Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Liked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
One of the interesting things about this series is how the darkness of it can surprise you.
Through unimportant happening, the animorphs found a group of "people" (the Nartec) living under our seas. The Nartec collected ships and more worryingly collected people to man those ships. Dead people. Or so it seemed at first.
The animorphs get captured by the Nartec, and through them we learned the truth. The Nartec capture people alive. And then they drug them and remove their bones and muscles and stuff them. At some point during that process the humans die, but they're awake and aware of it happening until that point.
Gah! That is nightmare material! To be awake and yet unable to move, unable to speak, while you're cut open and your insides removed? One of the Nartec even described how they do it: Cut people from the base of the neck down to the back of the knees, open them up, remove the bones and muscles... and they drug them so they can't fight back while it's happening.
Oh and then they use their genetic material to make babies, too.
While the plot had some silly elements, mostly I enjoyed this one. I can't imagine kids reading it though, the idea of it bothered even adult me.
And word is, the series only gets darker from here. Woo!
Edit: I always like reading others' reviews once I'm done with my own, and I was very surprised to see how hated this book was. Maybe it took 30-something books to just go with the wacky plot stuff instead of questioning it? Yeah, this book had a lot of silly plot stuff, but so have 34 of the last 36 books in the series. To me, the silly plot stuff was just structure to get the characters into a situation where they had to deal with bad emotional stuff.