The Other (Animorphs)

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The Other
Animorphs 40 The Other.jpg
Marco morphing into a honeybee
Author Gina Gascone
Illustrator David B. Mattingly
Cover artist David B. Mattingly
Country United States
Language English
Series Animorphs #40
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Scholastic
Publication date
March 2000
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 130
ISBN 0-439-10679-6
OCLC 43689126
LC Class CPB Box no. 1880 vol. 24
Preceded by The Hidden
Followed by Megamorphs #4: Back to Before

The Other is the 40th book in the Animorphs series, ghostwritten by Gina Gascone (as K. A. Applegate). It is narrated by Marco.

Plot summary[edit]

The Animorphs meet survivors of Elfangor's Dome Ship, the GalaxyTree. One Andalite called Gafinilan-Estrif-Valad suffers from a genetic disease called Soola's Disease while the other, Mertil-Iscar-Elmand, is crippled, or a vecol, as Ax puts it, missing half of his tail.

Gafinilan attacks Marco when he gets too close to the human home he owns, while Ax comes to his defense. Both enter his home and Gafinilan asks to meet Ax's prince, not realizing his "prince" is human, as Visser Three had captured Mertil and had offered his release only if Gafinilan brought him a healthy adult Andalite (as Mertil was a vecol, and Visser Three discovered through Mertil that Gafinilan had a fatal disease, rendering them both as useless, in the Visser's perspective). The Animorphs assume that since Soola's Disease is genetic, and the only 'cure' is for Gafinilan to acquire and morph another Andalite, this is the reason why Gafinilan wanted to meet Ax's "prince", not wanting to acquire Ax himself because he would prefer to morph the adult Andalite he believes Jake is, as Ax's body would take too long to reach physical maturity.

Jake agrees to meet with him, with the intention of laying a trap for Gafinilan, and they overpower him by force of numbers. When they tell Gafinilan what they assumed his plan was, he is shocked at the mere thought, as Andalites consider using morphing to escape an illness as an act of cowardice. He confesses his real intentions, justifying his attempt at betraying one of his own kind by saying he cares deeply about his friend Mertil, and he did what he was told to do by the Visser in order to ensure Mertil's safety. Although still skeptical of Gafinilan's motives, they join forces with him and help rescue Mertil from Visser Three.

Ax, who is so far in the series seen as an honourable character, shows his open disapproval of Mertil and the thought that he should be treated with as much respect as other Andalites, on the grounds that he is disabled, which may have been a trait he picked up from his Andalite upbringing, as Andalites as a whole are shown in this book to not take their handicapped kind seriously. However, when Marco accuses his kind of being unfeeling, Ax points out that humans are similarly flawed, as people with handicaps are often pushed away from the limelight and kept hidden away in hospitals and institutions, instead of being allowed to live the kind of life they would have had, were they not disabled.

The softer side of Marco's personality is also shown in this book, as he shows concern about how Mertil, a morph-incapable Andalite, would survive in a human world once his friend Gafinilan succumbs to his illness and passes away. He visits Mertil at the end of the book and offers his support and company, should Mertil ever feel he needed it. Although he fears that Mertil might regard his offer as impertinent, as Andalites are a proud race that do not like to be seen as vulnerable, Mertil thanks him, and appears to consider his offer.[1]


Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake Siberian tiger, peregrine falcon
Rachel Honey bee Honey bee, bald eagle, grizzly bear, African elephant
Tobias Honey bee Honey bee
Cassie Honey bee Honey bee, osprey, gray wolf
Marco Honey bee Great horned owl, osprey, honey bee, gorilla, wolf
Ax Honey bee Human, northern harrier, honey bee
Gafinilan Opossum, human (Henry McClellan), owl


  1. ^ The Other - K. A. Applegate