Top positive review
Strong character arc for Tobias
on 6 September 2016
The Change has probably been my favourite book of the series so far. It's the first story entirely narrated by Tobias since The Encounter and emphasises what a strong character he is. Tobias has suffered greatly, losing far more to the war than any of the others.
While I find the Marco stories to be more fun to read, Tobias certainly has the most heart. He lives a life of constant conflict - his human side versus the hawk - and when he's finally offered a chance at normality it causes him a moral dilemma. Does he become a human and be forced to sit out while his friends put themselves in danger or does he remain a hawk and never enjoy human comforts again?
The story itself is a good counterpoint for The Stranger. In that story, the Ellimist offered the Animorphs a chance to leave the war and become a human colony on a different world. In this book, Tobias offers the same thing to two escaped Hork-Bajir. While the Animorphs are initially reluctant to trust the aliens, they soon decide that they must help find them a place where they can be free as no creature deserves to be a slave to another.
This novel is the first to really focus on the Hork-Bajir. Previously, they've only ever been really portrayed as soldiers for the Yeerks yet this book shows them in a completely different life - a peaceful race of herbivores who have been entirely enslaved due to the fact that they make good weapons. The characters of Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak are both very lovable and I look forward to seeing the role they play in future books.
All in all, this book was just fantastic. It really shows how Applegate is capable of writing a strong and emotional story, while still making it utterly suitable for middle graders.