March 4, 2017 by Zoë
This book is dark. The last time I re-read it, I recognized this, but this time it was still surprising how dark the series had gotten when it’s only on book three. On the other hand, Tobias is trapped in hawk morph and that is dark. And he’s having to learn how to deal with being a human and a hawk and that is one huge internal struggle. So it works.
That said, the thing with the female hawk is weird and I’m still not really sure what to make of it. I never am when I read this book. I just move on.
I do think it’s interesting how far K. A. goes in terms of Tobias’s suicide attempt. He literally tries to smash himself into a window and then when that doesn’t work he loses himself completely to the hawk. It’s pretty blatant. And then Rachel brings it up again, even if she doesn’t say the word “suicide.”
I think it’s also not insignificant, given Rachel’s character arc, how much of this book she spends telling Tobias that he’s human. We’re going to come back to this a lot over the course of the series. What does it mean to be human? To be an animal? To be an alien? To be good? To be bad?
Necessity to the series
As with the first two books, I think this book is also quite necessary in terms of setting up the series and the severe consequences the kids are dealing with. It’s also very important in terms of Tobias’s overall character arc.
- I hated the way they all felt sorry for me. All they could see was that I was not what I used to be. All they saw was that I had no home.
But they didn’t really understand. I hadn’t had a real home since my parents died. I was used to being alone.
And I had the sky.
- “I mean, as far as I’m concerned, I can’t just do nothing while people are enslaved by the Yeerks,” Cassie said. “Maybe it’s just me…” She shrugged. “The thing is, I have these powers.”
She shrugged again. “I can’t just do nothing.”
- “You belong with us,” Rachel said firmly. “You are a human being, Tobias.”
<How can you be so sure?> I asked her.
“Because what counts is what is in your head and in your heart,” she said with sudden passion. “A person isn’t his body. A person isn’t what’s on the outside.”
<Rachel…I don’t even remember what I look like.>
- “As long as you have me and the others, you aren’t lost, Tobias.”
- The hawk flew fast and straight.
I let it go. I surrendered.
Tobias, a boy whose face I could no longer remember, no longer existed.
- <Excuse me,> Marco said. <But does anyone else ever stop to realize that some of the things we talk about doing are totally INSANE?>
- Rachel…I never told you…>
<You didn’t have to, Tobias,> she said.
- Be happy for me, and for all who fly free.