This book gets a lot of points just for being a break from the numbing chain of ghost writers and water-treading plots, but 'Back to Before' works on its own terms as well.
After a harrowing heist with many casualties, the Animorphs go to their homes in low spirits. Cassie is particularly upset, but Jake is too overwhelmed to pay attention. That night, in despair he wishes it could all go away and the Drode appears to make it happen.
The Drode exists because our big big baddie, Crayak, is immobile so the Animorphs need someone to interact with. He's irritating, but this time he offers something big: to change the past, which would allow the Animorphs to never encounter Elfangor on that fateful night, and live out their lives - until the Yeerks take over anyway - and Jake takes the deal.
This was entertaining and accomplishes what an alternate time-line does: explore the characters from a new perspective.
Next: 'The Familiar'
Previous: 'The Other'