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June 21, 2017

Best of the best in the "animal morphing" genre

Ahh, summer.

There’s nothing better than soaking up the sun and falling in love with a new book. Here are some of my favorite books in one of my favorite genres: people who morph into animals.

1. Animorphs #1: The Invasion
by K.A. Applegate


This is the book that got it all started. K.A. Applegate introduces us to Jake and his friends, who are just ordinary kids. Then one night, after an alien encounter, Jake and the gang find themselves morphing into lizards, horses, and red-tailed hawks! If you’re new to the genre of “animal morphing,” this is the book for you.

2. Animorphs #2: The Visitor
by K.A. Applegate


In her highly anticipated sequel to The Invasion, K.A. Applegate delivers, giving readers what they loved about the first book: people, animals, and people morphing into animals. This is the book that gave us the unforgettable scene of Cassie morphing into an osprey. It also gave us the unforgettable scene of Marco also morphing into an osprey.

3. Animorphs #4: The Message
by K.A. Applegate


The Message is where the dramatic battle of Andalites vs. Yeerks really takes off. And, like the true literary virtuoso she is, Applegate seamlessly weaves people-morphing-into-animals into the plot. There may not be any people morphing into ospreys, but there are people morphing into dolphins.

4. The Metamorphosis
by Franz Kafka


The oldest and least known book on this list, The Metamorphosis may seem a bit out of place. There is only one person morphing into one animal (cockroach? vermin? it’s very ambiguous), and it technically happens before the book begins. This could explain the book’s critical and commercial obscurity, and why the less-experienced Kafka never received the acclaim his counterpart Applegate did.

5. Animorphs #6: The Capture
by K.A. Applegate


Back on track! Applegate dazzles again, morphing not one character into a cockroach but five. And whereas Kafka’s cockroach does nothing but skip work and die, Applegate’s people-turned-cockroaches infiltrate a covert Yeerk meeting.

6. Animorphs #21: The Threat
by K.A Applegate


A dog! Jake morphs into a dog!

7. Animorphs #44: The Unexpected
by K.A. Applegate


A kangaroo! Cassie morphs into a kangaroo!

8. Animorphs #54: The Beginning
by K.A. Applegate


54 books into the Animorphs series, people morphing into animals still feels fresh. Scenes like Rachel morphing into a bear and Marco morphing into a lobster continue to tug at the heartstrings, even on third and fourth reads. K.A. Applegate cements her legacy as one of the greatest “ani-morphing” authors of all time.