Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book 6: The Capture

The Summary
Through spying on his brother, Jake learns that the Yeerks have taken over an entire hospital and plan on infesting hundreds of people through it. The Animorphs sneak into a meeting of the Sharing using roach morphs, in which Visser Three reveals that the governor of the state will be going to that same hospital for surgery in a few days. They plan to infest him and then force him to run for president.

So the Animorphs morph flies and sneak into the hospital. They uncover a Jacuzzi tub that is functioning like a miniature Yeerk pool. Jake is way too happy about this, and begins to boil the Yeerks alive. Just then, a few Controllers burst in. In the fight that follows, Jake falls in the Jacuzzi. Surrounded by dying Yeerks, he is infested by Temrash 114, who also happens to be Tom’s old Yeerk.

The Animorphs escape, and Jake begins to freak out when he realizes what is happening. His friends do not realize he’s been infested, and he has no way to communicate with them. Worse, the Yeerk immediately knows everything about the Animorphs. Luckily, Ax notices something is up. Temrash reacts badly to the accusation that Jake has been infested, which makes everyone else more suspicious.

The other Animorphs decide to tie Jake/Temrash up in the woods for three days until Temrash starves to death. Ax will be pretending to be Jake in the meantime. Temrash tries to use Jake’s morphs to escape, but both nature and the other Animorphs repeatedly stop him. Eventually, Temrash dies, and Jake gets a memory-dump of his life, and also the lives of his hosts. In the final minute, he gets a look of a fiery eye that is not explained.

Jake is freed, the Yeerks have apparently forgotten about their hospital plot, and all is well again. Except his parents want to check him into a mental hospital because Ax is not very good at pretending to be human. Jake also makes a phone call to Tom, telling him to never give up.

The Review
Ifi: Okay so first the cover
Ifi: We are still on that colored clouds kick
Adam: I actually happen to like this one though.
Ifi: What is up with Jake's pose? What is he doing with his one arm?
Adam: He's doing the chicken dance
Adam: Clearly.
Ifi: Oh duh.

Adam: Now, this cover doesn't have the usual diagonal format of previous covers.
Adam: Jake morphs straight down instead.
Adam: Which I honestly think is a nice change of pace, even with the weird pose.
Ifi: If you close one eye and cover the left side with your hand it actually looks pretty good.
Adam: Huh. That is not inaccurate.
Ifi: SUCCESS!
Adam: Weird
Ifi: The colors work too
Ifi: And I dunno, it just seems more engaging
Ifi: Maybe it's because he's facing us straight on
Adam: Like I said, it is a bit of variety.
Adam: The colors don't really do anything for me, personally, but they are nowhere near as offensive as the last book.
Ifi: Jake rocks that purple turtleneck sweater.
Adam: Oh yes.
Ifi: Look at that face. He OWNS it.
Ifi: That is the face of a man completely secure in his kingdom. Which is a turtleneck.
Adam: I don't quite understand that facial expression.
Adam: It's like he's trying to keep his face looking as neutral as possible, but failing.
Ifi: He's smug because he knows you are jealous of the way he can rock a turtleneck.
Adam: Sure, let's go with that.
Ifi: And...oh dear, are those acid-washed jeans?
Adam: No, this is before those came into fashion
Adam: It's just that there's a transparency effect applied to them, so you can see the clouds in the background through them.
Ifi: Very well.

I...er..um...
Ifi: I have so many words.
Ifi: About this story.
Ifi: I don't even know where to start.
Adam: Pick one.
Ifi: What.
Adam: One of the words.
Ifi: That was my word. "What."
Adam: Can you elaborate?
Ifi: This book is even more screwed up than the last one. The one with the ants. Because that was over in a chapter or two. The fucked up-ness in this one lasts for 154 pages.
Adam: Well, let's begin then, shall we?

Ifi: So Jake is angsting because his brother Tom is a Controller.
Ifi: He angsts for four chapters.
Adam: Tom tries to convince him to join the Sharing.
Adam: However, his method for doing so completely confuses me.
Adam: Because even if the Sharing wasn't a front for an evil alien invasion, that does not stop the fact that Tom completely makes it sound like a cult.
Ifi: Yeah even if I wanted to join, I'd change my mind after talking to Tom.

"Your loss," he said. "There are things that are cooler than hanging out with Marco. Cooler than being on some bogus team. Important things. You could be a part of something...bigger. You could be part of something great, not just another nothing kid."

----Book Six, The Capture

Adam: That's certainly not disturbing at all, alien mind control slugs or not.
Adam: You'd think that Jake would try to convince his parents to hire a deprogrammer or something.
Ifi: That would be hilarious.
Adam: How do you think that would go?
Ifi: "Sweetie, we want you to talk to this nice man. About the Sharing. We're a little concerned."
Ifi: "Are you serious?"
Ifi: "We're all here for you!"
Ifi: "...fuck this." -Yeerk slides out Tom's ear and goes home-
Adam: And thus the Earth is saved, thanks to common sense!
Ifi: HOORAY!
Adam: But that could never happen. I mean, who do you know that has common sense? Let's be realistic here.

Ifi: Speaking of common sense, Jake decides to test out his cockroach morph. In a room that has cockroach traps.
Adam: Hey, I'm giving him credit here. This is the first book that doesn't begin with stupid, coverblowing antics, and has him actually practicing the morph before crunch time.
Ifi: IN THE KITCHEN.
Adam: So I am willing to let that particular lapse in logic slide.
Ifi: HE'S PRACTICING A MORPH IN THE KITCHEN OF HIS HOUSE.
Ifi: -slow clap-
Adam: Well yes. He decides to morph in a house that contains not only roach motels, but a known Controller as well.

Ifi: The real trouble starts when Jake realizes the Yeerks have taken over an entire hospital and will begin using it to infest people. Luckily, like everything else the Yeerks infiltrate, it's in the area.
Adam: I find it very bizarre that the Yeerks apparently don't have any international headquarters.
Ifi: Nope. They never leave that particular area of California, regardless of how many times the 'Andalite Bandits' attack
Adam: They go to Antarctica once, and when that plan fails a single time, they give up on it.
Ifi: I don't blame them, Antarctica blows. They should try, like, Boston or something.
Ifi: Florida even.
Ifi: Canada.
Ifi: Egypt.
Ifi: Lichtenstein.
Ifi: ANYWHERE
Adam: Heck, I'd just go and put a base in every major city on Earth.
Ifi: I'd just take China and India and be set for life.
Adam: There you go.

Ifi: Jake is having this really odd dream about being a tiger and wanting to kill Tom. It is creepy.

"Okay, but don't laugh. In the dream I'm in my tiger morph. And I'm stalking Tom. Following him. On his trail. I'm feeling the tiger's eagerness. You know, that predator feeling. The hunger. The desire to kill. […] Anyway, in the dream, I'm hunting my own brother. Only, when I get close ... he turns around. And it isn't Tom anymore. It's..." I stopped myself before I finished the sentence.

----Book Six, The Capture

Adam: It is.
Adam: And yet I can bet you that the shippers are reading that bit and giggling with glee.
Ifi: o_o
Ifi: You mean...?
Adam: Afraid so.
Ifi: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH
Adam: Oh dear, it seems that I've broken her.
Ifi: LET
Ifi: THE
Ifi: YEERKS
Ifi: HAVE
Ifi: EARTH

Ifi: Marco gets a new house.
Ifi: I guess that is nice.
Adam: Actual good news in these books can be rather rare.

Ifi: So they use their roach morphs to sneak into some sort of Yeerk meeting/pep rally thing.
Ifi: Visser Three reveals a human morph, which is treated way more dramatically than you'd think.
Ifi: And he makes a speech explaining their plan for the readers who weren't paying attention the first time. He also mentions that the governor is going in for surgery in a few days. This governor plans to run for president in the future.
Adam: This seems needlessly convoluted.
Adam: Why not just kidnap a few secret service agents, then use them to kidnap the current president, establish a miniature Kandrona in the white house, and then you can infest each new president that gets elected?

Adam: So to their surprise, but not ours, someone notices them when a big group of roaches all walks out into the open.
Ifi: Hilarity ensues
Ifi: And by hilarity, I mean first degree murder
Adam: And by first degree murder, you mean hilarity.
Adam: This scene reminds me of a convention of 50's sitcom housewives who have all spotted a mouse.

"Visser! Forgive my interruption. But there are several small insects here!"
A general murmur from the crowd, then one voice saying, "Don't worry, they are only
cockroaches. They are everywhere on this planet."
"Fool!" Visser Three exploded. "Do you think Andalites cannot morph creatures so small? Someone kill this fool for me."

----Book Six, The Capture

Ifi: Visser Three is delegating!
Adam: I'm so proud of him!
Ifi: But one of the Controllers just randomly happens to be carrying a can of Raid
Adam: How very (in)convenient
Ifi: Jake is poisoned, but Tobias rescues him right at the last minute.
Adam: And they all escape via a bunch of whacky means
Ifi: And then something really weird happens.
Adam: Oh?
Ifi: Jake has some sort of spirit quest dream thing while he's morphing back to human.
Ifi: He has his I-am-a-tiger-eating-Tom dream thing again
Ifi: Tobias says he morphs while he's unconscious
Ifi: But he's fine in a few minutes
Adam: Trippy.

Ifi: Jake is worried about Tom because Tom's Yeerk is starting to gain political power. If the Animorphs foil Visser Three's latest plan, Tom could be killed, because that's just how Visser Three operates.
Ifi: The readers don't buy it for a second because the author would never kill off Jake's primary source of angst so early.
Adam: But hey, it drives the plot, so we go with it.
Adam: So they needlessly called attention to themselves, and almost died, but hey, they got a useful bit of information out of it.
Ifi: Right! We have to save the governor-president-whatever

Ifi: But first
Ifi: FILLER TIME
Ifi: Jake plays basketball and goes shopping for a gift for his mom's birthday!
Ifi: This takes up two whole chapters.
Adam: Yeah okay, whatever
Ifi: But wait, there was just one little thing I wanted to nitpick in this section
Adam: Go on?

"My mom's birthday was coming up. I had about fifteen dollars to buy her something, and the last time I'd bought her a present it hadn't turned out all that well. Who would ever guess that she wouldn't appreciate a classic Spiderman #3 in almost mint condition?"
----Book Six, The Capture

Ifi: This comic book?

Ifi: In near-mint condition?
Ifi: SEVEN. THOUSAND. DOLLARS.
Adam: Well, when Jake was born, he accidentally tripped over an oil well, and is worth several million dollars as a result. Unfortunately, he spent most of it on cashmere diapers and diamond encrusted pacifiers.
Adam: He was too young to know that a comic isn't a good mom gift, and his mom is too stupid to know that it actually is.
Ifi: The true tragedy of the Animorphs series.
Adam: Verily.

Ifi: Anyway so Cassie says we all need to morph flies to get into this hospital place and save the governor
Ifi: And everyone else in the hospital too, I guess.
Adam: But! But!
Adam: They decide to actually practice the morphs beforehand!
Adam: And in a safe location at that!
Ifi: Truly, we are in the last days.
Adam: The end is nigh.

By absolutely terrible luck, the old version of The Fly had been on TV the night before. Like fools, we'd all watched it. 
----Book Six, The Capture

Ifi: Goddamn I hate that movie.
Ifi: And that scene they keep referencing? The worst.
Ifi: The very worst.
Ifi: Have you ever seen it?
Ifi: They play it around Halloween, usually.
Adam: Oh, I love David Cronenburg movies
Ifi: Ugh ewwww that movie
Ifi: I could never morph a fly, just because of that movie.
Ifi: And then he just crushes him....
Adam:
Ifi: Nope couldn't watch it. I clicked it and I couldn't watch it.
(NSFW!)

Adam: or if you'd prefer:
Ifi: nope not clicking that either.
Adam: =B
Adam: I find kind of funny that, with all their bad experiences with invertebrate morphs, they all really like being flies
Ifi: It turns out flies are pretty laid back
Ifi: They just zoom around having a good time and then they die a few days later
Adam: I would not have expected that.

Ifi: So once they get into the hospital, they find an interesting Jacuzzi tub
Adam: One that happens to contain a bunch of Yeerks.
Adam: Yeerks just chilling out, enjoying themselves.
Ifi: Yeerks which are explicitly stated to be blind and helpless in their natural state.

"Ax? What do you think would happen to all those Yeerks in there if the temperature of the liquid suddenly went up to say, one hundred twenty degrees? And the liquid was all agitated?"

----Book Six, The Captu—wait, what did you just say?

Ifi: Jake. Dude. Jake, woah man. Jake.
Ifi: Jake you're scaring me Jake.
Adam: They don't even bother considering the moral implications of this.
Adam: They just go straight for the kill.
Ifi: No seriously. There is not even a second's hesitation before hitting the button
Adam: Christ man.
Ifi: Not even a "Oh, wait, maybe I should angst for, like, a second? Just to keep in character?"
Ifi: Nope.

"We came here to stop this sick operation, right? Well, wiping out a hundred or so Yeerks might be a good way to start. I'm going to hook this thing back together, and Jacuzzi these filthy creeps to death."

----Oh god what is happening...

Ifi: Even better? About six paragraphs ago, we had Ax knock out a human-controller. Ax states that he didn't kill him because he was afraid the Controller might be Tom. Jake says:

"No. It's not. But that's a good instinct, Ax. Whoever this guy is, he's someone's brother or son or even father."

----Book Six, The Capture

Adam: You and your consistent internal logic.

There were no tools in the room. But I did find some tape and a pair of tweezers. That was all I needed. I began reconnecting wires, red to red, blue to blue, green to green. Without the switches, the settings would all automatically be at maximum. Maximum heat, maximum jets.
[…]
"Okay. Time to boil some Yeerks."
I reached down and stuck the plug in the outlet.
It took a few seconds, then the boiling sound began. The familiar Jacuzzi bubbling.

----WHAT.

Ifi: Jake Jake you are really creeping me out Jake
Adam: With this and the whole tiger dream
Adam: Jake has issues
Ifi: The issues are just beginning.
Ifi: Because just as Jake begins to commit genocide by Jacuzzi, more controllers burst in!
Adam: And pull a gun on our heroes! How very dramatic!
Ifi: It is dramatic. It is so dramatic that Jake lands facefirst in the Yeerk pool.
Ifi: Proving that karma does, in fact, exist.
Ifi: Jake's okay, but all he can do is sit and watch the fight stupidly.
Ifi: Also he has a helluva headache
Ifi: But whatever
Adam: Well, a gunshot did go off near his head, I suppose it is expected to hurt a bit.

Adam: Rachel goes elephant and Marco carries him out
Ifi: So they escape.
Ifi: Jake reallllly isn't feeling so great.
Adam: Well, he should just take an aspirin or something.
Adam: C'mon man, there's a war going on, you can't let something like a headcold get in the way.
Ifi: And that mysterious voice doing the running commentary? Probably nothing important, right?
Adam: Well, Jake hasn't exactly been very stable throughout this book.
Adam: He's probably just hearing things.
Ifi: But wait!
Ifi: Now he can't move his hand!
Ifi: Or speak!
Ifi: WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Adam: Surely nothing at all to do with having fallen into a pool of mindcontrol slugs.
Ifi: OH MAN
Ifi: I THINK JAKE MIGHT BE A CONTROLLER
Adam: BWUWHAAAAAT?
Ifi: BUT I AM NOT SURE. LET'S LET THE MYSTERIOUS VOICE MONOLOUGE FOR A FEW MORE PAGES BEFORE WE DECIDE.
Ifi: HMMM
Ifi: YEP
Ifi: YEP WE'RE SCREWED
Keyuuute
Ifi: Fortunately, Ax is competent and was actually paying attention in his Yeerk Identification class.
Ifi: He figures out that Jake has been infested in about ten seconds.
Adam: And as it turns out, by extraordinarily ridiculous coincidence, it is not just any Yeerk, but the one that had previously infested Jake's brother.
Ifi: This Yeerk doesn't have too much personality outside of being a total jerk. He even brags about his own awesomeness when he's happy. Or annoyed. Or scared. Or bored.
Ifi: The Yeerk, Temrash, also isn't too good at common sense. He accidentally calls Ax "Andalite filth" and it's pretty much game over from there.
Adam: Well, he was rising through the Yeerk ranks pretty quickly.
Adam: And now we know why. He's a complete and utter brown noser.
Ifi: The Animorphs, despite Temrash's best* acting, decide Jake must be tied up for three days until the Yeerk in his head dies.
Ifi: *really terrible
Adam: Of course, Temrash is still being smug.
Adam: When really, anyone logical would know that he is utterly screwed.
Ifi: So they drag Jake/Temrash out to the woods
Ifi: Ax will be playing the part of Jake at home and school
Ifi: Which I'm sure was hilarious, though we never got to see it.
Adam: That we never get to see that really disappoints me.
Adam: Ax's misadventures at Jake's could have filled up another half a book.
Ifi: Seriously, that would have been the very best.

Ifi: They get to some random shack out in the woods and we settle in to wait for a sentient creature to die of starvation.
Ifi: Temrash and Jake do a lot of chatting from here on out.
Ifi: Temrash pulls up some of Jake's 'fantasies'...of winning a basketball game.
Ifi: Oh gee that sure is embarrassing.
Adam: Such scandal.
Ifi: Easily the most personal and secret thing stored in his brain.
Adam: Well, you know those teenage boys, with their constant focus on their, um, basketball games.
Ifi: It simply cannot be healthy.
Adam: Think of the children!
Ifi: He is right to be so ashamed!
Adam: Someone ought to inform his parents.
Ifi: I blame the liberal media.
Adam: Them and their damn basketball agenda!
Ifi: And MTV
Adam: They try to convert the kids at a young age, y'know.

Ifi: Temrash continues to be a jerk by showing Jake some of Tom's memories as a prisoner
Ifi: This is a good strategy on the author's part, so we won't feel bad when Temrash dies.
Adam: This would have been a radically different book if we had just gotten an ordinary civilian Yeerk in Jake's head.
Ifi: Eventually Jake falls asleep and has his usual recurring dream about hunting Tom as a tiger and then being the tiger's prey or whatever. He wakes up from fright, as usual.

I woke up. My eyes were already open.
<Interesting dream,> the Yeerk said. <Very metaphorical.>

----Book Six, The Capture

Ifi: I laughed so hard.
Adam: Yeerks spend their free time going to Freudian psychology seminars.
Ifi: They also enjoy deconstruction.
Adam: Wait!
Adam: It all makes sense now!
Adam: The Tvtropes wiki is a front for the Yeerks!
Adam: NOOOOOO

Ifi: Then Temrash makes his first of many escape attempts.
Ifi: He morphs a tiger, only to get lost in the woods about ten minutes later.
Adam: Nice going, Temrash. Very smooth.
Ifi: The others beat him up for the hell of it and he goes back to the shack to sulk.
Ifi: For once, it works in Jake's favor, not having very many morphs.
Ifi: Temrash does not have much to work with.
Adam: It's then that we are introduced to another theme that is repeated throughout the later books.
Adam: Apparently Earth has a lot more speciation then most other planets.
Adam: Clearly a result of the Jesus Whale's intervention.
Ifi: Humans are special. Earth is special. Everything about us is special in this series.
Adam: This never made any sense to me.
Ifi: It's such a self-centered trope
Adam: As we later find out, Yeerks reproduce in trios rather then pairs.
Adam: This would cause a greater amount of genetic variation.
Adam: In other words, the Yeerk homeworld should have more species than Earth, not less!
Ifi: omg we humans are so clever and resourceful and inquisitive and spe-shull and our planet is the very best there could not possibly be any better planets out there
Adam: Gah.
Adam: Anthropocentrism in scifi is something that has always bothered me.
Ifi: But we'll rant more about that when we actually get to it in the books.

Ifi: Anyway, Temrash morphs a wolf. The local wolf pack takes issue with this, and so he goes back to the shack yet again.
Adam: So he continues to sulk and rant, as he gradually realizes that the situation is pretty hopeless for him.
Adam: Gosh, that is pretty bleak.
Ifi: He even gets desperate enough to try the ant thing.
Ifi: Which ends exactly how you'd expect.
Ifi: And eventually, Temrash does begin to die.
Adam: Jake gets to see bits of his past hosts' lives.
Ifi: There was one part I took issue with

Visions of the good times in the Yeerk's life. And of bad times. The emotions were strange. Alien. I guess that's the word for them. There was no memory of love. I guess Yeerks don't do love.

----Book Six, The Capture

Ifi: SO I ONCE MET A YEERK AND HE NEVER LOVED ANYONE SO I GUESS NOBODY IN THE ENTIRE SPECIES HAS EVER LOVED ANYONE ELSE
Adam: Jake's kinda a racist.
Ifi: And then the weirdest thing of all weird things happens
Adam: OHMYGOD GIANT DEATH EYEBALL

Adam: I know that they explain this later, but I was just profoundly confused by this scene, I don't know what.
Ifi: It is actually a little while before they explain it
Adam: You're right. Another 20 books, actually.
Ifi: Everyone pretty much forgets about it until then
Adam: As I recall, it was a little bit after this book that I began internetting, and the theories for what the Big Red Eye (BRE) as it was then referred to as, were completely all over the place.
Adam: This was pretty much my first exposure to internet fandoms.
Adam: And my poor addled brain was never the same since.
Ifi: You have my condolences
Adam: Danke.

Ifi: Jake is freed, the Yeerks decide the whole hospital thing was a stupid idea anyway, and all is well again.
Ifi: BUT WAIT
Ifi: WE HAVEN'T RISKED BLOWING OUR COVER FOR A STUPID AND POINTLESS REASON YET
Adam: *gasp*
Adam: However could they think of ending the book without that?
Ifi: So they borrow Cassie's dad's cell phone, because everyone knows that would be literally impossible to trace
Adam: ow
Adam: my brain.
Ifi: And Jake morphs partway to wolf, enough to change his voice, and tells Tom to never give up.
Adam: To which Tom promptly responds:
Adam: "Jake? Why are you making such a goofy voice?"
Ifi: I'm sure Tom appreciated the fact they didn't waste three days tying him up in the woods to starve out HIS Yeerk, and instead just made a vague phone call.
Adam: SERIOUSLY! They could have saved Tom at any time!
Adam: Bastards.
Ifi: That would have actually been a rather efficient way to fight the Yeerks. As they freed more hosts, the ex-hosts could then turn around and hold MORE Controllers captive and it would just grow exponentially...
Adam: Shhh
Ifi: NVM THAT IS A STUPID IDEA WHAT WAS I THINKING
Ifi: LET'S JUST BLOW STUFF UP

Adam: Well, overall I think this was a rather excellent book.
Adam: It starts to give a good idea of just how dark later books were going to get.
Ifi: I do think it had some deep stuff going on, even though it was limited by a rather simplistic narrator
Adam: Well, that will improve as the kids get more savvy at this whole guerrilla war thing.
Ifi: You're right.
Ifi: And then there is MORE ANGST
Ifi: HOORAY!
Adam: =D

17 comments:

  1. Yeerks not doing love makes perfect sense: they die in reproduction, so there's no reason for them to pair-bond. Jake mentions affection, and yeerks they encounter later certainly seem to have affection for their pool-mates, particularly their siblings, but given the vast number of children a given yeerk trio has, those bonds are unlikely to be as strong as human sibling bonds.

    If anything, the one situation in which a yeerk does hint at being in love (with Derane, a pool-mate but not sibling) made no sense to me. He mentioned that they grew up together, which should be pretty irrelevant for their reproductive strategy, but he certainly spoke of her in pair-bonding love terms. Visser one's attitude to her fellow yeerks made a lot more sense.

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  2. You are both brilliant, lovely people for doing these reviews. <3

    Who would ever guess that she wouldn't appreciate a classic Spiderman #3 in almost mint condition?"

    And for Christmas she turned down my gift of Amazing Fantasy #15! Moms. *eyeroll*

    "Ax? What do you think would happen to all those Yeerks in there if the temperature of the liquid suddenly went up to say, one hundred twenty degrees? And the liquid was all agitated?"

    You know, I can kind of see where they're coming from. Every Yeerk in that pool is one day going to enslave another human or Hork-Bajir, and you can't really take the Yeerks as POWs. But it is weird that no one makes any kind of moral objection about literally boiling them alive, especially Cassie. And Jake does seem to take a weird sort of pleasure in it...Foreshadowing?

    "The emotions were strange. Alien. I guess that's the word for them. There was no memory of love. I guess Yeerks don't do love."

    Except later on when we find out they totally do. The book does go out of its way to make sure you don't feel too bad about his death.

    Thanks for the reviews!

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  3. Ah, but since they die in reproduction, they have reason to be very selective with those they mate with. So while they would likely not feel human-style love of wanting to take care of their mates and offspring, it would still make sense that they would form very strong connections with other yeerks, so they are capable of being absolutely sure of what they're doing before trioing off.

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  4. This was never one of my favourites. The pacing was weird; there was a ton of time spent on gift-shopping and basketball-playing and not enough spent on, y'know, the ostensible plot of the book. I always felt like it took a while for Jake to become a solid character. #16 The Warning was his first really good book (when you guys get to that one it's gonna be epic. It's the Outdated Computer References one).

    A lot of stuff in the later books contradicts the Yeerks-don't-feel-love thing. Aftran cares about her brother, Visser One falls in love with that guy, the Yeerk from book 8 loves Derane. It does seem like the Yeerks feel love, just in a different sense than humans, because theirs isn't about pair bonding or children, which maybe makes love a little rarer. Anyway, since this is refuted 3 books later I'm not bothered by it. I just figure Jake's Yeerk is kinda a shitty guy, and since Jake is 13 and seeing things in black and white he jumped to "Yeerks don't do love, I guess".

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  5. You also have to keep in mind that Temrash is the sort of yeerk who was on good terms with Visser Three, which is not the sort of thing which speaks well of his character. I always figured that this sort of thing was intentional: setting up this black and white morality against the evil aliens, but then gradually deconstruct it when we learn that the yeerks are really just the same as any other people.

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  6. "Ah, but since they die in reproduction, they have reason to be very selective with those they mate with. So while they would likely not feel human-style love of wanting to take care of their mates and offspring, it would still make sense that they would form very strong connections with other yeerks, so they are capable of being absolutely sure of what they're doing before trioing off."

    Jake does mention that yeerks apparently experience affection. Given that he's a teenage kid, "affection" is probably a term that he thinks describes yeerk connections better. Yeerk mate bonds would be highly selective, but also short-term; important, but not as intense as long-term pair-bonding species require. Even if Jake would translate that as 'love', it's probably unlikely that Temrash had ever felt it. He's not a nice guy and is focusing on his career. Aftran's feelings about her brother (and a few throwaway remarks about other yeerks' poolmates) can quite easily be described as affection. Visser One and her human children seems to approximate human love, but she was swept up in humanity at the time and the other yeerks are all weirded out by it.

    The thing with Derane was just... out of place. I'm going to assume that that yeerk was insane. He might have been planning to reproduce with her, I guess? I don't know.

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  7. I am in complete agreement with AAA. You know what makes the internet awesome? That I can find thoughtful discussions about a children's sci-fi series from the nineties. That is all.

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  8. "'Fool!' Visser Three exploded. 'Do you think Andalites cannot morph creatures so small? Someone kill this fool for me.'"

    So this brings up some questions about Visser Three. Why does he spend so much time collecting forms useful only for going One-Winged Angel on his minions, when he could acquire some cute little squirrels and sparrows and butterflies and using those to REALLY ruin everyone's day? *sigh...* Evil Overlords.

    Also, Yeerks are, what, two inches long right? So what the hell happens to Temrash when Jake is an ant? I'm having a vision of what *should* happen when a Witwikki (sp?) rides in a Transformer who must suddenly change from car to robot and back.

    I am applying logic to a book in which a shapeshifter must be incarcerated, so they put him in... a shack... in the woods... alone. Yup.

    (May have a treat for you guys on Tuesday. :)

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    1. yeah the yeerk morphing thing is a good question also the transformers thing was done by some other guy on NG it was messy

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  9. I was wondering about the ant thing too. More importantly, what happens to a yeerk who gets stuck in the head of a nothlit without ear canals? They might survive since (as the ant shows) they're clearly not physiologically a yeerk anymore.

    Further discussion of this phenomenon is spoileriffic, so I'll shut up now.

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  10. Hooray I love Trish-treats!

    Wow, the ant thing didn't even occur to me! Would the Yeerk body just go to Z-space with the rest of the host's mass, but the self stays behind? I guess I've always assumed that, in these books, it's the soul/mind/whatever that controls you when you're in morph because obviously the 'brain' is gone. Ghost in the machine and all that.

    PS: As a gigantic Transformer's fan, I can tell you that, in sequences when there's a human inside a transformer who changes from alt-mode to root-mode, the human always sort of magically slides out the door when said door folds back to become part of the shoulder. The human always winds up safely in the transformer's hand. I acknowledge that this really doesn't make sense. I do not believe there has ever an instance of a human still being inside a transformer's chest after they've returned to root mode.

    If it's a larger TF, the human does this odd sort of free-fall until the transformation is done, and the robot catches him before he hits the ground. They never go splat, to everyone's dismay.

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  11. When I first read the comic book thing, I always assumed it was a reprint, even though it does say that it was in mint condition. And with the whole "boiling Yeerks alive" thing, I will admit that now that I am older, it is really bad. But when I was younger, my brain just thought "This is war, they are the bad guys, the heroes have the opportunity to kill them, so do it".

    And remember Adam and Ifi, we find out exactly why the heroes can't just kidnap Tom for three days to kill his Yeerk in future books. The Yeerks can't have any witnesses now, can they.

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  12. On the topic of the comic book, I can wank that one away. Jake didn't say AMAZING Spider-Man #3, he just said Spider-Man #3. Spider-Man was an ongoing series created to showcase Todd MacFarlane (creator of Spawn) in the 90s, and Spider-Man #3 came out in 1990. Not exactly the most valuable of comic books when this came out.

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  13. Hey guys... this exists too :/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYusQrlJ2H8

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  14. I just discovered this site and I am dying of laughter. Thank you for bringing this gloriousness into my life, really.

    I've seen the "why didn't they starve Tom's Yeerk" around a lot, but they wouldn't have been able to - Tom was a decently known Controller, so what happens when he's free? He obviously won't be going back to the Yeerk pool anymore, and I'm pretty sure that people would notice and...go to his house? "'Sup, dude? Where you been?"

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    1. Dude, I like, JUST SAID THAT on the review of the book before.

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