This article is written from a Real World point of view.

"I gazed down at the herd of kangaroos. Lost in Australia. About as far away from home as I could get without leaving the planet."

The Unexpected, published in July 2000 and written by Lisa Harkrader based on an outline by K.A. Applegate, is the forty-fourth book in the Animorphs series. It is the thirteenth book narrated by Cassie and the seventh book with Cassie as the sole narrator.


Official Description[]

The Animorphs have been split up before. And they've had to fight battles without one another. But this time is very different. Not only is Cassie totally alone. She's managed to find herself in Australia. In the rural Outback. The other Animorphs and Ax don't even know she's there.

Cassie doesn't have any idea where she's going, or if she can even survive the rugged terrain. But she does know she has to get to a town or village and contact her family and friends. Because she just realized that there's someone else who is also new to the Outback. Visser Three.

Plot Summary[]

This section needs a rewrite

Following the discovery of a fragment of a Bug fighter, the U.S. government is attempting to use it for research. Once the Yeerks become aware of this occurrence, they attempt to seize the fragment before it is sent to a NASA research facility. The Animorphs confront the Yeerks in an airport before the Yeerks are able to acquire the fragment. During the fight Cassie is rendered unconscious on a luggage conveyor belt. When she wakes up, she is in the cargo bay of a plane flying to Sydney, Australia. The plane is attacked twice by Yeerks looking for the "Andalite bandit." The Yeerks hold the plane in stasis using a tractor beam. After she is unable to evade them while on the plane, she jumps out and morphs into an osprey. She lands in red sand and hides as a flea until the Yeerks retire their search. She demorphs and meets Yami, who lives in a nearby outstation. He takes her to his family. Yami's grandfather had cut himself on another metal fragment from a Bug Fighter Cassie had earlier destroyed while attempting to escape the Yeerks from the plane. She morphs a Hork-Bajir she acquired during the same plane incident and amputates his infected leg. The Blade Ship appears immediately afterwards and Visser Three demands that she come outside. She complies and attempts to lead the Yeerks away from Yami's family using a kangaroo morph. Two small tourist airplanes fly overhead and Visser Three destroys all evidence that the Yeerks had been in that location to evade suspicion. A Chee who was aboard the Blade ship aids Cassie by projecting a hologram around her as she demorphs, and she returns home.


Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:



Major/Highlighted Events[]

  • Cassie finds herself in Australia after attempting to prevent the Yeerks from killing an innocent Marine Corps corporal, who is in possession of a Bug fighter wreckage that the government has seized.
  • The events of this book, and subsequently the series at the moment, take place in January 2000.
    • Yami informs Cassie that it is currently the middle of the Australian summer. The Australian summer season spans from December to February, thus mid-summer would place the events of this book in the middle of January. Based on the timeline provided in The Answer in conjunction with the books released thus far, the year would be 2000 at this point.


Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake SeagullSiberian Tiger
Rachel Seagull, Grizzly Bear
Tobias Human (himself)
Cassie Hork-Bajir (Controller), Kangaroo Seagull, HouseflyPolar Bear (Nanook), Osprey, Flea, Hork-Bajir (second Hork-Bajir morph), Kangaroo
Marco Seagull, Silverback Gorilla (Big Jim)
Ax SeagullCheetah, Human (Main)


  • The outside cover quote is "Some say you shouldn't play mind games. Tell that to the Yeerks..."
  • The inside cover quote is "Hopalong Cassie-dee..."
  • This is the third and fourth time where an Animorph acquires a living being for the sole purpose of placing them in a trance, rather than requiring their DNA.
  • This marks the first time where an Animorph acquires a morph they already possess (excluding human morphs), with Cassie acquiring a Hork-Bajir while already possessing a Hork-Bajir morph.
  • This marks the seventh time that the Chee pose for the Animorphs while they are on a mission, with Erek King posing as Cassie while she is stuck in Australia.
  • This is the seventh book where an Animorph finds themselves on Earth outside of their hometown, and the fourth time that they are on another continent.
  • Cassie references certain events from prior books, such as quitting the Animorphs and trusting Aftran (The Departure), witnessing a polar bear (Nanook) sunbathe and then fight a grizzly bear (The Extreme), trusting Aftran once more, her experience morphing a Yeerk and later performing brain surgery to save Ax's life (The Sickness), Tobias being captured and tortured by the Yeerks (The Illusion), as well as her decision to opt out of a mission that would involve the mass killing of innocent lives, only to get involved and potentially commit worse acts in order to save the lives of her friends (The Test).
  • ANIBASE: The author of this book had to do a lot of research in order to get all of the details right -- she had to learn about everything from planes to amputation! Some of the info was very hard to come by, but eventually she managed to get a hold of a boomerang manufacturer (to learn how to throw non-returning boomerangs) and a professor in Australia (to learn about the Aboriginal life). We're happy to hear that it's not easy to get detailed information about airplanes.
    • "I talked to a retired TWA mechanic to find out how Cassie could get from the cargo hold to the passenger area of a jet. Before that I'd tried called Boeing, several different airlines, and the Kansas City airport... They all asked, in very suspicious voices, why I needed such information. Between that and trying to find out how to drive a tank in #51: The Absolute, I'm sure I'm on the FBI watch list!"


  • The plane is flying towards Sydney, Australia, yet Cassie lands in Piti Springs in the Northern Territory when prematurely ejecting herself from the aircraft. In The Answer it is revealed that the series is taking place in California; a flight from California to Sydney would not be flying above or anywhere near the Northern Territory.
  • Cassie cites mismatching socks as an example of a potential horrible event for her; however, Cassie has often worn mismatched or dirty clothing many times in the series thus far, and thus would not believe mismatched socks to be a horrible situation. This is most likely an error on the ghostwriter's part.
  • Cassie inquires whether the Chee would be capable of taking her place indefinitely should she not return, despite Erek assuring her in The Prophecy that they would do so if the Animorphs wanted them to.


US images[]

International Covers[]


Main Series #1 The Invasion | #2 The Visitor | #3 The Encounter | #4 The Message | #5 The Predator | #6 The Capture | #7 The Stranger | #8 The Alien | #9 The Secret | #10 The Android | #11 The Forgotten | #12 The Reaction | #13 The Change | #14 The Unknown | #15 The Escape | #16 The Warning | #17 The Underground | #18 The Decision | #19 The Departure | #20 The Discovery | #21 The Threat | #22 The Solution | #23 The Pretender | #24 The Suspicion | #25 The Extreme | #26 The Attack | #27 The Exposed | #28 The Experiment | #29 The Sickness | #30 The Reunion | #31 The Conspiracy | #32 The Separation | #33 The Illusion | #34 The Prophecy | #35 The Proposal | #36 The Mutation | #37 The Weakness | #38 The Arrival | #39 The Hidden | #40 The Other | #41 The Familiar | #42 The Journey | #43 The Test | #44 The Unexpected | #45 The Revelation | #46 The Deception | #47 The Resistance | #48 The Return | #49 The Diversion | #50 The Ultimate | #51 The Absolute | #52 The Sacrifice | #53 The Answer | #54 The Beginning
Megamorphs The Andalite's Gift | In the Time of Dinosaurs | Elfangor's Secret | Back to Before
Chronicles The Andalite Chronicles | The Hork-Bajir Chronicles | VISSER | The Ellimist Chronicles
Alternamorphs The First Journey | The Next Passage
TV Tie-Ins Meet the Stars of Animorphs
Graphix #1 The Invasion | #2 The Visitor | #3 The Encounter