The Escape (Applegate novel)

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The Escape
Animorphs 15 The Escape.jpg
Marco morphing into a hammerhead shark.
AuthorK. A. Applegate
Cover artistDavid B. Mattingly
CountryUnited States
SeriesAnimorphs #15
GenreScience fiction
Publication date
January 1998
Media typePrint (Paperback)
LC ClassCPB Box no. 1858 vol. 35
Preceded byThe Unknown 
Followed byThe Warning 

The Escape is the 15th book in the Animorphs series, written by K.A. Applegate. It is narrated by Marco.[1]

The cover quote reads, "The Yeerks are out there...."

Plot summary[edit]

The book starts off with the four human Animorphs helping four parrots in a new mall cafe by telling the customers disgusting things about the cafe's food. After this, Marco's old acquaintance, Erek King, who was watching at the room's back, has some disturbing news about his mother, Eva (Visser One). She has returned to Earth, overseeing a Yeerk bio-weapons program to allow them to venture into deep waters; this is a requirement made by the Yeerk command for the invasion of Leera, a planet covered almost entirely by oceans. The research is conducted in the waters around Royan Island. The Animorphs infiltrate the facility, and discover that the Yeerks are trying to create super-intelligent sharks which can be infested and controlled, because in their natural state, the sharks' brains are not big enough. They decide to acquire hammerhead morphs. Marco accidentally reveals to the other Animorphs his fear of sharks. While scouting the waters off Royan Island, the Animorphs are captured by a computer while morphed as sharks. They have devices installed in them designed to bestow sentience on animals. The Animorphs then try to morph flies, but find they can no longer morph into small creatures because the devices are too large for small creatures' brains. They realize the only way to remove them is to destroy the facility, deciding to attempt to do so. During the ensuing battle, Marco reveals to Rachel and Ax that Visser One's host body is his mother, just as they were about to kill her. Visser Three storms in, angry that Visser One would do these experiments without his knowledge or consent, and they have an argument. Visser Three is about to eat Ax in a snake-like alien morph, but Rachel intervenes and grabs him by his wrist in bear morph, threatening to cut him in half. Because of this, Marco sees an opportunity and morphs into a gorilla, knocking out the Visser.

The Yeerks have just captured some new specimens of aquatic species - known as Leerans. The Leerans are capable of telepathy and limited mind-reading capacity, hence the Yeerks' attempts to endow the sharks with sentience - a secret invasion is impractical due to the Leeran mind-reading abilities. A possibly infested Leeran states to Visser One that Marco (still in gorilla morph) is human. Visser One, however, misunderstands and thinks it's saying that the morph is a human. Marco knocks the Leeran unconscious before it can explain what it meant. The Animorphs know that the Yeerks must be stopped before they can utilize two new powerful living weapons. They destroy the factory and escape unscathed.

Marco's mother may or may not be dead. She was unconscious when the flooding started, but a Leeran was seen swimming toward her and the Animorphs heard a torpedo being expulsed, which may have carried her to safety.


Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake White parrot (likely a white cockatoo), hammerhead shark Parrot, seagull, bottlenose dolphin, hammerhead shark, housefly (partially), Siberian tiger
Rachel Yellow/orange parrot (likely a sun parakeet), hammerhead shark Parrot, seagull, bottlenose dolphin, hammerhead shark, housefly (partially), grizzly bear
Tobias Bottlenose dolphin, hammerhead shark Human (himself), bottlenose dolphin, hammerhead shark
Cassie Red parrot (possibly a red shining parrot), hammerhead shark Parrot, seagull, bottlenose dolphin, hammerhead shark, housefly (partially), wolf
Marco Green parrot (possibly a blue-fronted amazon), hammerhead shark Parrot, seagull, bottlenose dolphin, hammerhead shark, housefly (partially), osprey, silverback gorilla
Ax Seagull, hammerhead shark Human (main), seagull, tiger shark, hammerhead shark, housefly (partially), northern harrier
Visser Three -- Unnamed Yellow Sea Serpent Creature

Series story arc significance[edit]

  • This marks the first book where the Animorphs begin to talk to Visser Three and the other Yeerks directly; prior to this, Ax had always acted as their "spokesperson" in case they said or did something that would give away their non-Andalite natures, but here, Rachel directly addresses Visser Three when he attempts to eat Ax while in the morph of a large snake-like creature. Marco also speaks to him, but given that he spoke as he was punching Visser Three's face, the Visser may have been unconscious before he registered what Marco was saying to him. Cassie has spoken before, though only briefly. This is the book when the walls come down and they decide to take the risk of speaking directly.
  • The Leerans are introduced.
  • Rachel and Ax learn that Marco's mother is Visser One. It is assumed that Tobias and Cassie learn this, as well, off-page (Tobias from Ax, Cassie from Rachel), as it is revealed in #16: The Warning that the entire team now knows this.
  • Marco "reunites" with his mother by pretending to be a Controller, letting her think that he has been infested with a Yeerk.


  1. ^ "The Escape by K. A. Applegate | Scholastic". Retrieved 2019-02-25.