Okay so I keep finding myself muttering about Animorphs in other threads so I'm just going to make an Animorphs thread. YEAH! FOR THOSE NOT IN THE KNOW and not afraid of mild spoilers: Spoiler: Themes, backstory, plot, and such below Animorphs was a 90s/early 00s series of books targeted at about the 10-14 year old crowd, alongside books like Goosebumps or Sweet Valley Twins or Babysitter's Club. But where Goosebumps was horror and Sweet Valley/Babysitter's Club were... uh, dramas or something? idk I never actually read them, Animorphs was science fiction. Coming in at 52 main books and... nine or ten 'Chronicles' and 'Megamorphs' books, Animorphs followed the story of five/six/seven young teenagers (depending on the book) drafted into a war against the invading Yeerks. Yeerks are alien slugs who cannot not see in their natural aquatic forms, but evolved to infest the brains and control the bodies of the lopsided bipeds of their homeworld. They were uplifted by the Andalites, a race of blue centaur-like aliens, sometime in the 1940s or 1950s or so, and promptly stole Andalite technology and started scouring the stars for more host bodies besides the awkward Gedd. The Andalites took exception to this, and the war between Andalites and Yeerks commenced; eventually it came to Earth, where the Yeerks absolutely destroyed the Andalite ship and fighters sent to chase them. One off the fighter pilots, Elfangor, crash-landed in a construction site in California, where he gave a gift of Andalite technology (forbidden since the Yeerks took it for their own gain): he gave the 13-year-olds Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Marco, and Tobias the power to absorb DNA from animals, and thus the power to fight the already-begun infestation of humanity without exposing their families to excessive danger. Then he was eaten by Visser 3, the only Yeerk to infest an Andalite body and thus possess morphing technology himself. The next 60-ish books weave a story of war and trauma, of these children having their souls chipped away to form them into warriors, of enemies being right next to your skin and your own family being both danger and in danger; it shows a story of greys beyond black and white, subtle beyond what anyone could expect from a children's series, and how no group is completely uniform in its good or badness. There is death, there is violence, there are war crimes by the heroes and incredible sacrifice from villains, and the universe it's set in blossoms into something complex and fascinating. They are so good. While written for younger audiences, I find the series even more easily appreciated as an adult, where the more subtle themes jump out and the PTSD suffered by the main characters and the pure madness of desperation and living a double life, hiding your worst wounds from those closest to you, to be really compelling. If you want to try them out, here's some PDFs! If you have already tried them out, come talk to me about them!