The Predator (novel)

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The Predator
Animorphs bk05.jpg
Marco morphing into a gorilla.
Author K. A. Applegate
Illustrator David B. Mattingly
Country United States
Language English
Series Animorphs #5
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Scholastic
Publication date
December 1996
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 152
ISBN 0-590-62981-6
OCLC 35965674
Preceded by The Message
Followed by The Capture

The Predator, published in 1996 and written by K. A. Applegate, is the fifth book in the Animorphs series. It is narrated by Marco.

Plot summary[edit]

Ax wishes to return to the Andalite home world, and to do so, he needs a ship. He intends to build a communicator to broadcast a Yeerk distress signal and lure in a Yeerk ship which he can then hijack. He goes to the mall to buy the equipment to build a communicator. He finds the food court and runs wild sampling food left over on tables. He is chased by security guards and, frightened, demorphs in the middle of the mall in front of many people. He, Jake, and Marco run out of the mall and into a nearby grocery store where they are chased by Controllers. They morph into lobsters and hide in a tank. They later escape.

Ax builds his device, but needs a zero-space transponder. Mr. Hedrick Chapman regularly communicates with Visser Three from his basement, so the Animorphs morph into ants and retrieve the Z-space transponder that he uses. As they are returning from Chapman's house, they are almost killed when attacked by ants from another colony. They are able to demorph in time.

Ax completes his device, and broadcasts the signal, but the Yeerks have changed their distress frequencies, and, sensing a trap, they set one of their own. The Animorphs are captured (in animal morph) and taken aboard the Yeerk mother ship, where Visser One is visiting. Visser One confronts them and her host body is Marco's mother, who is alive after all. The Animorphs are put in a cell, and they are freed by one of Visser One's Hork-Bajir; Visser One and Visser Three are rivals, and Visser One wanted to disgrace Visser Three. The Animorphs reach an escape pod and return to Earth.

Marco's father returns to work. Marco asks Jake, the only one who had previously met Marco's mom, not to tell any of the others about Visser One.

Contributions to the series' story arc[edit]

  • It is revealed that Marco's mother has been taken over by Visser One. However, only Marco and Jake will know this until the final events of #15: The Escape.


Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake American lobster, black garden ant American lobster, black garden ant, peregrine falcon, Siberian tiger
Rachel Black garden ant Black garden ant, bald eagle, African elephant
Cassie Black garden ant Black garden ant, osprey, wolf
Marco American lobster, black garden ant Silverback gorilla, American lobster, black garden ant, osprey
Ax American lobster, black garden ant, northern harrier Human, American lobster, black garden ant, northern harrier

TV adaptation[edit]

The Predator was adapted as part of the Animorphs TV series, which aired on Nickelodeon and YTV between the fall of 1998 and the spring of 2000. The fifth book was covered by the fourteenth and fifteenth episodes, "The Leader" (Parts 1 and 2), along with plot lines from The Stranger. The TV episodes did not follow the books faithfully, altering many aspects of the characters' roles within the Animorphs, the events in the war against the Yeerks, and added plot lines that were not present in the books.

  • Only Marco and Jake are taken aboard the Yeerk Pool Ship, captured while attempting to infiltrate the EGS tower and destroy the Kandrona, leaving Cassie and Rachel behind to complete the task; in the book, Visser Three captures all of the morphed Animorphs, and presents them to Visser One, who subsequently releases them. The destruction of the Kandrona occurs in The Stranger.
  • Visser Three would not be in human morph while on the Pool Ship; it is clear from the books that the Visser greatly prefers his Andalite host body to "weak" and "puny" human bodies.
  • In the book, Visser One's personal guard leads the Animorphs to an escape pod that returns them to Earth; in the TV episode, Marco and Jake commandeer a Blade Ship in order to escape the Pool Ship, which is not of the "jellyfish" design frequently described in the books.


Scholastic re-released The Predator with a new lenticular cover in December 2011.[1]


External links[edit]