Rachel is at a crossroads. She is the tough one, the first to take action and lead the others into a fight, but she's also in middle school. Her parents have been divorced for some time, but Rachel and her younger sisters see their dad every other weekend and can get in touch anytime, because he's in the same city. That's about to change. Rachel's devastation from this news, even while realizing how small a thing it is in the face of the Earth's destruction, is well done and real. Emotions don't play by the rules.
This excellent character development is unfortunately side-lined by the introduction of the 'Ellimist'. Ellimists are a cosmic race capable of great feats, including time manipulation apparently, and in the middle of a mission going down the tubes, one appears with an offer for the group and we are told all about how awesome and terrifying a race they are. Urgh. No thank you. But it will be a thing for the rest of the series.
I will say the time manipulation gave readers a chance to see a world where Yeerks have run amok and the climactic heist was pretty cool.
Previous: 'The Capture'