warning him that Hork-Bajir and Taxxons are approaching, and in two minutes they will be able to see him. With Ax flying above him as a northern harrier, Marco begins to morph the mountain goat. Ax mentions that the arrival of additional forces from Visser Three might cause the plan to fail, and they need reinforcements. Marco sarcastically remarks, “You know some private army you can call, ‘cause if you do, now would be the time!” Ax takes him seriously and flies away without another word. Marco finishes morphing the goat, and is able to scale the sheer cliff wall effortlessly.
Marco arrives at the mountain peak, taking note of the sheer drop that would be deadly to any human. Visser One arrives at the peak soon after. Marco contemplates how easy it would be to shove her off the edge of the cliff, letting her fall to her death. Taking on Jake’s role, Marco reveals himself to be an “Andalite” in morph.
The Hork-Bajir valley is seemingly revealed as Erek projects a complex hologram onto the western slope of the mountain, depicting 40 or 50 free Hork-Bajir enjoying life in the valley. Visser One realizes that Marco’s voice sounds familiar to her. She deduces that he is certainly a human, more specifically a human she once knew. Marco froze, realizing he gave himself away.
Visser Three, still in morph, appears at the mountain peak. Both Vissers claim that they have ships hidden above them, each side making a sensor record of the other’s crimes. A massive ship, larger than Visser Three’s blade ship, appears above them. A Nova-class Empire ship. Visser Three’s Blade ship and Bug fighters also appear, and the two sides open fire on each other. Marco hears his mother scream and sees her clothes stained with blood. Overcome with emotion, he charges at Visser Three. Visser One tries to fire her Dracon beam at Visser Three but hits Marco instead.
Visser One orders her forces to destroy the Hork-Bajir colony. Visser One’s ship fires Dracon cannons down into the valley, and Erek’s hologram changes accordingly, showing the Hork-Bajir burning and dying. The Dracon cannons tear the mountain apart, however, and create a deep fissure. On one side of the divide, Visser Three, his army, and Rachel and Tobias. On the other side, Marco and Visser One. Visser One shouts into her communicator to dispatch a Bug fighter to rescue her. Visser One aims her Dracon beam at Marco and the two of them lock eyes. In thought-speak, Marco whispers “I love you” before charging at her. Visser One’s eyes light up as she realizes who Marco is.
Marco lunges, but before he reaches Visser One, a tiger—Jake in morph—appears and pins him down. A bird—likely Cassie—swoops down and slashes at Visser One’s face. Marco watches as Visser One staggers back and falls off the edge of the cliff. Marco cries “No! No! No!” as Jake pins him down.
An army of free Hork-Bajir—led by Ax—join the battle. Ax had done as Marco requested and found a private army to come help them. Marco stops paying attention to the fight, listening only to Jake saying “hang on, hang on, hang on” over and over.
Marco spends most of the next week in bed, pretending to be sick. Jake visits him and explains how he and Cassie escaped the burning Audi as roaches. Two days later, Rachel visits. She tells Marco that there was no body, that Visser One might have escaped. Marco dismisses her words, thinking she’s just trying to make him feel better. Marco then confesses that he was “going to do it.” He says he was trying to kill her, then save her. He asks Rachel what she would do in a situation like that. Rachel says she hopes someone would make that decision for her, like Jake did for Marco. Marco starts to worry about what it means if Visser One isn’t dead, if there is a “next time.” Rachel sits in bed next to him and tells him “one battle at a time.” She then suggests they watch the movie channel, and Marco aims the remote.
- Visser One
- Visser Three
- Hedrick Chapman / Iniss 226
- Various Hork-Bajir, Taxxon and human-Controllers
- Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul (Mentioned Only)
- Leerans (Mentioned Only)
- Council of Thirteen (Mentioned Only)
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic
- The Gardens
- Sutherland Tower
- Royan Island (Mentioned Only)
- Hork-Bajir Valley (Mentioned Only)
- Hork-Bajir homeworld (Mentioned Only)
- Dracon beam
- Portable Yeerk pool
- Emergency Kandrona Particle Generators
- Nova-class Empire Ship
- Blade ship
- Bug fighter
- Marco spots his mother (Visser One) while ditching school for the morning, and follows her to an office building. He returns later that night with Tobias and Ax, where they discover that she has been demoted to Sub-Visser rank after the destruction of the underwater base at Royan Island. Additionally, Visser Three has convinced the Council of Thirteen that she is a traitor and thus they have issued a warrant to kill her on sight.
- Realizing that they can use this opportunity to kill both Vissers at the same time, Marco makes a deal with the former Visser One – trade the location of the Hork-Bajir Valley, which the former Visser is looking for, in exchange for an opportunity to eliminate Visser Three.
- Marco grapples with the choice to continue fighting to save his mother or to kill her and her Yeerk at the same time.
- Visser One wonders why Ax speaks the most out of the Animorphs and why he is the only one not in a morph, prompting Marco to suggest that they should act more like Andalites when conversing with her.
- Tobias, Ax, Jake and Cassie speak to Visser One for the first time.
- Visser One reveals to the Animorphs that she has looked over the casualty reports for deaths incurred by the "Andalite bandits" on Earth and that there is not a single human casualty, therefore revealing that she believes some of them to be humans.
- Marco mentions The Prince of Egypt, causing Visser One to realize that the "Andalite bandit" facing her is actually human.
- Visser One discovers that her host body's son, Marco, is one of the "Andalite bandits" when he tells his mother he loves her before attempting to kill her.
- Visser One falls over the ledge to her apparent death, although Rachel reveals that her body was not found.
- As of this book, the current year is now 1999.
|Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Jake||--||Peregrine Falcon, Housefly, Cockroach, Siberian Tiger|
|Rachel||--||Cockroach, Bald Eagle, Hork-Bajir (Jara Hamee)|
|Tobias||Cockroach, Mountain Goat||Cockroach, Hork-Bajir (Ket Halpak)|
|Marco||Human (Mr. Grant), Mountain Goat||Housefly, Human (Mr. Grant), Seagull, Cockroach, Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim), Osprey, Mountain Goat|
|Ax||Hork-Bajir (Jara Hamee), Mountain Goat||Northern Harrier, Cockroach, Mountain Goat (possibly)|
|Visser Three||--||Human (Main), Unnamed Chameleon-like Crab creature|
- The front cover quote is, "Marco must make the ultimate sacrifice...".
- The inside cover quote is, "A bug's life...."
- This marks the first time that Marco acquires a human morph. If one counts Ax and his acquiring of Jake, Rachel, Cassie and Marco's DNA in The Message as separate acquisitions, this marks the eleventh time that an Animorph has acquired a human morph.
- This is the fourth and fifth instance in the series where an Animorph acquires a morph that they do not morph into in the same book, with Tobias acquiring a mountain goat morph that he does not morph into, and Ax, having acquired Jara Hamee some weeks prior to the main events of this book, morphing the Hork-Bajir for the first time in The Prophecy. It is also not clarified whether Ax used the mountain goat morph himself, although it is possible that he did in order to evacuate the hikers on the mountain trail.
- This also marks the second instance in the series where an Animorph acquires a morph they never use once during the entire series, with Tobias acquiring a mountain goat morph that he does not morph into; the first instance was in The Secret where Jake acquired a termite that he never morphed into.
- This is the first time where an Animorph acquires an individual for the sole purpose of placing them in a trance rather than requiring their DNA.
- Chapman is once again referred to as "assistant principal" after having been referred to as the "vice principal" from The Pretender to this book.
- This is the second instance where the Tobias-Ax-Marco sub-team is used, after The Escape.
- The Scholastic School Market Edition of this book was half the thickness of the regular book, with no inside cover or raised text on the cover.
- Marketing: The redesigned "Watch Animorphs on TV" logos started printing on the covers with this book, and continued to be placed on all the books until the end of the series (May 2001), even though the TV show ended only a few months later (October 1999) after the logos began.
- Mr. Grant is named after series co-author Michael Grant.
- ANIBASE: Over the course of the series, the Animorphs have all changed in various ways. For instance, in this book Marco revealed his ability to see clearly from point A to point B, to focus on what needs to be done and how to do it -- even if it may mean killing someone he loves. Here's how Katherine Applegate summed up Marco's character development: "Marco developed over the life of the series from the reluctant warrior into the most ruthless of all the Animorphs."
- Marco's morphing suit tears when he morphs into Mr. Grant, even though the outfit is meant to disappear when one morphs. However, it is possible Marco either subconsciously retained the suit since he was morphing a human or intentionally kept it since otherwise he would have been nude in a public setting.
- Marco opens Visser One's bathroom door twice on p54.
- On p69, Marco states that "we" demorphed; however, out of Marco, Tobias and Ax, he was the only one in a morph.
- On p87, Marco's injuries from the mountain's fall remain, even though he would have had to morph in order to leave The Gardens, which would have healed his injuries.
- Tobias is said to have left the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic to get the Chee in chapter 17, but he is still present within the group by the next page.
- In The Sickness, Cassie informs Erek that the computer in the barn has no modem. However, in this book, Ax and Marco use the computer to send an e-mail to Visser One.
- Marco is in human form on p96, unable to communicate with his friends. However, on p98, he uses thought-speak to talk to Jake even though he is not in morph.