This book marks the first time that the Animorphs leave their hometown, as well as the first time they leave Earth. Marco morphing lobster on the spanish edition cover. This is also the first time the word "demorph" is used; the previous books used variations such as "morph out" or "morph back" or merely "morph". During the ambush at the quarry, the fire from the Dracon beams are described as "Zzzzzzaaaapppp"; however, in other instances henceforth, the firing is describe as "TSEWWW". This is the only book where international editions featured a different cover morph. This marks the first time when Ax tries out human food, as well as the first occurrence of his love of human food, cinnamon buns in particular, as well as his tendency to play with mouth sounds through vocal speech.
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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. 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. 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.
The Animorphs reach an escape pod and return to Earth. However, only Marco and Jake will know this until the final events of The Escape.