I would have posted this earlier today, but I didn't have internet.
I was incredibly busy this past week (school, food and sleep took up pretty much all of my time), so I didn't have time to write a summary. Stolen from the usual place.
The Ellimist shows up in the middle of a school assembly to tell the Animorphs that he has a job for them. He needs them to go to a planet on the other side of the galaxy and fight seven Howlers as part of a gigantic game he's playing with that big fiery eye thing from twenty books ago. His name is Crayak, and he's the one who created the Howlers in the first place.
The Animorphs, plus Erek, are sent to the Iskoort homeworld to have their battle. If they win, the Iskoort go free. If they lose, the Iskoort will be killed by the Howlers. The Iskoort are an interesting people who are willing to give the Animorphs a guide (named Guide) in exchange for Rachel's hair. He shows them around and explains Iskoort concepts to them.
The Animorphs encounter a lone Howler, and decide to attack him because the odds will never get better than this. The Howler kicks their asses and then leaves to laugh about it with his friends.
The Animorphs realize they are screwed, and run away and hide every time the Howlers attack. Guide finds them one safe place to stay after another. At one point during a fight, Jake manages to acquire some Howler DNA. Then Guide drops them off at a sort of hotel place to stay for a few hours. He explains that every three days, he needs to leave his body and swim in a pool for Kandrona rays.
The Animorphs are ready to cut his head off, but Guide quickly explains that he is in a symbiotic relationship with his body. He is a Yoork and his host is an Isk and together they are Iskoort. They cannot survive without one another, and function as a sort of gestalt entity. The Animorphs realize that the Ellimist wants to save this crazy species because one day the Yeerks will find them and realize there is an alternative to involuntary hosts.
The Animorphs use the Iskoort's memory-transferring technology to feed the Howlers memories of love and happiness and family and all that good stuff. The Howlers have a collective memory, so once one of them realizes that murder is not a game, they all do. Crayak destroys the seven Howlers and the Animorphs are declared the winners.
But it turns out Crayak was too late. One of Jake's memories of kissing Cassie has filtered through to the entire Howler race. From now on, the Howlers aren't going to kill the aliens they meet. They're going to hit on them. From there, we can only assume that they will go on to become the Don Juans of the galaxy.
This is one of my favorite side-missions in the series. The crazy lego like world is the planet I remember most. Plus I love the dilemma with needing to kill the Howler children and that they see an alternative for the Yeerks.
i think this is my favorite Jake book. The action is relentless and the character development/study is on a whole other level for this book. Jake shows serious guts risking the troops lives for the Yeerks descendants. The Iskoort where such a weird species that i could not help but reread their descriptions. Their anatomy weirded me out !
I didn't remember Crayak being in book 6. I know he wasn't mentioned by name, but even the machine-eyeball-slimything-piano-iguana-orangutan-doublerainbow whatchamacallit seems to have been filtered from my brain.
I'm way more active on RAF. If you want to contact me, go there.