Animorphs: The Message - Graphic Novel Review

Animorphs: The Message - Graphic Novel Review


Posted 2023-10-15 by Marisa Quinn-Haisufollow
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Animorphs The Graphic Novel: The Message was written by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant. The original novel was published in 1996 and is the first book in the series to be narrated by Cassie. The graphic novel adaptation by Chris Grine is 208-pages long and suitable for readers between 8 and 12 years of age. It was published by Scholastic on 1 October 2023. Animorphs is a science fiction children’s book series that was written by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant under the name K.A Applegate. Animorphs was published between June 1996 and May 2001. The series consisted of 54 books and followed the adventures of a group of teenagers who are given the power to morph into animals and are asked to use their abilities to fight back against a secret alien invasion of Earth by a parasitic race of aliens called the Yeerks. This book review will contain some mild spoilers.

The Message is the fourth book in the Animorphs series to be adapted into a graphic novel by Chris Grine. Grine is an Eisner-nominated comic book author and illustrator and the creator of Chickenhare , Time Shifters , and The Secret of Camp Whatever . The first book, The Invasion , was released on 6 October 2020. The second novel, The Visitor , was published on 5 October 2021 and the third novel, The Encounter , hit shelves on 4 October 2022. The Message is an important book in the series because it is when the Animorphs rescue an Andalite warrior stranded at the bottom of the ocean named Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill ("Ax") who joins their group and becomes the sixth Animorph. Ax is the younger brother of Prince Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul who gave the Animorphs their powers shortly before he was murdered by Visser 3. I’ve been looking forward to the graphic novel adaptation of The Message for a while because I wanted to see how Grine was going to illustrate Ax in his crashed dome ship at the bottom of the sea.

The Message begins with Cassie having dreams about a mysterious voice calling out for help from the bottom of the ocean. I liked the way that Grine illustrated Cassie sinking into a black bottomless ocean and hearing a voice call out from the gloom begging for help. When Cassie finds out that Tobias has been having the same dream, she goes and tells the rest of the Animorphs. Cassie and the group must decide is the message real or a trap. I’ve always been fond of Cassie as a character. I like that she is a gentle and empathic person who values life and has a special connection to nature and animals. The Message is one of my favourite books narrated by her. But it has some plot holes that bug me. The book tries to explain that the reason she can hear Ax’s telepathic cries for help in her dreams is because she is a naturally talented morpher which means she is more sensitive to hearing thought speak. I don’t think this is a great explanation. It’s never made much sense to me and broke the series own canon which has always said that you need to be in morph to hear thought speak.

I liked Cassie’s connection to whales in this book and her discovery that they have a culture and history and a connection to dolphins which they call ‘little ones.’ I thought that Grine once again did a great job illustrating the body horror that comes with morphing. When the Animorphs turn into dolphins the transformation is quite horrifying. I also thought that he did really well illustrating the underwater monster that Visser 3 becomes. I think that Grine is doing a great job illustrating these books but I do have a few issues. He draws humans very odd sometimes. In one scene the Animorphs switch on the local news to watch a man hold up a piece of alien space craft that he found washed up on a beach. All of the people in this scene have noses that look like long white beaks and two people are wearing sunglasses that look like big black bug eyes. It just looked odd. Jake’s face melting into a trout looked less weird.

I also didn’t like the front cover of the book. The scene that is being depicted does not occur in the book and I don’t like how Cassie’s body is drawn with her head above water and the rest of her just beneath the waves. I would’ve much preferred if the cover had shown the Animorphs approaching the underwater Dome Ship or Cassie leaping out of the water as a dolphin. I really liked how Grine illustrated Ax. He did a great job making him look different to Visser 3 and more child-like. Ax has a more rounder face and large expressive eyes which made him look ADORABLE. And when he acquires a human morph at the end of the book he looks even more cute. The Message was a very fun book. I can’t wait to see how Grine will go adapting the next two book in the series The Predator and The Capture.

Summary: When Cassie and Tobias start having dreams of the ocean and a voice calling out for help, the Animorphs need to figure out if the message is real, or a trap from the Yeerks.
Animorphs Graphix 4: The Message - Scholastic
Cost $18. 99
More Book Reviews by Marisa
The Top 5 Animorph Books
Animorphs: The Invasion - Graphic Novel Review
Animorphs: The Visitor - Graphic Novel Review

265976 - 2023-10-09 23:26:34


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