Rachel is a fictional character from the sci-fi book series Animorphs. Her full name is never explicitly mentioned in the books, but her relation to her cousin Jake Berenson through their fathers makes it most likely to be Rachel Berenson, if it was never changed or hyphenated.
Marco often sardonically calls her "Xena, Warrior Princess" or "Ms. Fashion", and Jake has referred to her (in his thoughts) as "the war goddess". She is best friends with Cassie, though this relationship is often strained throughout the series due to Cassie's more pacifist attitude, contrasting with Rachel's warrior side. Rachel also has feelings for Tobias and the two start dating near the middle of the series. In the beginning, Melissa Chapman (daughter of the Controller Chapman) is one of her best friends, but the relationship decays and Melissa is only mentioned a few times in the series.
Rachel's recklessness develops into disturbing, violent, sometimes sadistic (or even sociopathic), tendencies during the series. She is frequently described as something of an adrenaline junkie, being "addicted" to the "rush" of the war and the feeling of battle and conquering her enemies. Rachel is brought face-to-face with this dark part of her personality in The Solution, The Separation, and in The Return. She is also shown to be reckless, claustrophobic and short-sighted.
Although Marco occasionally jokingly flirts with her, Rachel's main relationship throughout the series is with Tobias, despite the difficulties involved. On one occasion, Rachel is asked out by another boy at school. Although tempted by the idea of a more normal relationship, she turns him down, recalling the lengths Tobias had gone to in the past to help her and the depth of feeling between them.
In the last book, Rachel is sent to kill Tom. After he morphs into snake form and bites her while she is in grizzly bear form, she succeeds by biting down on him, killing him. After Rachel demorphs from grizzly bear, she is killed with a single blow by another Yeerk in a polar bear morph. When Jake, Marco, and Tobias set off to go save Ax, they name the cruiser-class ship they board The Rachel in her honor. Before Rachel dies, the Ellimist recounts the story of his life as detailed in the The Ellimist Chronicles. She dies at the age of 16.
Rachel's transportation morphs were slightly different from the others. Her preferred transportation morph was the bald eagle. Like the others, she also had the flea, housefly, seagull, and cockroach. However, she also acquired a great horned owl.
She underwent some morphing problems. The first was an allergy to the crocodile DNA, which caused her to morph uncontrollably and randomly when she experienced heightened emotions. This morph had to be ejected in a procedure known as hereth illint. She also acquired a starfish to retrieve an earring that she had dropped into a tide pool, and when a young kid sliced her starfish morph in half with a shovel, she was divided into the two opposite halves of her personality: "Mean Rachel" and "Nice Rachel". Ax and Erek managed to put her two halves back together by having the two Rachels acquire and morph each other simultaneously; this, along with a massive burst of electric energy supplied by Erek, caused them to re-combine.
In "The Return", Crayak grants Rachel two new morphs; a giant, carnivorous, self-regenerating venus flytrap and a monstrous version of herself (dubbed Super-Rachel) with retractable claws within the fingertips and superhuman strength, the former of which being a likely reference to the Howlers. It is presumed she lost these morphs after the events of this book.
Specific missions called for some single-purpose morphs. She acquired Melissa Chapman's cat, Fluffer McKitty, to try to infiltrate the Chapman house. She also acquired a sperm whale to find a squid to restore the Pemalite ship's programming. During the battle for the Hork-Bajir valley, she acquired a beaver to build a dam.
However, the following contains all her morphs:
|African Elephant||The Invasion|
|Bald Eagle||The Visitor|
|Cat (Fluffer McKitty)|
|Great Horned Owl|
|Grizzly Bear||The Stranger|
|Spider Monkey (unusable: Sario Rip morph)||The Forgotten|
|Jaguar (unusable: Sario Rip morph)|
|Crocodile (unusable: hereth illint)||The Reaction|
|Hork-Bajir (Jara Hamee)||The Change|
|Deinonychus (unusable: Sario Rip morph)||In the Time of Dinosaurs|