Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Liked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
The first book of the series not written by Applegate, and know what? The writing was night-and-day different than the previous books. It was easy to tell that Applegate had been phoning it in -- just meeting her word quota for the book. This book felt like the author cared.
The story was still 'episode of the week'-ish, another evil alien base has to be destroyed, more new morphs have to be used, but the story around that plot was actually fun. Unfortunately Jeffrey Zeuhlke only wrote one other book in the series.
In this one, the alien base was in the arctic, which made for interesting issues like the fact that none of the kids had morphs resistant enough to the brutally cold weather. Also, there was yet another alien race, which is getting kind of old. I suppose the universe could have endless races, but seems like we get a new one every book.
I guess the ghostwriters is kind of a blessing. You don't know if you'll get a good writer or a less good one, but either way hopefully they will be better than the first half of the series.