Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book 11: The Forgotten

The Summary
The Yeerks have crashed an experimental Bug fighter into a Safeway. There's no joke there. That's what happened. They managed to cover it up pretty well, but not well enough for Tobias to miss.

The Animorphs go and try to see if they can somehow turn this to their advantage. They get into the supermarket by morphing flies, and immediately steal the thing (Ax knows how to fly inferior Yeerk technology) with the intention of showing it to the President of the United States. But once they get outside the atmosphere (not sure why they left the atmosphere in the first place since they're only going across the country) they see Visser Three's Blade ship just chilling.

They fire at each other, which creates an unusual sort of shockwave that knocks both ships back to earth (just go with it). They land in the Amazon rainforest, slightly battered and very confused.

When Jake reveals that he has been having strange flashbacks all day, Ax realizes that they may have created something called a "Sario Rip" and traveled into the past or future. They need to get back to their own time before they reach the time that they left or else they will create a paradox and vanish (it's very confusing). Eventually, they figure out that they have gone twelve hours into the past.

So the Animorphs are chased by Hork-Bajir and ants and bugs and lots of other horrible things. They finally morph some monkeys and retreat to the safety of the trees, where they can watch the Yeerks destroy the rainforest because they are Yeerks. It doesn't take Jake too long to realize that he has totally screwed up: he had Ax take the computer out of the Bug fighter, but now they need the Bug fighter functional to get home.

Ax finally admits that Jake is the only one having flashbacks because he is the only one who is "real". The other Animorphs, including himself, are just memories left over from some time-travel morphic resonance or something.

The Animorphs morph jaguars and realize that the rainforest is actually pretty cool. But they are led into a trap, where Visser Three captures everyone except Jake. Jake uses his monkey morph to evade the monster Visser Three has morphed, which is similar to the vines of the rainforest. He poisons Visser Three, and Visser Three kills him. Jake snaps back to the present, just before the Animorphs entered the Safeway. Then they all go home.

The Review
Adam: Well, the cover is fine
Adam: I don't see anything objectionable about it
Ifi: Is your spine purple?
Adam: The spine of the book, or my physical spine?
Ifi: Your physical spine.
Ifi: Because that is what we are discussing
Ifi: Obviously
Adam: Yes, both are purple.
Adam: But the book does not have poisonous spikes.
Ifi: Well it's a cool morph I guess I don't have any complaints past the red lava clouds, which is a losing battle
Adam: I like the gold on red; I think it works well enough.

Adam: We begin with the greatest threat our heroes have ever faced!
Adam: Square dancing
Ifi: They actually made us do square dancing in the ninth grade
Ifi: It was funny because if you messed up this one part, the guys would wind up holding hands, and after a minute they'd realize it and freak out
Ifi: All the songs were sung by this old dude. I can still hear them in my head
Adam: I was just about to comment that I didn't think there were any middle schools that made you square dance. It seems more of an elementary school thing to me.
Adam: But it appears that I am mistaken!
Ifi: I guess it depends on where you live
Ifi: I can't imagine getting elementary school kids organized enough to square dance
Adam: Admittedly, we whined about it a lot.
Adam: Or at least I did
Ifi: We all did.
Ifi: I actually didn't mind it because it was indoors and there was no running
Ifi: But the music was terrible
Adam: Yeah, but it requires physical contact with other humans.
Ifi: There was no running.
Adam: These difficult lives we lead.
Ifi: For srs

Ifi: Anyway so Jake is angsting because square dancing.
Adam: *le gasp!*
Adam: And then!
Adam: And then!
Adam: He starts dancing!
Adam: With the girl he likes!
Ifi: OMG
Adam: The sheer horror!
Adam: What would the children think?
Ifi: Cassie has presumably skipped class and showed up in some random gym class to tell Jake that Tobias has found a plot hook.
Adam: And as she is about to tell him:

Ifi: He goes on a spirit quest!

I fell down and down through the green, green trees! A branch. I snatched at it with my hand and swung and released, then flew through the air and caught another branch. I wrapped my tail around the branch and turned to look back. Monkeys were swinging toward me through the high treetops of the jungle.

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten

Ifi: So he is Tarzan for a minute
Adam: Slide!
Adam: ...It's a Fight Club reference
Adam: So yes
Adam: Jake is a monkey.
Adam: Somehow I think we've secretly known this all along.

Ifi: The vision ends and Jake is like "Huh. Trippy. Let's not tell anyone about this."
Adam: ...Why?
Ifi: Don't ask me!
Adam: This is the standard sitcom disease where one character needlessly hides useful information because it helps to drive the plot.
Ifi: Well obviously

Ifi: So anyway the Yeerks accidentally crashed a new bug fighter into a supermarket.
Adam: Real competent setup they have there, huh?
Ifi: I really really want to see that scene.
Ifi: Like how it happened and the aftermath and everything
Ifi: It sounds like it would be hilarious
Adam: One of the Taxxons dropped some skittles, and they all went into a frenzy.
Ifi: But the story has a happy ending! They realized they were in a supermarket and ate until they exploded.
Adam: You are a weird kid sometimes.

Ifi: Everyone is like "JAKE TELL US WHAT TO DO"
Adam: I'm getting some severe codependence from this group here,
Ifi: Well nobody notices anything is up even after he yells "Woah!" for no reason
Adam: Yeah, I dunno
Adam: They thought he left on the stove or something.

Ifi: There is this really painful sequence where they morph flies and attempt to cross the street to get to said grocery store.
Ifi: Jake trips out approximately every eight pages
Adam: I'm thinking perhaps this isn't actually foreshadowing.
Adam: Maybe Jake here has actually snapped.

Ifi: When they finally get inside, they see the crashed bug fighter
Ifi: "What should we do with this?"
Ifi: "Ooh! Ooh!"
Adam: Oh wait
Ifi: Well they are all thrilled by the idea, and to be honest, if I was thirteen, I'd think that was basically the greatest plan ever too
Adam: How about taking Ax home.
Adam: Now that they have an interstellar spacecraft and all.
Adam: I mean, wasn't that the entire plot of book 5?
Ifi: Dude why are you being so selfish??? I want to meet the president!!!
Ifi: It's not all about you!
Adam: *cough*

Bullets rattled against the Bug fighter's outer skin. Then I heard the grinding sounds of the engine. Through the cockpit window, I saw the Controllers turning big earthmovers toward us.
"They're going to ram us!" Marco warned.

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten

Ifi: This is incredibly ironic.
Ifi: It should not be hard to see why.
Adam: Oh.
Adam: Wow.
Adam: That took me a second there, but wow.

Ifi: They manage to lift off.
Ifi: Jake fires the Dracon beam for absolutely no reason
Ifi: It's never said if he hits anything
Adam: They were testing the weapon system
Adam: However, three and a half million years in the future, it ends up hitting emperor Flrthrarx of the planet Gorgemalite XII, thereby ending a long and brutal reign of terror.
Ifi: They also scare the crap out of some F-16 pilots
Adam: Yeah, well, now they have a cool story to tell to their kids.

Ifi: So they get to outer space and
Ifi: Oh.
Ifi: Shit.
Ifi: The Blade ship
Ifi: We...forgot that was there
Ifi: ...
Ifi: Shit.
Adam: So, they can either run away, or try to ineptly shoot at it before being blown to smithereens.
Adam: Like any good 90's protagonists, they choose the latter.
Ifi: They basically decide to try for a kamakaze move
Adam: And, this being Animorphs, the least likely possible thing happens.
Ifi: Everyone falls out of space and crashes in the Amazon rain forest
Ifi: Yes. Even the Blade Ship.
Ifi: Countless millions were killed instantly.
Adam: The earth was covered in a layer of dust from the impact, and all life soon went extinct


Ifi: So when Jake comes to he is covered in horrible South America bugs.
Adam: Acquire it, Jake!
Adam: That sounds really cool!
Adam: I want all of them.
Ifi: The last thing you'd ever hear would be "AAAH! SQUISH IT!"
Adam: Nooooo
Adam: The poor beetle.
Adam: What did it ever do to you?
Ifi: That's humanity for you.

Ifi: So now we're in the rainforest.
Ifi: ...
Ifi: a yup

Ifi: Ax realizes that when the bug fighter and blade ship fired at each other, the beams collided and caused an effect called a Sario Rip, which sent them to an indeterminate point in the past or future
Ifi: Also it is one twenty-two p.m
Ifi: I don't know how the hell Ax knows that, but he does.
Adam: But yes, I would have figured out that the impending rip in the fabric of reality would have at least messed with Ax's time sense a little.
Ifi: Nope.
Ifi: We might be ten thousand years in the future, and all the great cities of the past are empty shells with forgotten names
Ifi: but it is one twenty-two
Ifi: in the afternoon.
Adam: That struck me as deep somehow.
Ifi: Put me in the circus.
Adam: I've considered it

<Prince Jake, we studied the Sario Rip effect in school. But there was a game later that day. And I was thinking more about the game than class. Also, there was this female who distracted me.>

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten

Ifi: -slow clap-
Adam: Hey, hey, give the guy a break. He's going through alien puberty.
Ifi: Rather chase sexy purple tail than save his own life
Adam: Admit it, you'd do the same thing.
Ifi: Yes. Yes I would.

Ifi: And then some natives throw spears at Jake. Just because.
Ifi: Because he is white, presumably
Adam: Alternatively, because he just fell out of the sky on a great flaming chariot.
Ifi: Yeah.
Ifi: Definitely because he's white.
Adam: Yeah okay.

Ifi: So Ax takes the computer out of the bug fighter and they all run away while being chased by Hork-Bajir
Ifi: It's time for Ifi's Most Fucked Up Moments in Animorphs!!!!!!!
Adam: *applause*

Because that's when I saw Rachel. She was out cold, still in grizzly morph. She'd been cut up badly by Hork-Bajir blades. She was lying there on her side, bleeding. But that's not what made me want to scream.
Her fur was alive.
Alive with a million ants that were already ripping away a million tiny bites from her wounded flesh.
I threw myself down next to Rachel and started swatting at the ants. But instead of getting rid of them, the ants just swarmed across my hands. There had to be ten thousand ants. Rachel had fallen almost on top of their mound. I could see ants carrying away tiny pieces of bloody bear flesh.
The ants were getting at her ears now. They swarmed across her closed eyes. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I don't think I've ever felt so totally helpless.

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten

Adam: brb, gagging.
Ifi: This might be more fucked up than the time they ate Tobias
Adam: It is up there, yes.
Adam: Well, this is the series with Visser Three in it.
Ifi: Luckily, one fucked-up moment resolves another. Jake remembers how ants get around enemy colonies from that one time they morphed them, so he brings in another colony to fight the colony that is eating Rachel.
Ifi: I cannot believe that worked.
Adam: So the ants leave Rachel to engage in civil war, rather than Rachel just getting eaten twice as fast
Adam: Anyone know any entomologists who can factcheck the likelyhood of this?
Ifi: For serious. I didn't buy it for a moment.
Ifi: But it would be cool if someone could confirm it

Ifi: And then like morons the Animorphs run into the water.
Adam: Where they are immediately attacked by piranhas
Ifi: I was actually expecting leeches
Adam: Leeches aren't immediately threatening
Ifi: But they'd have been worse in the long run.
Adam: They can always just morph and recoup the blood loss
Ifi: Piranha eats your foot? Pssh. Morph it back. Leech on you? Good luck getting that off.
Adam: Morph into a fly. It will fall off
Ifi: Or it will remain latched on to the tiny bit of you that remains and crush you to death
Ifi: You need fire to get leeches off
Adam: That's your solution to everything.
Adam: *slowly edges away*
Ifi: I'm sorry I started thinking about fire and I just got so excited

"This is the rain forest everyone wants to save? Ants and piranha and snakes and bugs the size of rats? Well, as far as I'm concerned they can burn it down, pave it over, and put up malls and convenience stores!"

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten, Oh Rachel

Adam: Wasn't this the plot of an episode of South Park? 
Ifi: But I mean, that would probably be me as well if you put me in the actual rainforest. I like to look at videos of jaguars and macaws and whatnot but if you set me down on the floor I'd just lie down and wait for death. 
Adam: Myself, I would be awestruck for the first five minutes or so, then the heat would get to me and I would just try to get home.
Ifi: I would go to the rainforest. If I was wearing a spacesuit.

Ifi: Anyway Ax finds some really awesome monkeys to morph
Adam: ...Sexy monkeys, apparently
Ifi: He thinks that they are a vast improvement to humans in the not-falling-over department
Ifi: Jake finally admits what's been happening with him and the flashbacks/flash forwards
Ifi: Ax immediately realizes that they've gone back to that morning, and they need to get back to their own time before they reach the time they went back in time again or they will be wiped out of the time stream
Adam: Wait, could you explain the sexy monkey thing? i don't want people to think I am weird
Adam: Weirder
Ifi: I have no idea what he is referring to. There is no context for his statement. We must all interpret this to mean that he finds monkeys highly attractive.
Adam: ...I hate you.
Ifi: Tehe
Adam: For the record, they have Ax flirt with some other monkeys, so they can acquire them.
Adam: Also, this confirms that you can't acquire someone else in a morph
Ifi: Which doesn't really make sense
Ifi: But whatevarrrr
Adam: That said, there is another part that I want to address.

<No.> Ax said solemnly. <It's not good. We are in two places at the same time. That is impossible. It's a time-space anomaly. It's an unstable condition.>

----The Forgotten

Adam: Yeah, that makes absolutely no sense
Adam: Even if they were in an earlier or later time frame where they didn't exist yet/anymore, the atoms that they are made off would still be out there
Ifi: You are the science and art guy. I am the girl who writes pretty words, gets drunk, and sets things on fire.
Adam: So let me do my science things.
Ifi: I thought you were done!
Ifi: I saw words words words words
Adam: My point is: Time travel makes no goddamn sense.
Ifi: It never did. I always hated the time travel episodes in Star Trek.
Adam: Honestly, the best time travel plots are the ones where they deliberately abuse how little sense it makes
Adam: See: The Bill and Ted movies

"[...]All we have to do is get to the Blade ship, hide out on board, and let Visser Three take us home. I mean, that's the only way, right?" 
<There could be—> Ax started to say. Then he stopped. 
"What?" I asked him. "Is there some other way to get back?" 
<As I said, Prince Jake, I wasn't paying attention the day they taught this in school.> 
I knew he was hiding something. I should have pressed him. But I didn't.

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten

Adam: And later we find out that there isn't even any reason for him to hide this information in the first place!
Adam: Honestly, I shouldn't be surprised

Ifi: So they have fun being monkeys for a while
Ifi: Monkeys are pretty okay
Adam: They like throwing poo
Adam: What other animal likes throwing poo?
Ifi: I really don't know

Ifi: Meanwhile the bad guys are running around cutting down trees and killing animals like this is an episode of Captain Planet
Adam: I told you, this series takes place in the Captain Planet-verse
Ifi: Oh! Visser Three shows up!
Ifi: I was starting to miss him.
Adam: It just isn't the same without ol' Esplin

<Did it occur to you that the Bug fighter is less than a hundred yards from here? Did it occur to you that Dracon beams travel a long way? Did it occur to you that we cannot get back to our own time without that Bug fighter? And did it occur to you that I MIGHT BE IN MORPH and that you might end up shooting me?>

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten

Ifi: lol i love him
Adam: I sorta want to know what would have happened in the alternate timeline where they did hit him.
Ifi: Whoever hit him would get a promotion

Ifi: Jake does a ton of angsting once he realized he actually screwed everything up by having Ax take the computer chip, even though it was not his fault. He angsts over pretty much every little thing in this book.
Adam: Life is tough, Jake.
Adam: Well, admittedly he has snapped.
Adam: And this whole jungle scenario is a hallucination

Ifi: Those native people show up again. They think the Animorphs are monkey-spirits and want to help them fight the Hork-Bajir, which is cool in a "WHAT NO ARE YOU INSANE GO HOME" kind of way.
Adam: This becomes a problem when mankind strikes an alliance with the free Hork-Bajir, some of which go to explore the jungle, only to be attacked because the natives think they are Satan.
Ifi: Hahaha
Ifi: The natives speak Portuguese. Marco kind of speaks Spanish thanks to Visser Mom but not very much. So they can only convey basic concepts to each other.
Adam: It's better than nothing

Ifi: So it rains. Because it is a rainforest.
Ifi: Oh and there is a jaguar. That is pretty cool. Jake falls asleep and he wakes up and there is a jaguar in his face like ohai.
Adam: Oopsy daisy.
Ifi: So they acquire that
Ifi: And there's a few pages of chatter about how awesome earth is
Adam: Seems a bit wishy-washy
Ifi: Maybe so, but I thought it was the best so far
Ifi: in terms of environmentalist tangents
Adam: Alright, fair enough
Adam: The rainforest does have some cool stuffs.

Ifi: Jake finally beats some more information out of Ax

<Prince's possible that you are...I mean, it's possible that you are the only real person here. The rest of us may only be memory.>

----Book Eleven, The Forgotten

Ifi: Welp.
Adam: ...What?
Adam: How does that even?
Adam: Wha?
Ifi: So there's that.
Adam: I am still trying comprehend that last bit.

Ifi: They go to the Bug fighter and walk right into a trap
Ifi: Visser Three morphs something that appears to be a living net but I am not sure
Ifi: Possibly a land jellyfish
Adam: I pictured it as some sort of giant tree creature
Ifi: I guess that is more accurate
Ifi: Anyway it has lots of arms and captures everyone except Jake, who has narrator immunity
Adam: The next bit is rather awesome, I will admit.
Ifi: Yes. It's well written, and manages to incorporate those random tribe people.
Ifi: Apparently jungle poison works on aliens too.
Ifi: Jake manages to stab Visser Three with a poisoned spear
Ifi: It's not stated whether this will kill him or not but it doesn't matter because at this point, he breaks Jake's neck, killing him instantly
Adam: Oops

Adam: So, how about that "Jake is the only one really there" thing?
Ifi: Jake’s death undoes everything and setting everyone back to before they left. They are back outside the supermarket.
Ifi: And uh
Ifi: ...
Ifi: yeah I got nothing

Ifi: So everyone is like "so Jake what are we gonna do about this bug fighter?"
Ifi: "lol ok"
Ifi: "we don't question you at all Jake"
Adam: And so, with a new prototype ship, the Yeerks swiftly conquered the Reflaljians, subjugating them to a life of torment and solitude!
Adam: Happy end!
Ifi: Thank you and good night

Adam: So after this whole nonsense is over with, Jake goes and explains the whole jungle adventure to Ax
Ifi: Ax thinks it is pretty cool
Ifi: But not at all significant
Adam: Almost like it is introducing a plot element that will turn up again exactly once more, but ultimately never contribute anything significant!
Ifi: Jake takes another opportunity to angst about his lousy leadership skills, and Ax basically tells him to suck it up
Adam: Life is tough.

Ifi: I have nothing more to say about this very random book
Adam: It was a book.
Ifi: That it was
Adam: And it was very random.
Adam: So apparently past Jake and present Jake had some sort of psychic link...for some reason.
Ifi: Because he was the only one that was real
Adam: And when past Jake died, his consciousness snapped back to present Jake.
Adam: But if past Jake died, how could he be real?
Adam: Wouldn't that make none of them real?
Adam: Or all of them real?
Adam: *so confused*
Ifi: It's okay
Ifi: This is all a dream
Ifi: All just a dream
Adam: I'm just going to say that Jake actually had snapped and it was all in his mind.
Adam: Yes, exactly.
Adam: This is my theory, and I am sticking with it.


  1. {TV Tropes Weirdo} OMG Ax is a Time Lord! {/TV Tropes Weirdo}

  2. 'Jake snapped and it was all in his mind' is my explanation for a later book, too.

  3. Trish: Oh dear, you're one of those theorists...

    Extrinsicality: I was thinking along the same sort of lines, actually. It makes just as much sense as anything else that happens in that book, really.

  4. Extrinsicality: Which book are you thinking of?

  5. I think Extrinsicality is talking about book 47, AKA "Jake to the Future". And yeah, that was reeeeeeally weird.

    About "The Forgotten", well... it was probably the first book of the series to disappoint me, mainly because it was kinda pointless. I didn't even remember much of the plot (except for the infamous square dancing scene) before reading the review... Guess it's called "The Forgotten" for a reason.

    (a fan from Italy)

    1. Actually, that "Jake goes to the future" book is #41 The Familiar.

  6. "Oh dear, you're one of those theorists..."

    Ah HEE-ell naaaw.

    By the way, it's funny you mentioned "Rainforest Shmainforest" offhand. The "f*** the Rainforests (because the one time we went there everything tried to kill us because Trey and Matt thought it would be funny)" sentiment made it the first episode of "South Park" that genuinely bothered me.

    It's like, we need the sun to live and would be screwed utterly without it, but tourists wouldn't last very long there either.

    (Don't even get me started on "Love in the Wild"...)

  7. Quick question; when they were talking to the rainforest people, why did they even need Marco's iffy translation skills when Ax has a translator chip? Or did it just go all Firefly and it only translates English and Chinese?

    1. Yeah, Jake was surprised that Polo understood his thought-speak when he asked him for a spear. And the Andalite Chronicles is the very next book, with an ad for it in the back of this one, so it's not like KAA didn't come up with the rules of thought-speak yet.

  8. I think they didn't take Ax home because in between Book 5 & 11, Ax learned the following things:
    - He is expected to kill Visser Three, and everyone on his homeworld will be asking how that went when he goes home
    - He is believed to have broken the law of Seerow's kindness, and a pardon doesn't absolve him of the shame and disgrace
    - Earth has cinnamon buns
    - The humans are nicer to him than any living Andalite

    I think he's definitely in the "let's put a pin in that" mindset toward a return home.