My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.
A Cassie book worse than The Unknown... yeah. I had completely forgotten about this book. I think I was repressing it because parts are horrifying. But while the story is MM1 redux on crack, the characterization is better than the last few books.
More under the cut.
So is it me or could this entire story have worked without the buffa-human and ant-Cassie? I mean, the Yeerks can sense morphing energy and the Animorphs have to destroy the Helmacron device. Similar plot to MM1, but if we didn't devote so much time to the buffa-human (what is my life that I am typing those words?) that plot could have been developed into something good. Many of the Animorph books are just variations on the same theme.
Instead we have this weird, unexplainable complication that really adds nothing to the story. How does the morphing technology even work? There's always, always had to be intention while morphing with the exception of a morphing reaction. Marco is too stressed and morphing goes wonky. An Animorph stops concentrating and they stop morphing.
Also, so far there's always been an Andalite to activate the cube. Elfangor gives the power to the Animorphs, Ax gives it to David. Cassie seems to be touching the cube, so maybe you could say once you have the ability to morph that will activate the cube even if you're not an Andalite (because there must be at least one other condition that activates it otherwise it's a paradox that can never be used). But the intention to morph? To acquire DNA? I don't believe a buffalo or an ant could do either of those things. Especially not as quickly as they do in the story.
So in-universe that whole thread makes no sense and out-of-universe it was just horrifying to read. This is another one that could probably be skipped since I don't think it has any bearing on the larger plot and it's just not very good.
ETA: There's also the weird argument Cassie makes that because the buffalo has human DNA now it might be murder to kill it which just seems absurd. It's not Tobias where the discussion of body vs DNA vs mind gets very muddled. It's a buffalo and having acquired a human's DNA does not make it human.