Saturday, December 31, 2011

Book 18: The Decision

The Summary
The Animorphs need to morph a guy who Chapman put in the hospital by running him over with his minivan for some reasons that do not matter here. They morph to mosquito to steal the man's blood and acquire his DNA from there because he is in a coma and Controllers are guarding him constantly.

Just as Ax is about to do just that, the Animorphs are all pulled into Z-space with the rest of their mass, which was just hanging out there while they were tiny mosquitoes. Luckily they are picked up by an Andalite ship, which is on it's way to Leera to do some war. The Captain turns out to be a traitor, though, and all the other Andalites die.

So the Animorphs are on the one landmass on Leera, running around confused and taking everything out on Ax for no real reason. Also, the Animorphs are beginning to vanish into thin air one by one, beginning with Tobias.

The Animorphs get to the ocean and swim themselves to a Leeran city, where they are welcomed without having to explain anything because the Leerans are psychic and know they're the good guys. An Andalite War-Prince tasks the remaining Animorphs (Cassie, Jake, and Ax) with blowing up the Leeran continent for reasons of war.

They fight their way to the detonator until Ax alone remains. He triggers it and is conveniently pulled back to Earth just before a Hork-Bajir shoots him. Everyone has arrived back on Earth right where they were at the moment they left. Then the guy in the coma wakes up and everyone runs away.

The Review
Ifi: This cover is not worthy of this book.
Adam: What?
Adam: This cover is awesome!
Adam: One of my favorites
Adam: It has an alien on it.
Adam: And he's turning into an insect
Adam: What more could you want?
Ifi: I suppose I cannot argue with that
Adam: I mean, the color scheme isn't my favorite
Adam: But you can't win them all
Adam: What don't you like about it?
Ifi: I just don't like that it gives no indication that this book is special and awesome
Adam: Alright, fair point.
Ifi: They missed an opportunity to do something awesome on the inside cover
Adam: I still think there should be more covers like it
Ifi: Write to your congressman
Adam: I will consider it

Adam: This particular book I deem more than a little special
Adam: As my copy is signed by David Mattingly
Adam: Which is awesome


Ifi: Perhaps one day you can meet him and make him sign every single one.
Adam: That sounds like a slightly jerkish thing to do.
Ifi: I'd do it for one of my fans.
Ifi: Assuming I had something to sign
Ifi: and fans
Adam: I'll get you to sign one of your books for me
Ifi: Assuming anyone ever publishes them
Adam: Make all your dreams come true

Ifi: Okay
Ifi: So
Ifi: This book
Ifi: Great book or greatest book?
Adam: Great.
Adam: There is one more that I rate higher than this one.
Ifi: Which one?
Adam: #26
Adam: Where they go to the shopping mall planet
Ifi: Ah yes!

Ifi: So this book is unique in that it has a decoy plot and a real plot
Ifi: I'd have liked less time on the decoy plot in the beginning so there'd have been more room for the real plot later
Adam: We can't have it all

Ifi: Okay so the book opens with Ax being taken for a mentally handicapped homeless person
Adam: This is one of those bits that is hilarious on a first readthrough, and more then slightly depressing afterwards.
Ifi: He tries to get a job at Cinnabon
Ifi: And is told to clear the tables by the manager, who presumably plans to call social services once he's occupied. But he eats all the food.
Adam: Quote it

"Okay, now look, son, if you're that desperate for food, there's a tray of buns here that are just a bit stale. You can help yourself. You poor kid."
She indicated a square array of cinnamon buns. Perhaps a dozen in all!
"For me?" I asked in a voice choked with emotion.
"Sure, son. Go ahead and have one."
Let me make one final point here: human mouth-sound language is very fuzzy at times.
"Have one," she'd said.
One mouthful? One bun?
One tray?
It was certainly not my fault if there was any confusion.

----Ax, denying all responsibility

Adam: All I can think of is:

Ifi: :3

Ifi: So luckily Marco is there and, seeing a riot in front of the Cinnabon, immediately realizes what must have happened
Ifi: I'm just going to assume Ax was lying on the ground vomiting his brains out.
Ifi: Since they never say
Adam: T_T
Adam: That sounds
Adam: Horrifying
Adam: Especially since he wouldn't know what was happening
Ifi: Allergic reaction to cinnamon DNA
Adam: Wouldn't a whole cinnamon bun emerge from his back, then?
Ifi: I don't want to talk about this anymore.

Ifi: So Chapman ran down a member of the secret service with his minivan and put him in the hospital.
Adam: Obviously that is the only way that could have happened
Ifi: Visser Three is not the only one who enjoys the hands-on approach.

"The second-ranking guy in the Secret Service, a man named Hewlett Aldershot the
Third, is in a hospital in a coma. He was hit by a car while walking across the street. We don't know why he's here in this area. But we do know this: No one even knows he's in the hospital."
"His family doesn't know?" Cassie said.
"No. No one. Not his family, not his boss, Jane Carnegie. No one. The hospital is heavily infiltrated by Yeerks. Half the staff are human-Controllers. His name isn't even in the hospital computers. And, oh, by the way, the car that hit him? A minivan belonging to none other than our friend Chapman."

----Erek introduces the decoy plot

Adam: …I could have sworn you were joking.
Ifi: :D
Ifi: This is pretty much the only time Chapman's Yeerk gets to have any fun.
Adam: I wonder what the mission briefing for this assignment was.
Adam: <Okay, so Chapman, you are aware that a low-ranking member of the human government will be passing through the area.>
Adam: "Yes, my visser."
Adam: <I want you to go and hit him with your car.>
Adam: "Yes, my viss…excuse me, what?"
Adam: <Hit him with your car.>
Adam: "Um, surely there is a safer method for taking him captive…"
Adam: <Nonsense, it is car, or bust.>
Ifi: I'm with Visser Three on this one.
Adam: You totally would be
Ifi: It's good for morale!
Ifi: "You know, if we work hard, maybe someday WE'LL get assigned to hit someone with our cars."
Adam: Hitting people with primitive fossil fuel powered vehicles is good for morale?
Ifi: It would be like the most coveted assignment!


Ifi: The Animorphs debate whether they should save this guy or beat him up for having such a dumb name.
Adam: There is a town near where I live called Hewlett.

<I have a question,> Marco said. <If you already have a Hewlett Aldershot and a Hewlett Aldershot, Jr., what kind of parent is going to go and inflict that name on a third kid? He must have gotten beat up after school every single day of his life.>
It was the next day. Marco, Rachel, and I were on the ledge of a third-story window. We were in seagull morph. According to my human friends, seagulls are like pigeons. They can go anywhere without looking suspicious. I am sure they are right. Although I have no idea what a pigeon is. Nor can I imagine what a "suspicious" bird might be.
<I'm just saying for all we know, Chapman just ran this guy down because he couldn't stand that name.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: I want to discuss this:

Now that he was back in his Andalite body, we could hear Visser Three's unguarded thought-speak. <I gave orders that this human be cured!> he raged. <There is no point placing one of our people in his head if he's unable to move.>

The doctor said something. Something very respectful, very careful.

<I don't care about his brain stem, I want him repaired! Do you have any idea how useful this human would be to us? He is the number two man in the organization that guards their president. He would have access to half the secrets on this planet. That's why I arranged for him to be injured and brought here.>

----Visser Three exposits

Ifi: <I DON'T CARE THAT YOU ARE BEING COMPLETELY REASONABLE!>
Adam: Brain stem?
Adam: Is this another oatmeal junkie?
Ifi: <DO NOT INTERRUPT MY EXPOSISTION.>
Ifi: Oh Visser Three you are just the greatest.
Adam: This is why we love him so.

Ifi: Then an epic thing happens
Adam: Oh, hell yes

Then one stalk eye turned to stare directly at me. The second stalk eye followed. And I began to have a very bad feeling. Visser Three moved away, out of sight.
[...]
<Okay. Look, he may suspect you're not real seagulls,> Prince Jake said. <So don't behave suspiciously, or like you notice him. One of you fly off. The other one wait a few seconds, then fly off. Like normal—>
CRASH!
The glass window exploded outward as something came blasting out through it. Marco was knocked from the sill and went tumbling, out of control, toward the ground.
I was too shocked to react at first.
Then I saw what had come bursting through the window. A kafit bird! A six-winged kafit bird!

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: HOLY CRAP
Adam: Oh, one of those doofy looking things.
Adam: Well, I'm sure Alloran just acquired one when he was younger…

The kafit shook off the glass shards and banked sharply back toward me. Its razor-sharp, killing beak was aimed at me like a missile.
[...]
I turned and flew in abject panic. I flapped my wings and skimmed twenty feet above
the ground. I knew the kafit was faster. Was it more agile, too?
But part of my mind just kept asking, How, how, how? How had Visser Three acquired the DNA of a kafit bird? Had the Abomination actually set foot on Andalite grass?

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: Ax...
Adam: Um, Ax
Ifi: Axxxxxx
Ifi: Really Ax
Ifi: It's like the first thing all baby Andalites acquire
Adam: I'm honestly a bit shocked that Ax doesn't seem to have a kafit bird morph himself
Ifi: That is true. It was described in detail in the Andalite Chronicles, how everyone gets one
Ifi: But it never occurs to Ax for a moment that maybe Alloran acquired it at some point before he was infested.
Adam: This whole thing is a longstanding point of contention with fans.
Adam: And according to Applegate, it just honestly didn't occur to her when she was writing this.
Ifi: ...
Adam: It happens to the best of us
Ifi: Okay fine. I am a writer too. I forget little details all the time.
Adam: And honestly, the rest of this book is crazyawesome, so I will let this occasional thing slide.
Ifi: Anyway, the whole are-some-Andalites-possibly-traitors? subplot eventually drifts off into the aether, so it doesn't exactly matter
Adam: Yeah, apparently Applegate just sorta forgot about that as well.
Adam: (Admitted via interview)
Ifi: I guess I understand how she could forget things, since she was writing so quickly
Adam: I will have to say, I am curious to see what she would come up with if she didn't have to churn out books on such small deadlines.
Adam: Because there is some absolutely lovely creativity here.
Ifi: I know! I mean do I need to point to the Andalite Chronicles again?
Adam: Indeed.
Ifi: It's the little details where she tripped up. And again, I think that can be blamed on the publisher going "ok let's publish one book every other month yeah this is a great idea"
Adam: No sleep for anyone!
Adam: =D
Ifi: I'd have hired legions of ghostwriters too.

Adam: Anyways, so we get to the awesome thing.
Ifi: Visser Three crashes through the glass all dramatic-like.
Ifi: This attracts a bit of attention

Humans were gathering beneath us, gaping up at the bizarre spectacle.
"Hey, that bird has too many wings!" one yelled.
"Must be a mutant bird. Go seagull, go!"

----Humans, being humans

Ifi: I have nothing to add to this. I just wanted to point it out.
Adam: Yeah! Aerial dogfight!


I forced my way out, half Andalite, half bird, staggering on misshapen legs. Out into the open center of the roof. And there I saw him. Like me, he was demorphing. Like me, he was part bird, part Andalite.
But this was no true Andalite.
<Give yourself up, Andalite,> the Visser sneered. <And I may even let you live.>
<Let's see how good you are tail to tail,> I said, once more trying to sound far more confident than I was.
His tail emerged. My tail emerged.
And we stood, seemingly two Andalites, preparing for a battle to the death. I looked into the eyes of the Abomination. And there I saw evil. And then I saw something that made my hearts leap. Because I also saw fear.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision 

Adam: Oh yes
Adam: It is on
Adam: In a manner resembling Donkey Kong


Ifi: I honestly don't know why Visser Three is scared and Ax thinks he might possibly have a chance. Adam: They explain this.
Adam: He knows that the others are there and thinks that they are all other trained Andalite warriors.
Adam: So he figures that he is badly outnumbered
Ifi: Ah okay.
Ifi: The other Animorphs turn up and they're all "dude what are you doing no what no"
Adam: <Honoooor!>
Adam: Ax is very much channeling Prince Zuko in this book.
Ifi: "Don't be irrational, Ax. You cannot kill him today. It's only book 18, for god's sake."
Adam: <But Prince Jake, the Harry Potter series was not even half that length.>

Part of me wanted to say, yes, yes, we can let the Visser escape. He was bigger than I. His tail would have a half-foot advantage in reach. He was taller, which made it easier for him to strike my eyes, my head. But another part of me had seen that look of fear in the Visser's eyes. He'd realized he was in a trap. He'd realized he was facing a battle to the death where the odds were not all that favorable to him.
I wanted to see more of that fear from him. I wanted to see the terror as I pressed my tail blade against his throat and said, <This is for my brother.>
Sudden movement! I struck! My tail blade missed its target, but slashed the Abomination across his shoulder.
In the confusion, I didn't understand at first. Everything happened at once: his sudden movement, my strike, and then, the graceful flight as his leap took him over the wall.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision


Adam: So anyway, Visser Three gets away, and Ax continuously beats himself up for letting him
Ifi: He runs around the woods all night not letting Tobias get any sleep because he is just so angsty

<I have met Visser Three before,> I said stonily. <I should not have been afraid.>
<What could you have done?>
<I could have forced the fight.>
<What if you'd lost?>
<What if I'd won? It would have been a terrible blow against the Yeerks. I would have avenged Elfangor. I would have done a great service for my people.>
<Look, Ax, you went up against him. He backed down. Not you.>
<He was surrounded and outnumbered. He thought each of you was another Andalite warrior ready to demorph and attack. He retreated with honor.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Jumping off the roof = retreating with honor
Adam: Yeah, I was just about to point that out.
Adam: I am now very much confused as to how the Andalite code of honor works
Ifi: Yeah this makes about as much sense as the Kafit bird thing
Ifi: I mean okay they are aliens so it could be the way they do things but it doesn't fit with what we already know about Andalites
Adam: <I stayed and fought, where as he ran like a frightened rabbit. Clearly I have lost my honor.>
Adam: Indeed
Ifi: And seeing as Andalites looooove to commit suicide, it makes even less sense that running away is a good thing.
Ifi: I mean I would buy it if Ax told us that it was considered more honorable to kill yourself if you're up against an opponent you can't beat, rather than let him defeat you.
Adam: I am just going to say that Ax is too busy beating himself up over it to think logically.

Ifi: More kafit bird nonsense
Adam: There is something in the water.

"I said, by Visser Three morphing an Andalite bird, maybe he was sending a message. I mean, he still thinks we're all Andalites. He was pretty sure he was chasing an Andalite in morph, right? So he chooses to morph an Andalite bird? That's not a coincidence. That's a message."
[...]
"That's not the real question, though," Cassie said. "The real question is what are we going to do about this Hewlett Aldershot the Third?"
Marco stuck up his hand. "Get him to change his name?"

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: I too think Visser Three is sending a message.
Adam: And that message is "I need to catch you, so I am going to morph something that can fly fast."
Ifi: "And also stab you through the heart with its mouth"

"What exactly are you thinking? Are you talking about morphing Mr. Aldershot?"
"Duh. Yeah."
"We don't do that," Cassie said. "I thought we decided we don't do that. We don't morph humans."
<I morphed Prince Jake,> I said.
[…]
<And Cassie morphed Rachel that time,> Tobias said.
"First of all, Ax, you're not a human, so maybe it's okay if you morph Jake. Besides,
Jake would have given his permission if he hadn't been infested with a Yeerk. And Rachel did give me her permission," Cassie said.

----Cassie enforces her arbitrary moral code

Ifi: Everyone goes "Wait, did we just have an idea that can end the war?"
Ifi: "Crap!"
Ifi: "IT'S ONLY BOOK 18!!!!!!!!"
Adam: Well, they eventually decide to go do this anyway.
Adam: But first they need a method of acquiring him.

"Excuse me," Marco said with an edge of sarcasm in his voice. "Our man H.A. Third can't give permission. He's a vegetable. He's a carrot. He's a cabbage. He's a tomato."
"I thought tomatoes were fruit," Rachel interrupted, trying to provoke Marco.
"It's called a "persistent vegetative state," thanks so much for your sensitivity, Marco," Cassie said. "But we don't know if Mr. Aldershot is that bad off. He could just be in a coma. We don't have the right to go stealing his DNA."
"The man is a brussels sprout," Marco said.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Marco is charming.
Adam: Very

Cassie turned to me. "Ax, is it possible to acquire DNA from blood alone?"
<Yes. It should be.>
"Blood?" Rachel made a face. "We're gonna get this guy's blood? Not me, my friend. Hepatitis, HIV, uh-uh."
<Diseases cannot be transmitted during acquiring,> I said quickly. The acquiring process absorbs only DNA, and that DNA is isolated, encapsulated within your own bloodstream in a super-low temperature—and thus very stable—naltron molecule sphere. You see—>
"I think my brain just fell asleep," Marco interrupted. "So, okay, the blood is safe for us. So, Cassie, how do we get it?"
Cassie explained.
All the other humans, even Tobias, said "gross." They said "gross" very loudly and repeatedly.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: I am not sure whether I want to even start on this or not.
Adam: It is indeed gross.
Adam: And makes no goddamn sense
Ifi: And that's how the Animorphs all got AIDS
Ifi: Hey guys, next week let's dump HIV in the Yeerk pool.


Adam: And we'll call it: The Aristocrats!

"We can't all morph the same mosquito," Cassie said. "Only females suck blood. Males are useless."
"Amen," Rachel said, then laughed.
"So what's that mosquito in your hand?" Marco demanded.
"Like I know?" Cassie said. "I don't have a magnifying glass that good. And even if I did, how exactly do you tell a male from a female?"

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: *raises hand*
Ifi: Oooh me me me pick me pick meeeee
Adam: Yes, you, Ifi.
Ifi: Mosquitos are sexually dimorphic.
Ifi: The males are smaller
Adam: Educational!
Ifi: Sometimes they can be like a fraction of the size of the female
Adam: This would imply that the females are easier to catch.
Adam: So very likely, all the mosquitoes they have are all female anyway
Ifi: Oh that makes sense let's go with that.
Ifi: So if you are ever bit by a mosquito, it is a lady mosquito feeding her eggs delicious blood.
Adam: How did Cassie catch all of them, anyway?
Ifi: No idea.
Adam: You can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar.
Adam: So that's why I always put honey in my hair.
Ifi: Alllllllllright then

So while the others went up to the roof and morphed back to human in preparation for becoming mosquitoes, I landed in a dark, open window at the far end of the hospital. I fluttered inside, waited, listening. I heard human breathing. My harrier eyes adjusted to the darkness and I could make out a young human female, looking very frail in her bed.
I demorphed as quickly as I could, shedding feathers and growing fur. Suddenly the girl's eyes opened.
"Who are you?" she demanded. "Are you a fairy?"
<No. I am an Andalite.> It was all I could think of to say. Besides, I felt reluctant to lie to a sick child.
"What's your name?"
<My name is Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill.>
"That's a funny name," she said. Then she closed her eyes and began to sleep once more.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: ...
Ifi: okay.
Adam: In another book, this girl is going on magical fairytale adventures or something
Ifi: This is never mentioned again and I don't really know what to make of it.

Ifi: Ax is chosen to create a diversion, which he does by walking around.
Adam: Yep.
Adam: This is worth quoting, I think.

And that's when it occurred to me. The one way to keep from getting shot.
<I surrender!> I cried. <I want to defect.>
"What?"
<I wish to defect. I am interested in joining the Yeerks. I would like to become a Controller. Do you have any information on membership? Is there a fee?>
[...]
The leader of the Controllers made a snap decision. He hustled me out of the hallway and into the room where Hewlett Aldershot the Third was sleeping his comatose sleep. The room was small. Too small for all the guards. There were only five of them now. Much better odds.
"You want to join us?" one of the Controllers asked dubiously.
<Actually, no,> I said regretfully.
FWAPP!

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: So how about that Andalite honor?
Adam: Honor is always worth putting aside in the name of comedy
Adam: That is the highest of all Andalite laws.
Ifi: No wonder nobody is ever impressed when Andalites swear on their honor.
Ifi: They forget all about it the minute they get a funny idea.
Adam: Or if pastries show up.

Adam: They find Hewlett, and escape the Controllers by morphing the mosquitoes

The flesh was alive. It moved slightly, causing me to rise and fall. The human was breathing. But more fascinating than the slow rise and fall of breath, was the Thump! Thump! Thump! of a drumbeat beneath my feet. A pulse. The beating pulse of blood rushing through arteries and veins.
And then...
POP!
There was a distinct popping sound and suddenly, instantly, I was no longer a mosquito tapping into a human's vein.
I was in space. White, empty Zero-space!

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Oh.
Ifi: It uh
Ifi: It appears we've been transported to a different book.
Adam: SPAAAACE


Adam: Okay, so now we are in space.
Ifi: Yeah it turns out the book is actually about something completely different than what we’ve been led to believe.
Adam: Not that I am complaining.

Adam: So as it turns out.
Adam: Zero Space is weiiiird.

Zero-space! It was impossible. And yet here I was.
I looked around frantically. I turned my stalk eyes in every direction. I saw my own body, inside and out. An n-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, twisted so that I could see inside my own body.
And there, to one side of me, were four human bodies spread out in the same way—weird cross sections. I saw Prince Jake's face, but also his beating heart and the muscle tissues of his legs and the inside of his brain. The same with the others. They were all writhing in agony. And there was one bird, very still.
<Prince Jake! Tobias!> I cried.
But of course they couldn't answer. There was no air to carry their mouth-sounds. There was nothing, not even the few stray atoms and molecules that float free in regular space. There were no stars or planets. Nothing exists in Zero-space.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: This is sort of like just before Arthur and Ford get picked up by the whatsitcalled
Adam: Wow, that didn't even occur to me.
Adam: But it is the exact same thing.
Adam: (The Heart of Gold.)

Once, some time ago, I explained to my human friends about excess mass being pushed into Zero-space. They asked whether some ship traveling through Zero-space might not hit these matter bubbles.
I'd laughed. After all, the odds were…
Well, obviously it now seemed the odds were pretty good. The Andalite ship had come too close and had pulled us into its magnetic field. It was now dragging us in its wake as it blasted through Z-space.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: It's almost as if it's a…million to one chance?
Ifi: So luckily the ship is Andalite and not like Yeerk or Skrit Na
Ifi: Or god knows what else
Adam: "In our next book, Jake morphs a flea and gets eaten by Cthulhu."
Ifi: The ship rescues them...somehow? Ax passes out so the author doesn't have to explain how the Andalites got them aboard.
Adam: Tractor beam?
Adam: No alien spaceship is complete without them.
Ifi: Anyway, the ship has a Captain who seems cool. His TO is a jerk and the Doctor is not given a chance to be useful.
Ifi: Where are all the girl Andalites?
Ifi: I mean really.

Adam: Also, Sirinial is Elfangor's middle name.
Adam: So I am assuming that Andalite naming schemes just work rather differently from western style human ones.
Ifi: Yeah it's never explained so
Ifi: No idea
Adam: Ah well.

Adam: So, the other Animorphs are stuck off in another room, and they are kind of annoyed because Ax has the sheer gall to actually follow orders from a high ranking military officer.
Ifi: They are total jerks :(
Ifi: also

<Anyway, the dome fell from orbit and crashed in one of Earth's oceans. I was down there underwater for several Earth weeks, until the humans came to rescue me.>
<The same humans who are now in sick bay?> the doctor asked.
<Yes.>
<They used some human diving craft?> the T.O. asked.
<No. They morphed into aquatic animals and rescued me.>
The captain showed no expression except a wary tightening around his main eyes. <They morphed. And where exactly did they acquire the ability to morph?>
[...]
<I did, sir. I gave them morphing capability.>
The captain just looked at me. <I see. You are not a good liar, Aristh Aximili.>
My hearts skipped a few beats. <Sir?>
The T.O. sighed. <Young fool, if you gave the morphing power to the humans, how did they manage to already be in morph the first time you saw them? Obviously, they were already capable of morphing by the time they discovered you.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Honestly Ax.
Ifi: Were you even TRYING just there?
Adam: Yeah, Ax has caught a bad case of the idiots today.
Ifi: Luckily the Captain realizes that the homeworld must have ordered Ax to lie to cover Elfangor, and lets it go.
Adam: Also, the TO is kind of a speciesist jerk.
Ifi: I like how this is common enough that the Captain can deduce it immediately
Adam: Why do they even bother hiding it if pretty much everyone has it figured out, anyway?
Ifi: Andalite newspapers must be very very dull.
Ifi: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ALARMING HAPPENS FOR EIGHTY-THOUSANDTH DAY IN A ROW
Ifi: DJABALA RESCUES ITSELF FROM TREE
Ifi: GLORIOUS LEADER WARNS AGAINST DANGEROUS RADICALS WHO PUSH BODY-SNATCHING ALIEN CONSPIRACY THEORY
Adam: For some reason I picture Andalite newspapers using triangle brackets whenever they are quoting someone.

Ifi: Ax goes to visit the other Animorphs, who are confined to sickbay because the Andalites are probably familiar with War of the Worlds
Ifi: The Animorphs blame Ax for everything.
Ifi: Also we are going to Leera.

"So how do we get back?" Prince Jake asked.
<No one knows. The doctor and the other scientists on board are working on the theory. There may be a snapback effect. But they don't know. And we are about to land on Leera. This is an assault ship, which means it carries a large number of surface attack craft. It is no longer a secret Yeerk invasion of Leera. It has become a major, open battle. They have four Pool ships in orbit and two Blade ships. Hundreds of Bug fighters. We have less than a third of their forces.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: Well, this sounds promising.
Adam: But we all know that the few overcome the many.
Adam: And then the oil ends up burning for eight whole nights.
Ifi: No, I think that was something else.
Adam: Shh

<We have to follow the captain's orders,> I said.
"Says who?" Marco asked.
I was beginning to feel still more troubling emotions. Something bordering on panic now. And, strangely enough, guilt. <I am just a lowly aristh. Like a human cadet. I have to follow orders.> I looked pleadingly at Prince Jake. <You have to understand. You are no longer my prince, now that I am back among my own people.>
They all looked at me. It wasn't a nice look.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: You'd the the Animorphs would be happy to have adult Andalites handling the situation.
Adam: They are seriously being a huge bunch of jerks in this situation.
Adam: Seriously.
Adam: Wasn't the whole plan "Stall the Yeerks until we are able to finally contact Andalite military forces"?
Ifi: They get even worse later. But for now we are cruising through space until we finally reach Leera. Ax is happy because the other Andalites are paying attention to him, probably because they are sorry for him.
Ifi: Oh and also the Captain is working with the Yeerks apparently for some reason

Then, with absolute horror on his face, he turned to the captain. <Captain! We are on approach to land behind Yeerk lines. We won't have a prayer!>
The captain walked calmly over to his T.O. And then...
FWAPP!
The captain whipped his tail blade like lightning. The blade hit the T.O. at the base of his tail. T.O. Hareli's tail fell to the deck and twitched. Every warrior on the bridge froze, staring at the impossible sight.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: I honestly was not expecting that.
Ifi: And this isn't even my first time reading this book
Adam: Likewise.
Adam: So, is this guy a Controller? Or just a traitor?
Adam: Each of those options opens up a whole different bag of questions.
Ifi: I think Ax decides he can't be a Controller because they’ve been in space for weeks with no Kandrona.
Ifi: So he is just a traitor and a jerk. I have no idea what the Yeerks could possibly have to offer him.
Adam: Cinnamon buns?
Ifi: I...
Ifi: Anyway

<Prince Jake! Tobias! Cassie! Marco! Rachel!> I cried in private thought-speak. <If one of you can hear me, you must escape! The captain is—>
<The captain is a dirtbag,> Marco's thought-speak voice said, startlingly clear and close.
<What? Where are you?>
<Oh, gee, Ax, we decided not to just sit in our room with our hands folded like good little girls and boys,> Rachel said. <Sorry.>
<Ax, we are on the bridge,> Prince Jake said. We saw what happened. Or saw as well as we can in these morphs.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Now this? This was not a surprise at all.
Ifi: I mean really Ax have you not been reading the books?
Adam: Chaotic Good
Adam: It's a way of life.
Ifi: Also Ax does this symbolic battle with the captain which is like symbolic of his not-battle with Visser Three

It was the captain and I, tail to tail. We faced each other, each quivering with energy and focus, each waiting for the opening that would allow us to swing the killing tail slash.
I flashed on the scene with Visser Three. This was the second time I had gone tail to tail with an enemy. This time my foe would not escape.
TSEEEWWW!
T.O. Harelin! He had snatched up the fallen Shredder and fired. The captain sizzled, looked horrified, then disappeared.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: GODDAMNIT
Ifi: WILL I NEVER GET TO DEFEAT ANYONE???
Adam: Wait.
Adam: "Quivering with energy"?
Adam: It's like something out of Dragon Ball Z or something.
Ifi: Not thinking about it.
Ifi: So that is the end of that symbolic internal struggle or whatever
Adam: I'm sticking with my super animu battle

<Humans, remorph! The only way out of here is to be invisible. Aristh, you, too.>
<I'm not running away!>
<Yes, you are, Aristh Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill. You and the humans will escape and get word of this evil to the commander. That is an order.>
<But—>
<Do you know how to take an order?> he roared.
<Yes, sir.>
<Morph something small. I'll blow you out the emergency hatch. Get as far from the Ascalin as you can. You won't have much time. Do you hear me?>
I knew then what he was going to do. I knew he had no choice. He could not allow himself to be taken by the Yeerks. He could not allow any of the Andalites on board to be taken alive. And there was simply no way to escape this trap.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Wait
Ifi: Wait
Ifi: You can morph too, dude
Ifi: Did you forget that you can morph?
Ifi: You can all morph.
Ifi: You can ALL morph.
Adam: Isn't escaping the honorable thing to do?
Ifi: Not as honorable as MASS RITUAL SUICIDE

<To all warriors and crew of the Ascalin. This is the tactical officer. The captain is dead. We are surrounded. No chance of escape. Nothing to do now but inflict the maximum damage on the Yeerks. In three minutes I will begin firing all ship's weapons. The Shredder flashback will cause the ship to explode.>
He let this sink in for a moment.
<Perform the ritual of death, my friends. Thank you for your service to this ship. You die in the service of the People, defending freedom.>
[...]
From all over the ship, a hundred thought-speak voices spoke the words of the ritual. I couldn't help but join them. <I am the servant of the People,> I said. I should have bowed my head, but I no longer had a head that could bow. <I am the servant of my prince.> All over the ship I knew my fellow Andalites were raising their stalk eyes upward.
<I am the servant of honor,> I said, and heard the echo of all those strong voices. <My life is not my own, when the People have need of it. My life is given for the People, for my prince, and for my honor.>

----A book intended for ages 7 to 14

Ifi: D:
Ifi: This
Ifi: This is not okay
Ifi: D:
Ifi: I don't want to play anymore.
Adam: <HEY! WE CAN MORPH TOO!>
Adam: <YEAH! LET US ESCAPE FIRST!>
Adam: <SERIOUSLY!>
Adam: <NO! A CAPTAIN GOES DOWN WITH HIS SHIP!>
Adam: <WE'RE NOT THE CAPTAIN!>
Adam: <YOU ARE NOW.>

Ifi: So everybody DIES
Adam: Cheery.
Ifi: There's no joke there. That's what happens.
Ifi: Ax is devastated, so the Animorphs start yelling at him.
Ifi: And Ax actually apologizes
Ifi: For trusting an Andalite captain and being upset that a whole ship of people just died for no reason
Adam: …Seriously, what the hell, guys?
Ifi: But we are on Leera!
Adam: *u*


Ifi: There is like one landmass on Leera and we are on it.
Ifi: All the interesting stuff is underwater.
Adam: This.
Adam: This is like porn for me.
Adam: It's got xenofiction
Adam: And marine life.
Adam: All my dreams are coming true



Ifi: Apparently whoever gets control of this continent will win the planet.
Ifi: The Animorphs decide that they are helping
Adam: I honestly don't know how that works, strategy-wise
Adam: I mean, all of the cities are underwater.
Ifi: I guess you need a place to land your spaceship?
Ifi: idk
Adam: And they don't establish there being any important resources or trade centers on the continent.
Adam: Surely the Leerans have figured out a way of working water to space viable vehicles
Ifi: Okay so more Andalites die
Ifi: This is not a good day to be an Andalite

I fluttered past an open, questing Taxxon mouth. I saw a fellow bat, flying just a few feet above me. I saw it very clearly. And then, in an instant, it was gone. Simply gone.
<Where's Tobias?> Rachel cried.
<Tobias!> I cried. <He...he disappeared!>
<What do you mean, he disappeared?> Prince Jake demanded.
<I saw him. I was watching him. And he just disappeared.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Sweet this could not possibly be the snapback effect the doctor was talking about.
Adam: Nah, he's prolly just dead.
Ifi: With that in mind, the Animorphs forget about it.
Adam: "Eh, it's not like our close friend and comrade in arms spontaneously vanished on a hostile alien planet or anything."
Ifi: Ax claims that he knows what needs to be done to defeat the Yeerks, but he says he can't tell anyone because it's too dangerous.
Adam: I can kinndda understand this, what with there being telepaths everywhere.
Adam: But it still seems like a stretch.

<You must destroy me yourself rather than let them take me. Promise me.>
"What? Why?"
<Because I think I know what is going to happen. And if I am right, this defeat will become the greatest victory in Andalite history. And that information cannot fall into the hands of the Yeerks. No matter the price. No matter what.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: "Dude. Stop. We all know you're just being dramatic now."

I love Melissa. Get used to seeing her.

Ifi: Anyway it is time to ocean
Ifi: Also Rachel disappears so now there is nobody left to whine about the fact Tobias disappeared
Adam: Yes, but now ocean!
Adam: And I'm like this:



Ifi: Leera is kind of completely awesome
Adam: Quote it.

Huge, billowing creatures like white and yellow sails, triangular with biological propellers at each corner. Brilliant, electric-blue worms or snakes, each seventy feet long, swimming in wild schools. A bizarre creature that rose and fell through the water by blowing air into a bladder so thin it was almost transparent. A wonderful sort of fish in the shape of a screw that rotated its way through the water.
And these creatures weren't scattered here and there, but everywhere. The Leeran ocean was a madhouse of life-forms. Spread around across the ocean were bubbling chimneys of rock and soil, encrusted with squirming, writhing creatures, small and less small. My shark senses could feel the electrical discharge from these chimneys, and the intense warmth.
As I watched, a massive school of the brilliant blue worms came swirling around one of the chimneys. It swirled and my shark senses could feel the energy flow from the chimney into the worms.
[…]
<The creatures are feeding off the geothermal energy and electrical charge from these chimneys,> I said. <This may be an environment without predators.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: Can I move here?
Ifi: The only downside is frog-people knowing all your embarrassing thoughts
Adam: Speaking of...
Adam: Guess who shows up next?

<Leerans!> I yelled. <Leerans! I am an Andalite in morph.>
Chuh-wooomp!
The spear flew through the water only slightly slower than a human bullet. I jerked left. Too late! The spear pierced my tail and kept on flying.
<Hey!> Marco yelled.
<I'm an Andalite! Andalite!> I cried. <Your friend! Your ally!>
<Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill and three humans from planet Earth. Not our allies,> a cold, thought-speak voice said. He laughed. <You have no secrets from these psychic Leeran
minds.>
And suddenly the water boiled with the firing of a dozen spears.
Chuh-woomp! Chuh-wooomp!
This time we were more prepared. Still, we were not fast enough. A spear hit me in the side and stuck. Prince Jake avoided being hit, but Cassie was speared through and through. Marco was hit twice. Shark blood billowed.
The Leeran-Controllers laughed. <Die, Andalite! Die, humans! We'll carry your bodies to Visser Four!>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Wow.
Ifi: Fail.
Ifi: FAAAAAAAAAAAAAIL
Adam: Oh well, I guess that's the end.

Ifi: Okay so one of the Leerans manages to overpower his Yeerk long enough to tell Ax that the Yeerks can be removed if you rip out the base of their necks.
Ifi: The Animorphs do this with their teeth
Ifi: Luckily, like the Hork-Bajir, the Leerans have evolved to rip parasites from their brains
Adam: Convenient.

Thank you! the Leerans said. It wasn't normal thought-speak. It was deeper than that. Images, ideas that appeared in our minds that we then translated into words.
<You need medical help,> Cassie said. <Maybe I could demorph and—>
No, we will be fine. We can regenerate most body parts. It will take some time and we will be weak, but there are caves nearby where we can rest and be safe. Thank you! Thank you!
I've experienced some strange events. But four bright yellow Leerans with half their heads removed actually thanking us was definitely one of the strangest.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: It has been a very weird day
Adam: They seem like nice guys though.
Adam: I feel like it would be nice to be buddies with them.
Ifi: They really make things convenient as all hell

<Morph the Leerans,> I said.
Yes! the Leerans cried. Yes, morph us. Take our water jets. As long as you stay away from other Leerans, you will be safe from psychic probing.
Cassie said, <We don't like to—>
Yes, a Leeran responded, reading her thoughts. You do not like to morph sentient creatures. You respect our freedom. But we offer you this freely. We have read what is in the mind of Aximili the Andalite. We know what he suspects, and we know that even among the Andalites there are traitors. So, friends, carry our DNA and help to free our people from the Yeerks.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: Hah! Take that, Cassie!
Ifi: Honestly, do you think there is a single person alive who would say "No you cannot use my DNA to fight the mind-controlling alien invaders"?
Ifi: I mean really
Adam: But…but…think of the morality!
Ifi: Screw that I wanna be a psychic frog
Adam: I wanna be a garatron
Adam: But I am totes cool with the leerans

It was the new sense that was stunning: the psychic sense. It wasn't that I could read every thought in the heads of Prince Jake and Cassie and Marco.
But I could feel enough of their secrets to be embarrassed for them. And, of course, for myself. Because my own secrets, my vain little ideas, my pretensions were all open to them as well.
I could see so clearly that Marco was hoping for some news of his mother, Visser One. He wondered if she was here on Leera, if she had survived our last encounter.
I could see and feel Prince Jake's crushing weight of responsibility. The way he kept running things through in his mind, over and over again. Trying to figure out what had happened to Tobias and Rachel. Desperate to find a way to protect the rest of us.
And I could feel Cassie's mind as she cried for Rachel and Tobias. As she wondered whether we were doing the right thing. As she dealt with the aftereffects of the violence we'd just endured.
<Well,> Marco said, obviously uncomfortable. <I would just like you all to know that whatever thoughts of mine you're reading are totally made up. They aren't real.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Awkwardddddddd
Adam: Alright, let's have a contest here.
Adam: Whoever can come up with the best internal monologue for Marco here, I will draw a cookie for.
Adam: I would bake one, but I still don't know how to send them through the internet.
Ifi: xD What, you mean the thoughts he is having before he figures out how to turn them off?
Adam: Yes.
Ifi: All I know is that it involves carrying his mother all the way back to earth while things blow up behind him.
Adam: I was thinking of some sort of alone time with Jake in the ocean.
Adam: I think you can see how our minds differ here.
Ifi: ...

Ifi: The Leerans are all like "Hi there welcome to our city you don't have to explain anything because we are psychic."
Adam: Honestly, once you get used to the constant horrifying invasions of privacy, I could get used to this.
Ifi: It is a nice change from the Andalites, who demand to know every damn thing
Ifi: At least the Leerans are quick about it
Ifi: "Hang on, I need to see your life story. Oh okay you're good. The War-Prince is on his way."
Adam: So, they get to go talk to War Prince Galuit without much issue.
Adam: He honestly comes off as a pretty chill guy.
Ifi: He is under a lot of stress but you can tell he is nice underneath.
Adam: Also, he and Jake have a completely awesome conversation.

Galuit turned to speak to Prince Jake. <I have need of you to save this planet from the
Yeerks. Will you—>
"Yes," Prince Jake said.
<You say yes without knowing what I'm asking.>
"Will it save the Leerans? Will it keep them free? And most of all, will it hurt the Yeerks?"
<Yes to all three. Especially the last. If we save Leera it may turn the tide of the war against the Yeerks.>
"Then we'll do it."
Galuit seemed surprised. Maybe even impressed. In private thought-speak he said to me, <I have known worse princes than this one.>

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: Hell yes.
Ifi: That last line is like highest praise from an Andalite, considering Jake is an alien
Adam: See, one thing I like about this book, is that they are working in this "Don't be racist. We all need to work together." message.
Adam: But they are doing a good job of it.
Adam: And being subtle at times, even.
Ifi: The Andalites are desperate enough to set aside their xenophobia for at least the rest of the book
Adam: Twas nice enough of them.

It was exactly what I had suspected. The reason we had to flee the land and take to the sea. The reason I could not risk being taken by the Yeerks: It had all been a trap.
A trap for the Yeerks.
<We knew the Yeerks would take the battle to the continent,> Galuit said. <And we thought it very likely they would defeat us there. So we had a backup plan. We have planted a series of quantum bombs around the continent. Our plan was to wait until the Yeerks had moved all their troops down to the continent, then explode the bombs.>

----The Leerans get their planet remodeled for free

Ifi: Shit be blowin' up.
Adam: See, this is the thing.
Adam: If they can just blow up the continent with the Leerans considering it an acceptable loss, why is gaining access to the continent so damn important?
Ifi: Nobody can wrap their brains around the idea of not fighting over land
Adam: It's like in Ender's game, where no one can fully wrap their brains around fighting in three dimensions, even though it should be the first thing they learn.
Ifi: So the Animorphs need to manually trigger the bombs for some reason, I don't remember. Anyway, it sounds fun so they agree.
Adam: So, they have to navigate a cave filled with blind echolocating jumping snakes.
Adam: I love this book.
Ifi: Also Marco disappears, and one of the Andalite scientists confirms that it's a snapback effect.
Ifi: The Animorphs are all being pulled back to where they came from. Though it's not known if they will go back Earth, or to z-space and suffocate (spoiler alert: it's Earth)
Adam: Well, Nyarlathotep dissected them and put them back together afterwards, but they don't have to know that.

Ifi: So now it is time to go on a mission
Adam: Yeah!
Adam: I am excited
Ifi: They manage to free another Leeran
Adam: Unfortunately, he manages to warn some other Controllers before they can save him.
Ifi: So now it is a race!
Adam: Cue the dramatic music.

Around one hairpin turn and suddenly...
A blast of sounds! A cacophony of echolocating squeaks and trills.
<The snakes!> I cried.
Our own echolocation showed them as writhing lines that hung from the low ceiling and reached out from the walls. There were thousands! Millions! All firing their own echolocations, yammering and confusing the echoes of our own blasts.
Suddenly, in all the ultrasonic noise, the pictures in my head became distorted. Wild, swerving, swooping lines. Writhing borders of objects that no longer seemed solid.
<What do we do?> Prince Jake asked.
As Rachel would say if she were here: <We go for it!>
It was a nightmare! Deadly snakes filled the air. Lost, confused, we powered on, flapping wings that became more and more shredded as more and more snakes found their target.
I was losing maneuverability. Losing speed. I had lost sight of Prince Jake altogether. I could no longer tell up from down. I was spinning, flapping madly, afraid and confused. Lost! Lost in a squirming madhouse of darkness.
And then, swoosh! I blew free of the snakes. The cave walls backed off. The ceiling was gone. And light! Blessed light was glowing all around me.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Adam: Well, that was easy.
Ifi: But then the bad guys show up at the same time!
Ifi: It is just Ax against a whole bunch of Controllers
Ifi: Ax manages to get the system set up while being shot.
Ifi: Luckily they don't use those disintegrating beams.
Ifi: Those are only for minor characters.
Adam: And then the bomb is going to go off!
Adam: In three
Adam: Two
Adam: One...

I was calm. Shockingly calm.
<Detonation in ten seconds,> the computer warned.
"Disarm that weapon!" the Hork-Bajir commander yelled, switching to Galard, the interstellar language.
<Seven…>
<I don't think so, Yeerk. This time you lose. This time, you die.>
<Five…>
The Hork-Bajir raised his Dracon beam in rage. "You'll die first, Andalite scum!
<Three…>
He squeezed the trigger.
The Dracon beam fired. Point-blank range. Five feet from my face.
<One…>
I literally saw the Dracon beam stop. The beam stopped in midair as time froze. I heard a "pop!"
And suddenly, I was no longer there.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: Okay we all knew that was going to happen but it doesn't make it any less cool
Adam: So totally predictable
Adam: But yes
Adam: I loves it.
Ifi: We all knew that exact thing would happen from the moment Tobias first vanished
Ifi: BUT IT IS STILL AWESOME

Adam: Okay, so they are now back on earth.
Adam: Aw
Adam: But
Adam: They all get back at the same time
Adam: Because: Science.
Ifi: And they have not lost any time at all.
Ifi: So this means they are in two places at once
Adam: Science.
Ifi: Their adventures on Leera haven't happened yet, but they will in like a few minutes, which means they simultaneously oh god my brain help me
Adam: Mosquito!Ax bites Hewlett.
Adam: Who promptly wakes up from his coma.
Adam: What.

"Ow!" said Hewlett Aldershot the Third, as he slapped the spot where I'd been busily biting him. "Ow!" he said again.
"The human! He's awake!" one of the human-Controllers said.
"He's not supposed to wake up yet!" another moaned. "He's in a coma!"
"What do we do?"
"The Visser will kill us!"
"The police are coming. We can't be taken!"
"Run! Run!"
"What do we do with this Aldershot human?"
"We have no orders."
"Run!" someone yelled again. And this time, the rest agreed.

----Book Eighteen, The Decision

Ifi: "RUN RUN!"
Ifi: "Why?"
Ifi: "THE BOOK IS OVER"
Ifi: "Yeah but we can still totally—"
Ifi: "RUN AWAY"
Adam: And then they all go out for Cinnamon Buns
Adam: The end.

Ifi: I like this one because they were willing to die to save a planet that wasn't even theirs
Adam: Wow, I wasn't even thinking along those lines.
Ifi: I think this book explores death more than most of the others
Adam: In retrospect, this is an excellent point.
Adam: It also involves the aspect of trust.
Ifi: Hey interspecies relationships is hard.
Adam: The last book, Ax learned that it was okay to tell the others information he has.
Adam: But in this one, the others learn that sometimes it is okay for him to not tell them everything.
Adam: Having the character grown be from someone who is not the viewpoint character is actually an interesting choice, I think.
Ifi: I just wish there'd been less of Coma-dude the Third and more of Leera
Adam: Agreed.
Adam: Again, I love me some marine xenofiction.
Ifi: Also they never use those excellent Leeran morphs do they?
Adam: Well, there was some sort of spacetime wedgie, so I guess I always assumed that they lost access to the Leeran morphs
Adam: That's just my guess though.
Ifi: Psychic morphs would have been awesome
Adam: Quite so.
Adam: I mean, if you can figure out a way to keep them hidden, they would be excellent for telling if someone was a Controller.
Ifi: Just hang around outside peoples windows.
Adam: Tobias does that half the time anyway.




Also, this was Ifi's breakfast this morning! :D


It was guarded by a fierce tiger. You should all be so lucky.


This is not the one that got stuck in the tree. Bonnie does not get stuck in trees. She is badass

34 comments:

  1. Book 18 was awesome, although I agree with 26 being the best. It's funny how the two books where the visit alien planets are some of the best ones in the series.

    Even as a kid I wondered about that kafit bird thing and wondered why Ax was so surprised.

    I guess we can assume that all the traitor Andelites were blown up on the Leera continent. XD

    I am glad to see the continued use of Facebook.

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  2. "Nor can I imagine what a "suspicious" bird might be."

    I can! An American Bald Eagle who is swooping down and grabbing a dude who has just jumped off the top of a building in an attempt to rescue him!

    Or a Kafit Bird, though I am unspeakably happy that Kafits have made another appearance. Speaking of...

    "Hey, that bird has too many wings!"

    "I am a paleobiologist who focuses on avian evolution! I am looking at this bird with six pairs of wings and I am sh*tting my pants right now!" (That statement could also go for that "Digimon" clip.)

    Tobias = Emohawk, Satire of Otherkin from before most of us knew Otherkin was a thing, and now, Angst Magnet.

    Quick rundown: Cassie had a problem acquiring dolphins, a big problem with acquiring humans and Leerans, and acquired a parrot just to troll the Totally Not Rainforest Cafe. Somewhere, Irene Pepperberg is crying.

    "Diseases cannot be transmitted during acquiring" - Well, isn't that convenient. That's something I would have liked to know before getting within ten feet of the Escafil Device. Also, Ax is about to explain how Acquiring actually works and Marco has to go and ruin it for those of us who give a sh*t about this kind of stuff.

    I learned something today! I thought male Mosquitoes were larger!

    That little girl could have been the plot of an entire "Chronicles" book after she gets well again and starts babbling about a blue centaur-fairy thing (do not search DeviantArt for this) that can turn into a bird. Oh, wait, this Animorphs, and Animorphs is set in Unusually Uninteresting Sight-land. (See the quoted bit immediately after.)

    <>

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  3. More facebook. More facebook forever. Hell, I'd read a review that was LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can a review with nothing but facebook exist? PLEASE!

      Delete
  4. I love Trish with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

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  5. Wait, now the kafit bird has *6* wings?! Not 6 pairs, but 6 wings? That's much more reasonable than that 12 winged monstrosity.

    Also, I think there's actually a pattern to the Z space slingshot whatever thing. It went Tobias, tall but thin Rachel, shorter but I think mentioned as sorta pudgy-ish Cassie, Marco, kinda jock-ish Jake, and then Ax. Seems like it goes from smaller masses to larger ones.

    And this book was AWESOME. I'd probably rank the Hork Bajir Chronicles, the Megamorphs book with the dinosaurs (because DINOSAURS! <3), and #26 as being cooler, but that's about it.

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    Replies
    1. Actually Marco went before Cassie. I would say you're right about the mass issue, but Cassie held out longer because of the estreen thing. Since it is now firmly established that morphing is the process of assembling a body out of mass drawn from z-space, or expelling excess mass into z-space, it would stand to reason that her superior morphing control and speed gives her more control over moving her mass between z-space and reality, and thus able to hold out against the snap-back for disproportionately longer, when she probably should have gone right after Tobias.

      Delete
  6. I was quite fond of 29, I dunno about the rest of you.

    And you're in luck--next week is the dinosaurs :D

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  7. I haven't read that one in an absurdly long time. I've just recently been patching up the gaps in my Animorphs collection. Actually going by surprisingly quickly.

    AND AAAW YEEAAAH, DINOSAURS! :D!

    Oh oh oh, and the David trilogy. I really really liked those books.

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  8. Adam, i believe i caught a discworld reference buried in there. +1 if so

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  9. The next few weeks are going to be EPIC. Dinosaurs! #19! The David trilogy! (And hopefully more Facebook things? Pretty please?)

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  10. I am not sure how well the facebook thing will work when they're in the Cretaceous period or whatever but I guess if you can post from Leera you can post from anywhere.

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  11. Honestly, the Discworld reference was largely unintentional on my part, which is odd, because I could swear that I have made less transparent Discworld references prior.

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  12. I demand a facebook post from inside the Elasmosaurus stomach.

    Please.

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  13. Aw, thanks!

    (Posted from inside an Elasmosaurus.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kronosaurus, folks, the Kronosaur is what ate Rachel and Tobias ;). A pair of Elasmosaurs did chase the gang towards it, though. I think the three of them fought too, and the rest of the Animorphs escaped during that?

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  15. They ignore overpowered morphs a lot. In the DINOSAUR BROCCOLI CHRONICLES, in the epilogue, they go "Oh, so I tried to morph a T-Rex... it didn't work." "Huh. Oh, well."

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  16. We can't have too much of an advantage and accidentally end the series early!

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  17. How great would the series' end have been when, instead of demonstrating to the President that they could turn into animals, they demonstrated they could turn into DINOSAURS?

    Also: Has there ever been any explanation, ever, as to why people can't acquire someone else who is in morph?

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  18. Pretty sure it was never addressed at all. It's been one of the biggest thing that always bugged me about the series. I mean, why shouldn't you be able to? Maybe the DNA isn't stable enough or something (I'm just making up stuff now).

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  19. What is that animated gif with the dragon and the gorilla from?

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  20. I think it's Scott Pilgrim, but Adam will need to confirm.

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  21. It's definitely from "Scott Pilgrim"; the Battle of the bands scene near the finale. Fun Fact: it took me three times watching to movie to realize I was watching Japan (dragons) fighting Canada (Sasquatch).

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  22. Mind=Blown. That never even occurred to me.

    But yes, Scott Pilgrim.

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  23. The last Facebook post was the most awesome, possibly even compared to Jordan being freaked out by Tobias. It makes it tempting to go out and create real FB pages for them and just go through all the book plots, but... eh... I have stuff to do.

    Anyway, the first time I read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I TOTALLY thought about this Z-space incident. I do most times it comes up XD

    It sort of later gets explained that Andalites don't think of morphing in the same way, so most have very few and not very useful ones, so maybe the guy was assuming that the Animorphs were the only ones with morphs good for escaping? But still... he could have asked around first...

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    1. The ship's personnel files probably list all the morphs the crew have available. That's the kind of thing the TO would have to be on top of, so when the captain wants someone who can morph a kafit bird, or a monkey-thing, the TO knows who to ask. So he's wondering who has bugs, and ooops. Nobody but the human scum.

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    2. Also, if the Captain can be a traitor, ANYONE can (especially because he'd be able to staff the ship with fellow traitors). Harelin was probably deliberately condemning the suspect crew to death, because Ax & the humans were the only ones he was absolutely certain were not in league with the Yeerks (on account of Earth not being totally taken over), and he wanted to give them the best possible chance to warn the Andalites.

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  24. Adam: You can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. So that's why I always put honey in my hair.

    . . . Was that a Weekenders reference?

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  25. Andalite honor insight - Andalites are grazing herd animals at heart. Thus their society is far more collectivist than ordinary humans, and they have less individualistic tendencies. Honor is the means by which people are judged capable and cooperative members of society in the absence of effective government or law enforcement (that's why barbarians and aristocrats make a bigger deal about honor - there are fewer laws to restrain them, so they use honor to govern themselves). Therefore, in a collectivist, herd-oriented social species, honor would be all about group mentality. Andalites are already inclined to put the general welfare ahead of their individual safety, so their honor is not like ours, which is needed to compell selfish greedy monkeys to share and to put our asses on the line for the greater good. A human gains honor by proving he is willing to stand up and risk his life. Andalites are already about that, so their honor has a different focus.

    Ax is dishonored in his confrontations with Visser Three because he failed to eliminate a threat to the group. Visser Three retains honor, because he retreated against superior numbers, rather than get into a pissing contest when no advantage to the herd will accrue. Predators hunt herd animals by singling out an individual and getting him away from the group to take down as a pack or pride. For herd animals, getting outnumbered is a grave mistake, and evading such a circumstance is more useful to the group than fighting and falling (and in nature, that means you are strengthening the predators with a meal, and depriving the herd of your help).

    For individualistic species like humans, honor overcomes our self-preservation instincts to encourage cooperation and benefit the group. For more socially-oriented species, like those descended from herd grazers (or pack hunters), honor would serve the role of shoring up their weak point - individual initiative. That's why they place so much emphasis on individual reputations and heroism, such as the lionization of Elfangor, whereas for humans, even though we admire and respect individual achievement and success, we reserve "honor" for self-sacrificing actions. Andalites don't need a code of honor to encourage self-sacrifice, they do that automatically. They need honor to encourage them to stand up and go the extra mile and show initiative, because it is through such efforts that the group progresses.

    That's also why the suicide scene of the whole ship plays out without protest. Andalites are naturally inclined to go down together, and probably find more visceral comfort in dying as a group than surviving alone. That's also the whole deal with vecols later on - they can't pull their weight with the group, and so are cast out, and yet it is phrased by Andalites as if it is done for the benefit of vecol, rather than the group. To Andalites, being unable to carry your share must be horribly embarassing, because they are all about group first.

    We are selfish & greedy, so when we put ourselves in a cripple's shoes, we think "I would want more for myself in that situation," and will sometimes give it if we can. Andalites are selfless and value the group so when they put themselves in the place of a guy with a missing tailblade, all they can think is "I would be so embarrassed at not being fully function in that situation, that I would not want to be around people."

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    1. This... Wow. That is such an amazing insight, and I thank you for sharing it with us, because I love it and it makes brilliant amounts of sense.

      Seriously, I read it, and at every word I was nodding, going "Yep, of course that's why."

      Thanks so much,

      Spitfire

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  26. Cosmic Disco Bruce LeeJuly 4, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    The Kamen Rider clip left me pleased as punch. SPAAAAAAACE TIIIIIME!

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  27. One thing I always wondered: how did they intend to get the blood out of their mosquito morphs in order to acquire it? They need to be in their original bodies to acquire something, so are they going to spit the blood back up before they demorph? Can mosquitoes do that?

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  28. I have book 18, though I never read 26. For some reason, I never liked 18. I think I never got to the Leera part. I slightly remember it, but there were like three plots in this book. I got through the first two.

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  29. Anyone else catch how the planet was called Leera instead of the "Leeran Homeworld?" This one planet and Earth are like the only planets with actual names in the Animorphs universe.

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